I am really grateful to be able to teach my daughters to pray. It has already been a rewarding experience teaching my daughter Elizabeth who is almost three years old.
During the week, after her father leaves for work, Elizabeth and I sit down for breakfast and I ask Elizabeth to offer the prayer and blessing of the food. At first she would simply say "thank you for the food." As she became more confident in praying, I would often prompt her with additions to the prayer.
Not long ago I started asking Elizabeth to say a "nice " prayer, or a "special prayer" which became the code words to encourage her say more than the fast food version of "thank you for the food." Not that simple prayers are not valid, but I wanted to teach her not to become too repetitious in her prayers and I wanted to encourage her to think of things she wanted to pray about specific for that day.
Last Thursday, I used our code words and asked Elizabeth to give a "nice" prayer. She in turn gave the fast food version of the prayer. I decided not to prompt her to add to the prayer. So I added my amen and we began to eat.
A few minutes later Elizabeth said earnestly, "Wait, we have to thank for Daddy, Mommy, Rachel and Elizabeth!" I said "Elizabeth would you like to say another prayer?" And she said yes and offered a beautiful addition to the previous prayer.
As I thought about this experience throughout the day I realized that there are lessons to be gleamed from this experience. One lesson is that we can always pray - even after we have already prayed. Another lesson is that we can learn from the example of our children!