Pray More

In our family we pray at every meal.  I grew up doing this and Kristina and I have continued this tradition.  However, I grew up holding hands to pray, and for whatever reason, we did not continue that part of the tradition... or at least, we didn't used to. 

On thanksgiving this year, our family went to visit my parents in Salmon Arm.  We had a great time.  One of the things we did, led by my parents, was to hold hands while we prayed.  Hannah thought this was great.  It took all of a week for her to start watching us at the start of meals, and holding her hands out to us so we could pray, before we had even got to that point yet.  She gets this big smile on her face and just sits there, quietly.  

A week after that, Hannah had not only learned a new word, but she knew when to say it: Amen.  With no prompting from us at all, she picked up this word from our prayers and started saying it with us at the right time.  As her father, I am proud and impressed.  As a pastor, I think she will make the best PK ever!  

If all of that weren't enough, wait until you hear what she did last night! One of the things that happens quite often is that Hannah eats before we do.  It doesn't seem to matter when she gets up, when she snacks, or what, she is hungry for her meals at precise times: lunch is at noon, dinner is at six.  If Kristina and I aren't ready (maybe we had a late breakfast/lunch, maybe dinner is taking longer to cook, maybe we are waiting for Auntie Tesa, whatever) then we set Hannah up in her chair and she eats.  

Today, for dinner, this is exactly what happened.  She was "all done" and we were about to get started, so we cleaned her up and let her play while we ate.  We had just started eating when Hannah came over, stood across the coffee table from us, and held out her hands to each of us.  She wanted to pray.  We had already done so, but were happy to do so again.  So, we held her hands, closed our eyes, and prayed.  When we were finished, all three of us said Amen.  Hannah looked at each of us, decided we hadn't prayed enough yet, and held her hands out again.  It took a total of three prayers to satisfy her, and by that time both Kristina and I had huge smiles on our faces (well, we actually had those as soon as she held our her hands the first time). 

So, I was encouraged to pray more today by my one-and-a-half year old daughter.  And why not pray more?  Prayers at meal times, prayers at bedtime, prayers anytime and longer.  They are all good.  God is always there, ready to speak and to listen, if only we had ears to hear and minds that focused on him in our speech.  

So, thank you Hannah.  Your too young to know it yet, but your already teaching your Daddy, and Mommy, important life lessons.  I suspect this is only the beginning.  


muzik_lova said...

yah, i remember i sat next to a young baby at summer camp a few years ago and before we eat, we prayed and she gave her hand to me so that we could join our hands to pray. her parents and i were obviously in a bit of an awkward moment as I wasn't sure what to do. But that was so cute so i hold her hand and our whole table, because of her action, all joined hands together and prayed before we ate.

i was quite blessed by that experience and i hope that when i have a family, we'll be able to do the same. =)

mamaj said...

Children teach us important lessons sometimes we overlooked.