The Prayers of a Child
My kids, well the ones old enough to talk, talk to God like he’s a friend. They just tell him what they hope for in their own lives, and who they want to intercede for. Felicity for the longest time prayed for her preschool teacher who had a bothersome tooth. Auggie prays for his baby teeth to come out, which I think is his three-year-old way to tell God he longs to be bigger and more grown up. He’s had to show a lot of patience while waiting to be big enough for things like a big boy bike, and to be old enough to play soccer, and to be able to occasionally skip nap. They just lay it out, no holds barred.
Then we have our family prayers. Our kids know The Angel Prayer, where they ask their guardian angel to watch over them, The Lord’s Prayer, Good Night Dear Lord, and a few others, including the Hail Mary.
The Blessing of Continuity
And, though I never in a million years thought I’d send my kids to Catholic schools (particularly in my pre-Catholic days,) we have been so blessed by St. Lucy’s Catholic School, and our kids have only been going there for 3 months. Particularly, I’m loving the continuity between our home life, church life, and school life.
And a couple weeks back our kids came home with a mini rosary. Ten beads strung on pipe cleaners and twisted together at the end. That simple little tool has added a whole new layer to our family prayers at the end of many days.
Felicity leads us in the decade, holding on to each bead as she prays, and we join in. I watch the ease with which she asks for Mary to pray for us. I feel peace wash over me as it so often does when praying a prayer I was once so afraid to pray. In the prayers of my child we settle in as a family and draw nearer to Jesus.
Unity At Last
It is such a visible, tangible, audible reminder of the unity of our family in faith. Ten years ago I didn’t know how we would handle our different faith traditions when we had children. I didn’t have much reason to believe that this level of unity would one day be a part of our lives. But I hoped and prayed for it as JP and I found our way.
And, as I listen to the simple and pure prayers of my children, I realize just how deeply that desperate prayer has been answered. And it is such a beautiful thing.