As is our regular practice, my husband and I pray before meals. With our daughter and her family living with us for a while, the grandchildren (ages two and four) are beginning to learn how to pray.
We say a simple prayer that is easy for them to understand. “Thank you Jesus for this food, and for our family, too.” We hold hands and bow our heads; we find the oldest grandchild does the same thing.
Last week, we sat down to eat, the two-year old to my right. As we prepared to pray, the thought ran through my head that Austin was too young. Head bowed, I felt an insistent tapping on my arm. I looked over at Austin and he held out his hand, smiling at me. I was amazed. We prayed together, all four of us holding hands, and the two children then clapped their hands in glee.
When Jesus saw that I did not originally include Austin in prayer time, He was indignant. He said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). I am also reminded of Matthew 18:3, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus used Austin to show me that I must become like a little child.
Never underestimate the power of your children and grandchildren seeing you pray. They will learn a life-saving habit.