“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Since Charlotte was a baby, we have had the same nighttime routine, the end of which includes praying together as a family in her room and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I then rock her and put her down to sleep. I must admit that before bed was the only intentional time I took to pray with Charlotte. More recently, as her imagination grows, she has taken to treating her teddy bear like her own baby and putting him to sleep before it’s time for her to get ready for bed. My mom taught Charlotte how to put her hands together and pray with Teddy just like we pray with her.
As many of you know, Charlotte isn’t speaking all that much yet. But she uses her hands and sounds to communicate with us. Since learning to put her hands together to pray, she has come to “ask” me to pray numerous times a day. She indicates she is done by proudly saying, “Mmmm-Hmmm” as her way of saying Amen. At random times throughout the day, my sweet girl will walk up to me with her hands clasped. I ask her if she wants to pray, and she nods an enthusiastic Yes. I put my hands together and pray whatever I can think about and she listens intently and copies my Amen. This usually does not end our routine, as Charlotte then wants to pray by herself. We have a moment of silence and I tell her when she’s done she can say Amen. And she does.
We go about this routine many times during the day. At least 10 times or more we are stopping whatever we are doing to talk to God. I have to tell you at the beginning of this routine, I was not all that jazzed. I’m talking stopping in the middle of dinner, stopping while doing dishes, stopping while we read a book. Anytime is a good time to pray apparently! I would tell Charlotte she could pray and I would wait until she said Amen but she was always verrrrrry insistent that I pray too.
However, now I look forward to this little stop in our day. I look forward to taking a minute and thanking God for our day and our food and each family member and the sun, etc etc. I spend a lot of time asking for peace and safety, for hope and sunshine. My daughter is always looking at me waiting for my words to God. And I am so grateful for her persistence. I am grateful that she knows what it means to pray. I am grateful that she quite literally makes me stop and pray. I am grateful for new chances to talk to God on her behalf. And as she turns two in a couple of days, I am grateful for her strong sense of faith already.
Thank you, Charlotte for taking our little routine of prayer before bed and extending it all into our day. Thank you for making me pray without ceasing. Thank you for making sure we take the time to thank God for it all. I am grateful for your tender toddler heart.
I am a community worker at The Dale ministries. The way that I can earn a living working at The Dale means I must fundraise for my entire salary. The cool thing is that means I can share my work with you in hopes that you will believe in it and want to walk alongside me prayerfully and financially. Please email me at email@example.com to chat more about what this looks like. Giving can be done monthl