I love hearing my kids find their voice as they learn to talk to God.
Emma goes for loud and proud. “Dear Jesus,” she’ll begin, then we usually get a nice pause. This is followed by her thanking Him for something about her day, or the food, or something really random like swings or a television show.
I know God looks forward to her prayers. I believe they make Him smile.
Then there’s James. At four, his prayers are already starting to sound like the prayers he’s heard. He’s likely to ask God to help us “have a great day” or “keep us safe” and he’s been known to throw in a request for frozen yogurt or a trip to the park. He also is starting to question things.
He recently wanted to know why we say “Amen” at the end of our prayer. I told him what I’ve always been told, that “amen” means “so be it." That went flying over his head, so I backed up and went with, “it’s a word we use to end our prayers.” He hasn’t started saying “goodbye” or “later” so I think he’s good with amen.
Of course, I imagine God cracking up as this little guy starts to have more of a conversation with Him. I think He loves the questions and looks forward to James coming to Him with more complex queries in the years ahead.
And then there’s Drew. At two, his prayers go like this…Dear Jesus…(long pause)…Amen.
It’s cute, right? Adorable really.
He’ll grow more verbose in the months ahead.
But I wonder if God kinda wishes he wouldn’t.
I wonder if He wishes more of us prayed the way Drew does.
Dear Jesus…(long pause…sitting quietly, waiting for Him) … so be it.
So often, I try to tell God everything I need, because I know what I need. I try to explain the mess, because I know all the ins and outs of the situation. I try to propose a solution, because I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
Wait…why am I praying again?
Maybe we could all take a lesson from Drew. Maybe we need to approach the throne, not with a laundry list of desires, but with one desire.
Dear Jesus…whatever You want…so be it.