Learning to Pray

Praying

I love being “Mimi” to our three grandchildren. One of my greatest joys is having the two older ones spend the night. Recently Lily, who is 5, came over to spend the night. One of the first things she said was, “Mimi, tonight when you put me to bed, I’m going to pray. I’ve just learned how! And, this afternoon at naptime I even practiced!” That was music to my ear. Many times when I’ve lain down with her at bedtime I’ve asked her to pray and she’s said, “I don’t know how.” Of course, I’ve tried to talk to her about how easy it is, I’ve modeled it, I’ve tried to explain it. And, I’m sure her parents have done the same. But, until that particular day, it just wasn’t going to happen. So, that night in bed, she was ready to pray. What an incredible prayer it was: Thank you that I got to go to the church park and play with my friends. Thank you that I got to eat lunch with my friends. Thank you that I got to spend the night with Mimi and Popi. Thank you for the Sprite. Amen. It was one of the sweetest prayers I’ve ever heard and it was just a prayer of thanksgiving.

I’ve thought a lot about that prayer. I’ve thought about the timidity that many of us have of praying out loud. I’ve thought of many, like Lily once was, who feel they don’t know how to pray. I thought of Lily saying, “I practiced.” She’d practiced out loud by herself. I remember a Bible teacher once saying that she felt prayer became much more powerful when she prayed out loud in her private devotions. I believe she’s right. Of course, I know God hears my silent prayers, but because prayer is like having a conversation with my dearest friend, I think she has a point. I’ve experienced this.  I do feel closer to the heart of God when I hear my voice speaking to Him. God grant that I make this a daily practice and may I always make sure I include lots of thank you’s in my prayer. “Give thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

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