I have a confession to make. I don’t like letting my kids pray until they reach age 6 because honestly they pray too long. I know that is bad especially since I am a pastor who should be encouraging long prayers. Right now I cringe when its #4’s turn to pray. “Dear God…thank you for my family. Thank you for my doll. Thank you for my bed. Thank you for my blanket. Thank you for the wall next to my bed. Thank you for the color pink because I love pink.”
OMG. It goes on and on while I am trying to get them to bed.
One day I came across a popular song by Steven Curtis Chapman called “Cinderella”. He is a Christian song writer who adopted two little chinese girls after raising his four biological kids. He tells the story of how he wrote the song. Before you watch his story below, get some tissue because one of those girls was killed when his son reversed out of the driveway and accidently ran her over. The song was written before the tragedy but spread like wild fire after the news of his loss.
Here is a portion of the lyrics:
She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day
And there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me
Saying “Dad, I need you
There’s a ball at the castle
And I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…
Here is Steve explaining how he wrote the song:
I have to admit Steven Curtis Chapman is kind of cheesy but this song always…ALWAYS brings tears to my eyes as a daddy to four little girls. It humbles me when I hear his story. I know there will be a day when I miss those long drawn out prayers. I am learning each day more and more to appreciate the precious time I have with my kids before they run off to middle school, high school, and college.
I have also learned a thing or two about prayer observing how they communicate with me.
What do they talk about? Everything and anything. They don’t have categories in their life they keep from me like I do with God.
What do kids ask for? Everything and anything. #4 once ask me for a rainbow. Not a toy. Not colors. She wanted me to put a real life rainbow in her room.
How often do they ask? All the time. Over and over.
How do they ask? Without guile.
When I meditate on this thought I can’t help but feel how much stronger my faith would be if I approached God the way my kids approached me. I guess that is the problem isn’t it? That I don’t see God as a father, as my father. I often see him as a cosmic prefect who is here to make sure I don’t get out of line.