First of all, we have a kindergartner in the house. He has been three days. The first day didn’t go so well. He was a little anxious about the little girl who “didn’t follow instructions” and got in trouble. It seems whatever the teacher had to do to work with this girl bothered him. The second day he expressed his concern/frustration with big hand gestures as he talked about how much she cried and yelled.
So, Friday on the way to the bus-stop we decided to have a prayer. I asked him what we should pray about and he responded: his teacher, his friends, etc. I then asked if we should pray for the girl who keeps getting into trouble.
He scrunched up his face as if confused, and said plainly, “NO!”
So far, our kids only get the thanksgiving part of prayer. The thought of praying for a problem, or problem child wasn’t natural. But I wonder if the same isn’t true for many adults. Our natural response isn’t to pray for enemies or those who bother us.
Then…there’s the three-year-old girl who lives with us. She likes to pray because she likes to talk. Her prayers are often a recounting of recent events. At VBS, she cracked up the adults in the room but talking about her trip to go potty just moments before class started while she was praying.
So, at lunch she was telling God everything, I mean everything that had happened that day and even included a statement about the fact that she was praying. Obviously her awareness of who she was talking to didn’t sink in.
That’s a pet peeve of mine. Whenever someone prays in the assembly and seems totally unaware of the presence of God, it distracts and irritates me. Often, it sounds like a speech, or the person refers to God in third person. We don’t refer to each other in third person when talking to each other.
What have your kids taught you about prayer?
Not prayer related but two “gems” from my daughter this morning during church and a third from bedtime:
“I think that baby has poop in his diaper.” as the mother in front of us was taking out a crying baby.
“Where’s my ticket? I don’t have a ticket?” during the collection. We usually give the kids a dollar or two to put in the basket but forgot today.
At bedtime, after I kissed her goodnight, she said, “make me a prayer.”