Whether we are praying to ask for help, give thanks, bless our food or to watch over us, we are having a conversation with God. In our mind and maybe our heart we feel better after we say these prayers. I know that when I pray I feel like I am giving a little part of myself to God in that moment. I feel like he is there to either help carry a burden, show compassion, lessen the weight from my shoulders or most importantly, just to listen. The feeling may only last a moment or for a while, but either way I feel better, I feel loved and I don’t feel alone.
This is why I pray with my daughter. I want her to grow up knowing that she too can have comfort in prayer. Right now we pray every night before she goes to bed and ask God to watch over her through the night and bless the people we love. We recently started to pray every morning when she first wakes up. After all, we need God during the day as much as we need him through the night right? We ask God to send his light and love and to guide and protect her throughout the day. She can almost say the prayers (remember she is 2) but she definitely enjoys saying the Amen.
One of my favorite daily moments with Lila is when we are saying her bedtime prayer. At the end we bless people, things, animals…you name it. I always leave it up to her to see who she wants blessed that night. Sometimes it’s a laundry list of names, and sometimes it may just be Elmo or Blue Choo Choo. Papa, mama, baby, Shelby and Maia (our 2 dogs) are usually always blessed. Lately she has added bye-bye. Not sure what or who that is but she says “bless bye-bye.” Okay, sure, we’ll bless bye-bye. Last night it was Nana’s house. Not Nana (grandma) but Nana’s house. Periodically she throws in the moon, stars and owls.
Mimi Doe writes in 10 Principle’s for Spiritual Parenting – “Children can use prayer as a way to speak their thoughts and feelings directly to God. They can practice being quiet and listing for His response, remembering it may come in a surprising way. One of God’s ways to reach us is through our ideas and inspirations. So we talk to God in prayer and we listen to His answers by getting quiet and paying attention to the ideas that come. Help your child trust his intuition. Help him understand that his internal voice is a way for God to give him direction. Direction may come through someone else’s words or actions; it may visit your child through nature, in a sparkling sunbeam, or in the beauty of music or art.” – Principle 1: Know God Cares for You, Pg.14