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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: Prayer Bear
By Mo


Mama was at her wits end.

Hope, her little one, was squirming all over the place. And Grace, the elder one, was egging her on. It was supposed to be prayer time. In desperation, Mama grabbed Faith the bear out of the toy bin and in a high squeaky voice she made the bear start saying their bed-time prayers.

It worked. The girls got quiet. They started praying along, though her two year old only finished a few phrases. But still, that was a wonderful improvement -- even if she was making her monkey say the words. She really was learning, and saying, her prayers!

Grace grabbed a doll and made it say prayers, too. She knew her prayers, but she didn’t always join in. (In fact, Grace knew more prayers at four than Mama did at twenty-four, and she had been a church-going girl.) At least Grace sometimes prayed out loud, quietly, in church. It was a start. And sometimes Grace made up her own sweet, adorable songs. “I love you Jesus. I love you best…”

Maybe they each were learning, in their own way, on their own time.

Mama wasn’t sure what God would think of a praying bear, but its name was Faith wasn’t it? Mama also wondered if God would mind that she tickled the girls towards the end of their prayers. They really liked that part. They insisted upon it. It doesn’t have to be too serious, does it? Mama wanted prayers to be a special family time, not another chore. And doesn’t God, and everyone, love to hear the laughter of children?

The next step was to get the girls’ input more during prayers. Maybe they’d pay more attention if it was a bit more interactive and not just Mama saying it (and Daddy too, when he was home). The girls needed to add their own special prayers. Mama had Grace think of her three “best things” of the day before bed, too, to reinforce positive thinking (for the both of them). She needed to do something like that with their prayers.

One night their daily blessing was about thanking God. So Mama had each of them thank God for something. Hope thanked God for monkeys; she loves monkeys. Grace thanked God for God. (And sometimes during prayers she’d add “God bless God.” Even before Grace was born Mama knew that her baby was truly a child of God.) Mama thanked God for her family, for their loved ones. The girls agreed that was a good one. -- They were very special, too.

The toys don’t always say prayers, but sometimes they make good teachers, too – or teacher’s aides.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/04/06
A nice lesson in prayer for children. Your piece seemed a touch out of focus, but you made some excellent points! A great start!
julie wood11/06/06
I was delighted by this story! It reminded me of when my own two daughters were small and attached to their stuffed animals. Great imagery with the praying bears and monkeys.

More dialog between girls and Mama and more specific prayers would bring the story even more to life. I loved the one little girl praying, "God bless God!"