Out loud, but loudly out loud, my children pray every night. My wife, Dee, and I either pray with the children together or we take turns.
Some nights I am not in the best of moods and prayer is not high on my priority list. People sometimes refer to me as eccentric, so maybe it is a genetic thing, but each of my two children Ethan and Trinity have a few quirks in their prayer life. Trinity says “SuperDooper” about fifty thousand times and Ethan likes to say things in the same order very night.
I love God and I know He is real and that He loves me, but often I am tired and grumpy and I don’t want to talk to Him. I have had a tough day and He knows it, He was there, He saw it, He understands. I just don’t want to talk to Him sometimes. In moods like this I neglect my own pray life. I pour a whiskey and sulk. But Dee or I have to say prayers with the children every night, no prayers no sleep, no matter how late it is. So even when I don’t want to pray I still kneel down and listen to the children say their prayers. It’s enough to break my heart.
I am struck by often they use the word “Thank you”. The other night Ethan thanked God for making trees that give us oxygen. Oxygen? Trees? I don’t have time to thank God for things like that! Those are given. Those are standard. Those are our right as humans! “Thank you for cats because they’re my favourite animal” says Ethan! Why he does not just thank God for his cat, DJ? Ethan thanks God for all cats and the fact that they are his favourite animal. I don’t have a favourite animal anymore, I’m forty, nobody over forty has a favourite animal. I can’t remember when I last had a favourite animal. Trinity thanks God for her school! Who does that?
It is humbling to listen to these energetic and simple prayer of praise and thanksgiving. I sometimes hate it that I love hearing them so much.