I’ve written before about family prayer time at the end of the day. Often, with Gail tending to Kayla, it turns out to be the 3 Imoo boys as I try and settle them for bed. Depending on the day we just had, this can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 5 hours.
Last night had the potential to get ugly, as Jacob fell asleep at the 6:30pm Mass (at around 6:45pm) and miraculously woke up as I was carrying him to the van (just after 8pm). So instead of being asleep for the night, I counted it as a 90 minute nap. Thus, I had no idea what time he would actually fall asleep for good.
So there we were last night, doing our night time prayers. Sean went first this time, and offered up this gem:
“Thank you Lord for the wonderful day. Please bless Jacob and help him not to be such a goof, falling asleep during Your time in Your beautiful house of worship.”
I guess Jake didn’t appreciate being prayed for in this fashion, as he quickly interjected: “Stop it!”
Sean mis-heard Jake’s interruption and therefore the madness continued.
“And I pray for Jacob’s stomach (Sean had heard “stomach” instead of “stop it”) that it may grow bigger so he’s not underweight and so small.”
Honesty, I can’t recall the rest of Sean’s prayer as I was doing my best not to burst out into laughter. I do recall Jake doing a nice prayer offering up our upcoming trip to New York before I closed things off.
That’s why I love kids’ prayers. Children remind us that we can be child-like, not childish, in the way we pray. Praying is easier for children, as there is no embarrassment, no formulas, no clichés, or no religiously correct God words…they just pray whatever comes to their minds. Children tell God what they are genuinely thinking and they understand that God is listening, and that praying is very important.
My hope is that we all become more child-like in our faith, and that we aren’t afraid to offer up simple, spontaneous prayers when needed.
That way, I won’t always be the one saying grace because I’m the designated “church professional!”