I have learned that prayer is something that my kids can comprehend at their young age and it is a beginning to them understanding Jesus as their Savior. I want my kids to know that Jesus is always available to them and that they can talk to Him at any time and He will listen. He cares to hear about their day just like mommy does. When they are happy, they can pray; when they are sad, they can pray; when they are angry, they can pray; when they or someone else needs help, they can pray. So, ever since my kids were babies, we have prayed before every meal (yes, even baby food), we pray when we first wake up, and we pray before we go to sleep. We also pray after a time out or a spanking if we need help calming down. We pray when someone gets hurt and we pray when we hear a sad story. My favorite thing that we pray for is the villains in any movie or story book! Yup, we pray for Cruella Devil, for Sid from Toy Story, for Ursela from The Little Mermaid, for Randall from Monsters Inc., and for Gaston from Beauty and the Beast! I have prayed countless times for these fictional characters to "ask Jesus into their heart so they will be nice." My parents, Ricky's parents, and Chuck and Pam have also prayed many of these prayers on behalf of my children. But, it warms my heart, when in the middle of a movie, my kids fold their hands and say, "Let's pray for him not to be mean anymore mommy." I am always moved to tears when someone tells me that a friend or family member is sick or hurting and Noah hears and responds with, "Let's pray for them." This shows me that my kids are getting it!
Lately, they have been praying on their own. It melts my heart and I know that it melts God's heart too. Here is what they prayed the other day:
Noah: Dear Jesus, thank you that we had a fuuuun, fuuuun, fuuuuun day today! Thank you for Bamma and Papa and Auntie Denise and Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Cow-sey and Papi and Nana and Bup and Guck... and help me to be a good boy and not to whine and cry and Jesus name aaaaa-men!
Maia: Dear Jesus, hep Maia not to trow up anymore, and not to bite and be naughty and Jesus name aaaa-men!
My cup overflows. I love my little prayer warriors! I hope that I can instill within them a lifestyle of prayer without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).