When my children bow their heads to pray, they look as though they are expecting God to tiptoe into the room, put a balloon on the floor, and then pop it with the nearest pin. The faithful anticipation I witness in the clasp of their tiny hands warms my heart, inspiring me to grow in childlike faith. While their eyes are tightly closed, their lids flicker like they’re trying to release a wad of glue from their lashes. Their shoulders are raised from the big breath they inhaled, and they’re holding onto that breath for the big ‘amen’. During the silence of the moment when they’re sure that no one will know someone always sneaks a peek, with one eye half open, while the other struggles to stay closed.
“Dear Heavenly Father—” Graham starts to pray.
“Wait!” The other children interrupted in unison, “It’s not your turn.”
“It’s my tuwn,” Nathaniel says bowing his little head, “Dear Heavenwy Fa—”
“You get to pray over snacks!” Graham argues, remembering a conversation we had two years ago.
I walk over to the table grasping for divine wisdom, and a little peace, “Graham, we aren’t together for four meals anymore, and so the rules have changed, but I’m going to let you say the prayer today, okay? Everyone, listen to Graham.”
Graham starts his prayer again, “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this food, and thank you for this great day. I’m glad we have a great Mommy and Daddy. In Jesus name I pray, amen.”
Picking up his spoon, Nathaniel adds, “And I love Jesus! Amen!” Just like he always does regardless of whose turn it is to pray.
While I guide my children, teaching virtues like that of thanksgiving. I find that more often I am the student drawn to the Lord by their zest. I desire to dwell in that attitude of gratitude, the same mind-set that moves us to run that we might win. Thoughts that stir our hearts to press on for the prize of the high calling, because of Who He is, and call us to live a life of thanksgiving abandoned at the foot of His throne.
With my eyes tightly closed I breathe in. With faithful anticipation, the word of God is clasped tightly in my hands. The spirit blows through my soul, and in the brush of its wind I hear the voice of the Father cry out, “Give thanks.”
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
~ Psalm 100
You are loved by an almighty God,
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