Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Break in Routine

Those last few moments before the lights turn off for the night are some of the most precious of the day. As I walk past the open door of the boys' room, I hear my husband's deep voice pray in hushed tones with Wyatt. I want to linger, to listen to the prayer, but I feel like an intruder on such a private, intimate father and son time, and so I move quietly down the hall.

Each evening is the same--a deep muffled voice and my desire to linger at the door. But tonight was different.

Since the trip, Wyatt has reverted to being mommy's little boy where mommy has to do everything. After reading his last Winnie the Pooh book before bedtime, I told him to go say prayers with daddy and left to do some work in the kitchen.

But he followed me, whining, "You say prayers, mommy."

What mother could resist that request? Not this one.

Still full of too much energy, he bounced onto his bed, pulled the John Deere blanket up to his chin, and lay his head back against the pillow, eyes watching me expectantly.

"Tell God what you're thankful for."

"Mommy. Daddy. My teddy bear."

Then, I begin to pray over him. At "Dear God," he doesn't merely close his eyes. He squeezes them as tightly shut as possible. They're not just closed but really closed.

I'm not surprised. That's how he prays at mealtime, eyes squeezed shut as he repeats his solemn, slow version of "God is great, God is good. Let us thank for all the food. AAAmen." And if I add an extra serving of something to anybody's plate, he prays again over that new food.

I've shown Wyatt how to say sentence prayers to God all throughout the day even though our eyes are open. But apparently, his concept of prayer has been influenced more by Hermie and Wormie's "Milo the Mantis Who Wouldn't Pray." And Milo always prays with his eyes closed.

Tonight, though, I don't shut mine. I watch this swiftly growing boy, thanking God for him, for our safety today on the road, for the flu shot he got today to make his body immune to the illness, for him to have a good night's rest, for God to help him be a good boy, and for God to help his mommy teach him to love Him and Jesus.

He's not quite three yet, but his daddy and I have been working to instill in him a desire to pray and a knowledge of the power of prayer.

When I was a child, praying was something I did just because I had to do it if I wanted to obey the Bible. I talked to God, and that was it. There wasn't much listening and no real comprehension of how prayer could make a difference in the small things.

This mother's desire is for prayer to be a "want to do" for my children, for them to desire a day-long conversation with God.

I close tonight's prayer with a soft "Amen," figuring that's enough for a two-year old, especially since I'm not sure how much longer he can keep squeezing his eyes that tightly closed. His eyes pop open wide, definitely not the eyes of a sleepy child. But I kiss him goodnight anyway, turn out the light, and shut the door.

holy experience

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Jennifer.

    Isn't it amazing to watch our children as they love their God, our God?