Night after night, gathered round the table, it was the same: NO!
We begged, pleaded and implored our 3 year old to take her turn to pray for one of the countries in the book, Window On The World , a nightly ritual we value. After defiance and non-participation, we just worked our way around her. Ignoring the protests and the attitude. When couldn’t make her pray, after all, and trying to talk her into it was just distracting our older kids and frustrating to us.
So, we did nothing. Except continue to take turns praying aloud, around her.
Then something amazing happened around our dinner table.
One night, after my hubby had stated the country statistics and needs, he asked who wanted to pray the quick prayer for the country of the night. Our toddler stood up, “Me! Me!”
She mumbled something that didn’t make much sense and ended it with a loud, “Amen!”
We all smiled under our napkins at the significance of the moment.
Her desire wasn’t born from force. She simply watched and decided on her own that she wanted to be like her example, her family.
Our 3 year begs to lead our family in prayer nearly every night. And, of course, she often throws in attitude and strong-will just for effect.
I didn’t realize we were teaching her to pray.
But it makes me think about all the other character traits we are teaching our children, even when we don’t know it.
*Updated: last week my parents dropped off their dogs for us to watch for a few days, so they could go out of town and my little girl grabbed their hands to form a circle and said a quick prayer that they would have a safe trip! It was so sweet.
(darling headbands for sale in The Mercy Shop)