“Day is done, gone the sun, God be with us everyone.”
Then I would go on to “God Bless” everybody — Mommy and Daddy, Grandpas and Grandmas, brothers and sister, cousins and friends.
“Thank you for the world so sweet, Thank you for the food we eat, Thank you for the birds that sing, Thank you God, for everything.”
My siblings and I each had our own special prayers to recite. I don’t know who chose those little sing-songy verses or they how they got assigned to us. Meals didn’t start until dad called on someone to say grace and we all bowed our heads. For Sunday dinner, my brother would usually get the nod because his prayer was short enough to get in between plays of the Packer game:
“God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen.”
My prayers have changed since those days, but sometimes I still feel like I’m saying the same things over and over again. If I’m getting bored with the way I pray, I wonder how God feels. I have a lot to learn here.
Prayer is one of those topics that tend to induce guilt (“I know I should pray more.”) or anxiety (“I don’t have to pray out loud, do I?”) or doubt (Does it really make a difference?”). Prayer can seem mysterious, but as Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is simply a conversation between you and God.” And most of us are pretty good at talking. Listening, on the other hand, can be a problem.
This fall I’m going to be leading a Bible study on prayer, so expect the topic to come up here in the coming weeks. I don’t expect to have an answer for every question about prayer or attempt to solve this thing once and for all. Instead, my hope is that we will take a step forward in enjoying our relationship with our loving Father, who wants to chat with us awhile every day.
Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. Psalm 54:2