"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Prayers from an 8 Year Old

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , ,

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It is Madeline's turn with the prayer book tonight.  My children go to a Catholic school and so prayer is the start of every day.  I have taught at their school and I can honestly say these prayer times are genuine and valuable.  The children take turns bringing home the prayer book, writing and illustrating their own prayers.  I am so thankful that prayer is a valuable part of my children's education. 

It used to be that I would have to sit next to my kids when it was their turn with the prayer book and help them think of things to be thankful for.  To be honest, it was a bit of a burden to me.  Not only did we have to do regular reading and regular numeracy and regular spelling homwork, but we also had to complete the prayer book on occasion.  Never a burden to the kids though.  They would lay out the prayer book in front of them at the dining table and begin to write their thanks to God with...solemnity.  Gratitude.  Awe.  Nine times out of ten they would say thank you to God for the rainbows, the flowers, the birds and the trees and would take great pride in illustrating the page.  The junior class prayer book especially is full of rainbows, flowers, birds and trees.  But they mean every word.

They are truly thankful.

Sam is now 11, Madeline, eight, and their sisters seven.  Thankfully, this means they can complete the prayer book independently.  I pretty much leave them to it and trust the burden is now theirs, not mine.  I tell them, God wants to hear from your heart and He's not at all concerned about your spelling.

Madeline had a friend over to play after school today.  The minute this friend was picked up by her dad, Madeline pulled out the prayer book and sat down at the dining room table.  I was cooking tea and was happy to see that she approached her task so diligently and responsibly, not forgetting it despite the interruptions to routines.  

Finally, dinner ready, I told her to pack it away.  Almost finished, she said.  Expecting a few thoughtful prayers and a beautiful illustration, I was, to be honest, taken aback to find this, from my 8 year old.

My beautiful thoughtful girl, who takes everything in and misses nothing, praying from the heart.  And teaching me that prayer should never be a burden but a privilege.  And reminding me also, how much I have to be thankful to God, especially, "for making us safe from danger so we can have freedom."  

Freedom, which in Madeline's words is having space around us so that we can go anywhere. 

Or, in the words of David the Psalmist, 

 Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.
Psalm 63:7-8

Amen Madeline.  Amen.

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