Pray Without Ceasing. Especially at Bedtime.

prayingIf you come to our house for dinner and you want to pray, you’ll have to get in line. And you might want to bring snacks. It could be a while before we eat.

We have a new, somewhat unusual, sibling competition going on at our house at dinner time. The boys fight over whose turn it is pray.

It doesn’t matter which one we ask, the other one always declares, “No fair! I want to pray!”

I suppose there are worse things our children could fight over besides who gets to talk to God.

So now we have two prayers at dinner time. Supper has turned into a prayer meeting.

Sometimes we take the charismatic approach, and David and Wade both say their separate prayers out-loud at the same time. This is usually when Dave and I are starving, and we want to hurry things along.

Other nights it’s a more standard Baptist approach with each of them taking separate turns praying as the rest of us politely listen. Often on these nights there’s a little hand raising. As in the child who is not praying is raising a hand full of food to their mouth.

Prayer is a natural part of the boy’s lives, because we introduced it to them from birth. Even before they could talk we prayed out-loud over them at bedtime. And of course they heard us pray at meal time. Although I can’t recall arguing with my husband over whose turn it was.

For the longest time David was a master of efficiency when it came to bedtime prayers.

“Dear Jesus,

Please take care of everyone in my family and the strangers.

In Jesus Name,


“The strangers” covered the whole world in prayer for any and all possible unknown prayer requests.

Then there was the week David was Catholic. When he was three we found an injured baby rabbit in the yard. The poor little thing didn’t survive, and he spent the next week praying that it would go to heaven. Apparently David thought the rabbit was stuck in some sort of bunny purgatory.

Now that he’s older David’s started naming individuals and specific items. The list is proportional to the amount of time he wants to delay bedtime.

Four-year-old Wade is more of a free spirit than David, and his approach to prayer is even more creative. He really takes the personal relationship with Jesus to heart. Most of his prayers are more like conversations.

“Dear Jesus,

Today I road my bike. And mommy let me have cookies. And I like to watch Thomas the Train. Jesus can you fly like Iron Man? Thank you for this day.

In Jesus name,


It really never occurred to me to just tell Jesus about my day. I kind of figured he already knew. You know, that whole omnipotent thing and all. But maybe Wade is on to something. Small talk is probably a nice change of pace from the usual “I want this” and “I want that” filling most of our prayers.

One of the sweetest moments came one night last winter when Wade ended his bedtime prayer with, “And Jesus? We REALLY like you.”

Do you think Jesus felt like Sally Field?

We do like you Jesus. We really do.

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12 Responses to Pray Without Ceasing. Especially at Bedtime.

  1. Such a sweet and funny post, Colleen! I laughed out loud at the little Baptists at your table, raising their hands. . .to their mouths.

  2. Stopping by from SITS! Wow, this post brought a song to my heart. I love when babies pray. The part that got me was when your little Wade told Him about his day. That was so precious!! God bless you and your little ones!

  3. Hilarious!! My children compete when they pray. Even though they say the same prayer if one gets louder than the other it turns into a praying, screaming match. Like you said such a good problem to have, when teaching your children the power of prayer!!

  4. Oh I love hearing how kids pray! They are so open and honest and forthright and straightforward. There is no “baggage” to interfere with how they pray. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is too cute and I love how ur boys have such a good start in their relationship with the Almighty. You should be proud…like I’m sure Jesus is! #SITSsharefest

  6. Amen! I love this post… simple but FULL of LOVE! 🙂 awww, Blessed are those kids who knew Jesus at a very young age! What a blessed family!!!

  7. Love this! What a joy to hear of young ones anxious to pray in earnest.
    Your meal time dilemma is a familiar one. We’ve had the same scenarios play out around our dinner table.
    Years ago we began a tradition of taking turns, oldest to youngest, switching at each meal, everyone gets their turn. Hubby keeps track, and it’s helped cut down on the “my turn” “no! my turn” conversations.
    (popping over from Fellowship Fridays) Have a wonderful week!

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