I've been troubled lately by my kids' prayers. Geez, that sounds so horrible to say - but let me explain. We talk about prayer - and the fact that when you're praying, you're talking with God. We talk about how important that is - and how happy it makes God when we pray. And my kids pray all the time.
So how can I be troubled by my kids' prayers?
Well... because they say the same thing.
It's as if prayer has become this meaningless exercise they must perform before they eat and before they go to bed. I'm serious - they say the EXact same thing every time. And it's crazy - it's not just their words that are the same - their inflections, their meter - everything! It's like they're reciting a poem they've memorized or something. They're praying in Iambic Pentameter!
Does God love them any less? Of.Course.Not. Do my kids love God any less? Again. Of.Course.Not.
I just think they could get a little bit more about of their conversations with God if they actually thought about what they were saying instead of simply reciting what they've always recited. I would love for them to see/understand that they're building a relationship with God - and that prayer is one of the ways you do do that.
Enter the Prayer Pail. This was an idea I got from Pinterest (duh) and I'm very excited to put it into practice.
Each night at dinner - and each night before bed, the kids will draw a card from the Prayer Pail. They will talk to God about whatever is on the card. Maybe it's a prayer request for that person/thing - maybe it's a praise. Whatever it is - I'm hoping that it will help them engage a little more. That they'll think about what they're saying. That they'll begin to see that they're talking with God - not AT Him.
Prayer is a pretty powerful thing. We tend to think about praying for other people - and praying because God wants us to talk to Him. I think we often overlook what WE get out of prayer. I think we forget that we are really talking to God when we pray.
We are having a conversation with someone we have a relationship with. When we talk to our friends and family, we don't recite at them. we talk to them.
I tend to be very informal in my praying - I tend to make it more like a conversation. Because, after all, that's what it is. For me - it makes God more real. I hope it's not blasphemous to say that - I'm just being honest. I know that His realness isn't dictated by how I interact with Him - I'm just saying that I feel more connected to Him.
Anyway! I'm going to stop on this path because I don't want to say something stupid or offensive. (although I could, it's MY blog so just back off why don't ya!) See what I mean? That's why I quit when I'm ahead.
I filled it with little plastic cards and tied a ribbon to each card. So each kid will draw a card....