Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Prayer...


When our children were small, they would always, without fail, fight over who got to say the prayers. Not only mealtime prayers, but who got to say the family prayer at night as well. We stopped the tears by just letting all of them pray, whenever they wanted. Sometimes this meant 3 prayers before we got to eat, but it was worth it to stop a meltdown at dinnertime or bedtime. As our family grew and grew, this little tradition has grown along with it. They don't all fight at dinnertime anymore, just the little ones say an extra blessing on the food once in awhile, but we have continued having all of them pray before we go to bed. You would think the older ones would be tired of praying out loud every night, but they are surprisingly willing. We have 6 prayers--all of the children who can talk, and me and Todd rotate. I love this tradition because I love hearing my children each pray for each other, and for our family. It helps them to know that we are all in this thing together. I love listening to them pour out their hearts to Heavenly Father, and how their prayers change as they get older, and their testimonies grow. I am so grateful for such beautiful, valiant children, and I know that prayer is the way to keep them strong in the faith, and get them through rough spots that surely lie ahead of them.

Tonight, Todd happened to call on them in order, from youngest to oldest, (most of the time it's random), and I loved hearing them all pray in their different ways. I wanted to write it down so I would remember. As the children leave the house, we will have fewer and fewer prayers each night, but I hope this tradition will help them to always remember to pray, no matter where they happen to be.

Ashlie is so sweet, and tries to remember to bless all of her siblings. In her efforts to mention them all, she usually says each persons name at least 4 or 5 times. Also, she can say like a 5 minute prayer, which I think is so super cute for a barely 4 year old. She gets the gift of gab from her mother I'm afraid.

Joshua usually tries to rush through his prayers, that is when he makes it through scripture study without falling asleep. He plays so hard during the day that once we sit down for scripture study at bedtime, he is usually OUT! He is so sweet, and always blesses that we can be good, be safe and most importantly that we will have fun. This boy is all about having fun right now--not a care in the world.

Abby is so conscientious, and always thinking of others. She always blesses her siblings, and her mom and dad. She, and the other children bless us that we won't think bad thoughts or say bad words, which are great things--I don't know where they picked that up, but I'm glad they did. A cute story about Abby, a few years ago she used to bless us in her prayer that "no harm or ax would come upon us". It took us awhile to figure out that she was really thinking an ax would harm her, and we had to explain that we were saying "accidents" in our prayer. So cute.

Erin is very matter of fact in her prayers, always has been. She talks to Heavenly Father like he is a friend, her friend. I love that she doesn't try to use fancy words or phrases, she just prays. Prayer should be just that, a conversation with our Father. He knows us, knows what we need, we need only talk with him and ask. He doesn't need us to use fancy language to hear our prayers. I love to hear her pray, especially now that she is getting older. I know that she will be okay if she will stay close to Him through prayer.

Emie has always touched me with her prayers. She is always conscious of things that we need to pray for as a family, like if someone is sick, or has a test, or struggling, or if there are decisions that need to be made. When I was a teenager, I remember hating when my Dad would call on me to say prayers out loud, but Emie has always been willing to pray. She amazes me every day with her testimony, and her obedience. I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of the choices she is making, and the young woman she is becoming.

I can't wait for those first little prayers that little Jack will say. Those first prayers are always my favorite--so sweet and innocent. Sometimes I feel like the littlest children actually know who they are talking to better than we do. The faith of a little child is so amazing to me. Soon there will be 7 prayers before bedtime in the Allen house--and I can't wait!

5 comments:

Real Mom, Real Life said...

I love that tradition! How sweet to hear each of your kiddos pray so often.

ASHLEY ELDER said...

That is the sweetest thing...I think I am going to try it with my little ones because they ALWAYS fight over who gets to say the prayer and who said it last, etc. hehe

Erin said...

That is an awesome idea! I too love to hear my kids prayers...they are amazing sometimes and hilarious others, but always great.

Huston Family said...

What a fun tradition. I love to here my children pray. I love to be reminded that they really do love each other!

kbhull said...

So sweet!!! I love it and I am totally impressed with Emie and Erin. I miss you guy!:(

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