Mr. C and I pray together almost every night before he goes to sleep, and we have been doing it for a long time without him showing that he gets what we’re doing by making it his own. Every night, he says, “Thank You, God, for houses, roads, trees…and that’s all the people!!” The first part was a result of me telling him that he could thank God for anything, even our house, the trees, etc. Too bad I didn’t mention something he would actually be a little thankful for–like his toys, our cats, or Chick fil-A (actually, he did say that one once on his own). No matter the suggestions I would give him afterwards, he would just continue thanking God for houses, roads, and trees.
He says the last part about the people because when we first started praying together, I just asked him to bless people. He would list as many people as he could think of, mostly repeats–“Bless Daddy, bless my sister, bless me, bless Daddy, bless me, bless Daddy, bless Mama…” (he usually remembers me somewhere near the end)–and when he was done, he would end it that way–“and that’s all the people!” Actually, after thanksgiving now, we still have the blessing time, and he still ends it that way then, too. I guess he just thinks that’s a good ending for most prayers.
Anyway, after a long time of these same prayers and after hearing of other people with three year olds who pray all kinds of amazing prayers, I was glad when he recently started adding a few new items to his thanksgiving list, like the gym or seeing his friend Jackson that day.
Today, I was so proud of his sensitive heart and encouraged that he might be starting to understand what prayer is (and even a little about who God is) when I told him that I felt sick after eating too much breakfast. He looked at me with a concerned look on his face and said something about how God could help me. I told him that I could pray, but really it was my own fault that I ate too much, so God maybe would just let me learn my lesson. I told him, though, that God can be nice to us when we don’t deserve it, and I asked him if he wanted to pray for me. He said yes, ran over to me, got on his knees next to me, and prayed, “Please, God, please help Mama not be sick, please.” Talk about melting my heart! I do have to say that I did feel better a few minutes later–I made sure to let him know.
Also, there’s not much more that brings me joy than seeing my son in the very beginning stages of worship through song–singing along in the car to a song that praises God. In fact, it was one of the first songs he sang along to at all. He may not have understood all the words he was singing, but since he asks about my worship songs a lot, I know that he did know that the song was about God, and he wanted to join in the singing.