Prayer: What I’ve Learned From a 4 Year Old

Lesson #1: If Evan says the prayer, sometimes all he’ll say is “Heavenly Father, Thank thee we have fun. Amen.”  So last night my husband Andrew said to him before he even started, “Okay, Evan, think about what you want to pray about before you say your prayer.”  Evan thought outloud for a minute and named off all the people that he wanted to pray for and then started his prayer. I thought about that and how often I just say the same prayer over and over.  I don’t even think about it.  I just do it out of habit.  Shouldn’t I be doing the same thing we’re teaching Evan?  Shouldn’t I be thinking about what I want to pray about before I say it?

Lesson #2: In the past when Evan has said his short version prayer, I’ll look at him and say, “Is that really all you wanted to pray about?”  He’ll always say no and try again.  I bet if I did the same thing after I pray, I would come to the same conclusion he has.

Lesson #3:  A lot of times I’ll tell Evan someone is sick and that we should pray for them.  He never forgets.  In fact, I told him my uncle was sick and having surgery over a month ago, and Evan still prays for him every time.  It amazes me.  So often I’ve given up praying for someone or something when I should’ve just kept praying like Evan.

Lesson #4: Evan got a new light for Christmas to put on his bed to read at night before he goes to sleep.  It runs on batteries.  I explained to him that if he doesn’t turn the light off, the batteries will go dead.  Now, every night he prays that his batteries won’t go dead on his flashlight.  It may seem silly, but it’s very important to him, and he has the faith to back it up.  Praying for small things, even the ones that seems silly, is okay and shows that we have faith in our Heavenly Father.

I find it amazing that we think we are the teachers of our kids when if we really pay attention, they can teach us so much more.

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