We’ve been teaching our mackerdoodle to pray for several months now. At first it was just “thank you for this food” at meals and “please forgive my sins and help me to love Jesus” at family worship. When we noticed that she was doing the meal prayer as she slid into her chair, and had it timed so the first fork full of food was hitting her tongue before the sound of “amen” had faded from the air, we thought maybe we should be taking this prayer thing to another level.
All we asked was that she thank God for the specific food we were eating. If I put a plate of turkey fried rice in front of her (one of her favorite meals – done in the crock pot!) she didn’t hesitate. “Dear God, hank oo for dis TOOKEY WICE!!!!!! amen.” she would say. Then she would open her eyes and look at us for affirmation (which we granted eagerly) before she began to shovel the tookey wice into her mouth. It was all a little more complicated, however, when the meal was, say, bean soup. She doesn’t really like bean soup, so she didn’t really want to say “hank oo” for that meal; but we worked at it, and soon it became the new routine to thank God for the specific food of each meal.
Lately, she’s realized that she can improvise within the assigned parameters of her prayers. Prayers for lunch lately have been very entertaining. Yesterday it was “Dear God, hank oo for” little pause, as her closed eyes wrinkle in concentration, “Daddy, Abigail, LukeAndrew, slides, squirrels, Luke’s party. . . ” then a quick peek from between her fluttering eyelashes “eggs, bacon, and bwead. amen.”
I need to remember to thank God for the every day things like squirrels and slides. I think we’re learning from her as she learns from us.
Dear God, thank you for a little girl who is already learning to thank you for the things and people in her life. And for bacon. Amen.