I remember visiting the “Church of the Pater Noster” on a trip to Israel when I was in high school. Being in the very location where it was believed Jesus had taught his disciples to pray was an incredible experience. To pray out loud, together with those who were gathered, the very same words others have for ages….it was moving. The artwork around the Church had the Lords’ Prayer in over 44 different languages. It was a very impressive day, and I still remember much about it.But last night, I experienced the Lords’ Prayer in an even more memorable way. In most evenings, we close the day with daddy reading a chapter from a book (We’ve been doing “Little House on the Prairie” books, but recently took a break for one or two other “fun” books). Then we have a prayer time where they say what they want to pray about, and we pray. Sometimes, we close the time of prayer by saying the Lords’ Prayer together.
Last night, after reading a chapter from a silly book “Miss Daisy is Definitely Crazy”, we shared our prayers together. Their first request on most nights is for their sister in Africa. They pray for her health and safety, and for “the mommies and daddies in Africa to stop fighting”. (that’s as far as we’ve explained most of the current conflicts in the DRC) Usually that leads to praying for our sponsored girl from the Philippines, Sheila Mae. Then they go through a mental checklist of whatever they can remember from that day, including boo-boos, stuffy noses, friends and family, etc.
Last night, I closed prayer with them by my signature “Aaaaaaaaaaaa—(wait for them to join me)—Men.” But as soon as I began climbing off her bed, my 3 year old sat straight up and wondered, “Daddy? Wat ’bout da’ Lowd Pear?”
I love it. She can’t even pronounce it really, but she knows that prayer by heart.
I smiled and said sure, we could close with the Lords’ Prayer together. All three of our kids joined me in saying the prayer out loud, and as the final “Amen.” came – they all seemed to nod, turn over and cuddle their pillow tight. Finally, something had been spoken that enabled them to transition into what came next.
I pray that as we continue on this journey, my daughters continue to require praying together as a natural requirement before moving forward into what comes next…
(for more moments like this, and how God can use parenting to transform who we are, check out my book, “Different” today!)