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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Prayer time

A young son talks to God

�Mommy, what should I pray about tonight?"

Looking into my youngest son's face as he sat pajama-clad on his bed, I paused. It would have been easy enough to remind him how fortunate our family was to have each other or to suggest he give thanks for our pets or for his friends. But I sensed he was asking for permission to speak his mind.

Instead, I offered up a quick, silent prayer for guidance. And God provided. I sat on the edge of the bed and began discussing God's role as a parent: "Since God really and truly is our heavenly Father, that's how you can talk to him. What do you think your Father should hear about today?"

Wide, storm-blue eyes looked up at me with sudden realization: "You mean I can talk to God the same way I do with Dad?"

Knowing the closeness between my husband and son, I answered with a wholehearted, "Sure."

My son drew a deep breath, closed his eyes and folded his hands. I wondered what zinger might escape this child's lips. His reputation as a particularly vocal kindergartner was well-known to his Sunday school teachers.

"Dear God," he began, "you know how the wind blows and makes the trees move so much? That's so cool! How do you do that?" He went on to cover several other concerns, including, "Why do peas taste like peas?" And a request, "I can't wait to see Jesus, so when can I come to heaven for a visit?" When he ended his prayer with a resounding, "I love you!" I knew he had expressed to God the one thing all parents long to hear from their children. I was awed.

My son understood what Jesus gave us as the greatest and first commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).


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