Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just Get It Over With

My family didn't get dressed up. We didn't frantically clean house to ensure no relative would find a surface harboring dust. And there was no bird to carve at our table.

But we still ate too much, enjoyed family time, and took an afternoon nap.

Turkey and andouille gumbo, homemade rolls, fried shrimp and oysters--it may not sound like Thanksgiving fare to you, but that's the meal our kitchen turned out today.

Before all the food made it to the table, Wyatt wandered into the kitchen to discover his Grandmama frying shrimp. Since this is one of his favorites, he quickly scaled rungs to sit atop the bar stool and somehow convinced MaMa that he needed a shrimp now. A short prayer later, that shrimp was history.

Moments later, I saw him take another shrimp from the bowl, bow his head a second time and repeat his meal-time prayer again.

I held my breath as I listened, making sure I could understand the words.

Although this is supposed to be a week of thanks, two days ago, Wyatt decided he could rush through his mealtime prayer. In his impatience to start eating, he decided expediting the prayer would be ok.

It started on Tuesday when Wyatt forgot to pray at lunch. Hungry from three hours of running around outside, he didn't have to be told twice to get in his chair. Two little hands grabbed the peanut butter and honey sandwich as he opened his mouth as wide as it could go, ready to take a huge bite.

He was mid-bite when I yelled, "Wait! You forgot to thank God for the food!"

He removed the sandwich from his mouth, but didn't drop it as he bowed the head.

"God is great. God is good. Letusthankhimforthefoodamen."

I had to make him repeat it twice before he got it right. But then he did the same thing for supper that night and then again lunch the next day.

Mommy's authority was failing to stop this new speedy prayer. So, I tried the "blame it on God" tactic. "You need to say your prayers slowly. God can't understand you when you talk so fast."

Wyatt grinned that "mommy is so stupid" grin and in his silly voice said, "God can understand ME."

Ok, got me there--dumb mommy.

So then I explained that maybe God liked it when he said the prayer slow because it sounds more like he really is thankful and it makes God feel special.

Surprise, surprise--that worked. No more just-get-it-over-with prayers in the last 24 hours.

The sad part? I know where he gets it from. I've caught myself with the same attitude about prayer.

I know the role it should play in a Christian's life. I have lived the results of its power. And yet, all too often, I rush through a prayer so I can get on to something else. Even at night when I sit down to do an hour or more of in-depth Bible study, I find myself praying all too quickly so I can get to the "good part."

Maybe I'm the only one who has this problem.

But I want my prayer life to be more than just me repeating my prayer-list back to God. I want it to be more than just the sentence prayers of thanks and requests that I offer up all throughout the day.

I want to enjoy an unrushed two-way prayer exchange between me and God just like my Bible study has become.

I want to consider prayer the "good part," too.


  1. I hear you, Jennifer. I have often found myself rushing to the "good part," too. Why do we do this? I don't know.

    A few months ago, I set aside a special "prayer" spot in my living room. Sitting there -- I've found these special times of prayer to be the "good part." Still, I want more. And -- I suspect -- He does, too.

  2. I'm guilty as well.

    In fact, the very mention of friend shrimp and oysters had my mouth watering so much that I could almost picture myself rushing through one of Wyatt's prayers.