I have no real theological backing for this, but I really believe that there’s a special place in God’s heart for the prayers of little children. My kids fight over who gets to say grace at dinner time, and recently they’ve started watching Boz, a big green bear similar to Barney, only Christian. There’s a prayer at the end of ever Boz that they’ve memorized and they say that before ad libbing their own. It goes like this:
Thank you God as this day ends, for our family and our friends. Taking time to sit and pray, thank you God for this great day.
Then they name specific things that they’re thankful for from the day. Well, I was sitting in Bean and Bruiser’s room nursing Bruiser in the middle of the night when Bean started crying in her sleep. I gently shh-ed her, she quieted down, and then in a very distressed voice she whined the prayer. Followed by incoherent mumbling. It’s obvious to me that she had a nightmare, but I don’t know if the prayer was a part of the nightmare or her response to it. After all, I have tried to teach her to pray when she has a bad dream. Still, as I finished nursing Bruiser I went back to my room with a smile on my face. Apparently something we’re teaching her is sinking in.
And tonight as I was putting Little Man to bed he wanted to pray. And do you know what that sweet boy prayed for? He thanked God for his “great mommy,” his “great big mommy.” Hmm.