Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thank You to Bless Us




My husband and I have tried to model how to pray for each of our sons since before they could speak. Some things have stuck; others have not. Even though the boys are now 9, 6, & 5, we still step in every now and then with reminders to actually bless our food before a meal, or that we do not need to bless dinner in our family prayer before bedtime. Their prayers are often simple and far from perfect. However, in the last few weeks I’ve listened to one of my son’s prayers and have realized there are some things I’d rather not correct. 



There is often a pattern in this son’s prayers: 

Thank you to bless us.
Thank you to bless our food.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will sleep well.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will have a good day at school.
Thank you that we make good choices.
Thank you for us to be safe.
Thank you that we will be healthy.
Thank you that we are a family.



Beyond repeating a request for safety— (is he feeling unsafe?) -- and his casual “thank you” versus a more appropriate “Thee or Thou,” there was a larger lesson.  

I often pray in a way that begins with expressing my thanks for my blessings.  
We are thankful for…..

Then, I move on to the asking part:
Please bless that….

I then asking for help in becoming better.

Help us to be good examples, 
to make righteous choices, 
to be kind to others,
and be good leaders.

Finally, I close the prayer in Jesus’ name.  



My son’s prayer seems to follow a different format.  Every part of his prayers consists of thanksgiving. Even in the parts where he is technically asking for blessings, he’s simultaneously thanking our Father in Heaven for these blessings. By blending it all together, he has taught me an amazing lesson on faith.

No wonder we are asked to become as a little child.

"…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

As his parent, I have been thinking of the ways I need to teach him a “better” pattern of prayer. But, he has converted me to a higher principle. Oh, to have the faith of a child! Without even having to ask for safety or good health, my son already has the belief that God will provide these things and asks in gratitude for all of those blessings that are surely to come.  

There is no separation between gratitude and requests, as if He already understands;

"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."(Matthew 7:8)

In asking, he knows he will receive. Knowing the blessings will come, he’s already giving thanks.



I've tried to teach the "proper" way to pray, but my son has taught me that the spirit of prayer is more profound than the order of words used. Sure, saying a prayer in his way doesn’t seem “correct.” It doesn’t necessarily make sense to say, “Thank you to bless us.” However, each time I am tempted to correct this “error,” that voice inside whispers to me that there is something to learn from a child’s prayer. When I stop trying to make him pray the “right” way, my heart is opened to feel his meaning. A prayer of gratitude is one of the best that could be given. Taking it one step further, his prayer of faith for the gratitude of blessings that are yet to come is humbling in its complexity.     

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3-4)

I am humbled daily by the magnitude of responsibility it is to be a parent, and by the incredible trust God has in me by allowing me to be the mother of these precious souls.  

Thank you, Heavenly Father, to bless me.  



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Melodee Cooper is a Texan by birth, an Aggie by choice, the wife of a fellow Aggie because “he loves her more,” and a mother of three boys by a combination of time, modern science, and divine intervention. She has taught both 5th and 6th grade math and science, and is now able to be a stay-at-home mom, an amateur decorator, a crafter, a blogger, and a holiday enthusiast. She is battling Stage 4 cancer while remaining optimistic and grateful for the blessings in her life. Melodee is the co-author of "Suffering & Surviving: Finding Sunshine in the Storm."  

1 comments:

  1. I enjoy all of Melodee's posts. She is a woman of great faith and insight. Thank you for this.

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