Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bedtime Prayers

I pray with my boys every night - except when I'm not home (and then, my husband says, they beg for prayers - even though that's not really his "thing").

Sometimes, the prayers are brief and pointed.

"Dear God, 
Thank you for this good day.  We ask for a good night's rest. Bless us.

Other times, I pray on and on, feeling the Spirit push me to continue in my praise and my petitions.  I pray that my boys will be blessed with good friends, with good teachers - and that they might possess the wisdom to make good choices.  I praise the beauty of day and the peacefulness of night.  I thank Him for the food and the home and the love He has given us.  I ask him to watch over our loved ones - both near and far.  I speak their names.  I pray aloud - teaching by doing. 

My silent prayer is that I'm leaving a legacy.  I hope my sons see that my relationship with God is real.  I speak simply and sincerely - and with reverence.  This is my Father, my Friend, and my Superior.

Tobey sings a prayer before every meal.  He has done this faithfully for four years since learning it in preschool, and is always pleased to recite it.  I am proud that he is pleased.  I pray that part of the pleasure comes from the opportunity to speak on behalf of those gathered to the Provider of the meal - for I am confident, that (at least in part) some of his pleasure derives from being the center of attention.  :-)

Tonight, it suddenly occurs to me to ask Tobey a question that I've often asked my sisters in Christ, "How can I pray for you?"  Such a simple question - and, really a rather enlightening one.

"How can I pray for you?"

I ask the question.

Tobey considers for but a second.

"School.  And my teacher."

School starts next week.  New grade, new classroom, new classmates, new teacher.  What a wise thing to pray over.

"And for our health."

I look at him - amazed that at 8 he would think to ask for prayer for something like health - particularly when he tends to be perfectly healthy.

"Because - you know, the swine flu?"

He says this as a question.  We've read online that swine flu is predicted to cause a significant number of deaths this fall and winter - particularly in young people.

How silly of me.  Of course this worries him.  I rarely worry over things unless they're right in front of me.  The swine flu story is no worry to me because 1)  I don't presently have it, 2)  No one I know presently has it, and 3)  I have other things to worry over that are right in front of me!  Because I don't worry unless there's a clear and present danger - I forget, sometimes, that some folks worry regardless.  Tobey is one of those folks.

I ask him, "Anything else that I can pray for?"

"Well, for all my friends and all of your friends and for our family.  And that's it, I guess."

And, so, I pray for him just as he's requested - with some motherly embellishment, of course. 

My silent prayer is this, "Thank you, Father, for opportunities like this one - to teach and to learn.  Amen."


  1. you are such a good example to ALL of our children. thank you.

  2. Thanks, ladies!!! :-) I just grow so much in my relationship with God through prayer that it thrills me that this has become meaningful to my kiddos!!!

    At times, I suspect prayers have been a convenient way to prolong bedtime.

    But, when I'm worried (like 2 weeks ago on the way through the Cities in the midst of tornado warnings/sitings) - they don't hesitate to suggest praying to me!! That's when I KNOW they are really getting it. :-)

  3. I used to do it, but then stopped because I had lotz of TV to watch. After reading this, I really need to pray w/ my girls again. It is amazing how kids soak up details around them-including scary health stuff and that they actually worry about it.


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