These last couple weeks with my daughter have been awesome! For a long time, I have walked my daughter through confessions of faith and prayers to recite with me or repeat after me, but at this point, I’ve begun to really emphasize the importance of learning how to pray her own prayers.
So, each morning last week, I walked her through three questions:
- What are you thankful for?
- What do you want God to do for you today?
- What do you want God to do for others today?
After asking her, I would then prompt her to use her answers to say her prayer. Her first question was, “How do I start?” I said she could say “Hi God” or “Dear God” to greet Him as she begins, and she would proceed to thank God for (in different order each day) family, friends, toys and/or food. The first few days, she couldn’t think of anything to pray for herself or others, so that’s where it would stop.
This Monday though, on the way to camp, I challenged her to pray for herself that she would have a great day. So, she thanked God for the usual, added in my request, and also prayed for food for a homeless man we encountered that we were not able to help (he had a nut allergy, so he couldn’t eat any of the granola bars I had on deck in my car). I praised her for her thoughtful prayer, and dropped her off at camp.
When I came to pick her up that afternoon, she had earned 3 character wristbands (her most since she started camp) and was named “Camper of the Day” in her group. She was explaining how she had gotten a chance to help one of her fellow campers in an activity and was just bubbling over with 6-year-old enthusiasm. I was too excited about her great day, but I didn’t put it together yet. It wasn’t until Tuesday morning, when we were about to pray again, that I realized that she had prayed for and received a truly great day.
I almost went into worship mode in the car, but stayed calm to explain the situation to the munchkin. See, we prayed to God, and the response was tangible. God had answered her prayer! So, she had something new to be thankful for in her Tuesday prayer. Tuesday morning she prayed in thanksgiving for Monday’s great day, and her final request was that some of her friends be able to win Camper of the Day!
We’re building a little prayer warrior, and I’m thankful to God as He continues to grow me as a spiritual father to my natural daughter. This has been a great experience, and she shows growth each day as she prays more independently and in more detail each day. #excitement #ilovemyGod #ilovemychild