After book reading and a final drink of water, I turn off the lamp, switch the sound machine to “ocean,” and we say our prayers.
Harry sometimes lays back against me, or he sometimes sits facing me and smiles at me and pokes me in the eye.
We started this routine when Harry was about four months old. It has grown and expanded, and it is more personalized now that he is actually doing things that he may need forgiveness for. Ha!
It can feel awkward the first few times you pray on behalf of someone else, so I’m glad I practiced on him when he had no idea what I was saying. But even if you’ve never prayed with your child before, just start! They don’t care if you feel awkward. They just care that you’re modeling to them how to talk to their Father.
In Luke 11, one of the disciples asks Jesus how to pray. And the words that Jesus gives them are what we call today “The Lord’s Prayer.”
So these are the words I walk through with Harry nightly, adapting them for his toddler language and life. (I included the Lord’s Prayer here in italics for those who may not be familiar with it.)
who art in heaven
hallowed by thy name
God, you are such a good God. You are a mighty God. A strong God. A wise God.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
God please make things here on Earth the way you want them to be. Do what you do best. Make things right God.
Give us this day our daily bread
Thank you for giving me food to eat, water to drink, friends to play with, teachers to teach me, a warm (cool) house, and a safe place to sleep.
And forgive us our trespassers
as we forgive those who trespass against us
Please forgive mommy for being impatient [or if any of my friends hurt my feelings etc.]
And please forgive me if I made any unwise choices today [or if I didn't listen or if I got mad because I didn't get my way]
And lead us not into temptation.
Protect me, God. Keep me safe. Please watch over daddy, mommy, all my grandparents, [his birthmother and birthfather], and the rest of my birth family. [We have also started praying specifically for his future little sibling here too.]
Help me to grow in wisdom and stature like your son Jesus. And help me to love you with all my heart [I point to his heart], all my soul [I put my hand flat on his chest], and all my strength [I do muscle arms with him]. (We pray those exact words because Deuteronomy 6:5 is Harry’s life verse.)
We love you so much God.
He now repeats back: Amen.
And it is the sweetest sound.