Every night before dinner, our family says the Grace Before Meals prayer.
Our two boys have caught on pretty quickly. Our three-year-old, Vincent, also says a prayer at his pre-school before eating so he’s gotten used to the whole “we pray before we eat” thing.
Our youngest, Rey, is about 18 months old right now and he’s catching on quickly to the whole dinner-time prayer routine as well. Even though he does not talk in logical sentences, Rey is a very communicative and verbal little spirit. He’s learning all kinds of new words, sounds, and actions these days.
Now we don’t let the boys touch their plates until we pray, unless we ask if one of the foods is too hot for one of them. But, normally they know that they are not to touch their plates until we pray.
Mean momma over here, huh?!
A few nights ago, I was serving dinner to my very hungry crowd of boys – my husband and our two sons. I am almost always the last one to sit down, which is totally fine with my because I’m one of those peeps that wants her food HOT from start to finish!
As I was serving my boys, Rey began to reach for his plate from his high chair. Hardly able to wait, he was reaching and grunting towards his plate – his universal sign for “FEEEED ME!”
I quickly sit down at the table and, almost in unison, my husband and I chime in with, “Boys! Prayer hands!”
Rey, our spit-fire, communicative, and attitudinal 18-month-old gives us one final grunt and slams his little palms together giving us a great big unhappy face.
This very reluctant set of “prayer hands” from our little one sent my husband and I into a big laughter as we began and finished our Grace Before Meals prayer.
It took my 18-month-old’s reluctant prayer hands to show me that I am sometimes the exact same way when it comes to prayer.
When it comes to praying for certain things in my life, I grunt and fight my way the entire time.
There are some things in my life that I’d rather cling on to rather than give up to God.
Rather than releasing it all, letting it all go, and trusting in God…I hold on to it like it’s a trend that I can finally understand and fit well into (I’m looking at you, high-waisted Mom Jeans).
I’m not sure if it’s because some things I feel like I can handle on my own, or if I feel like God doesn’t have the time for my grief, worries, or insecurities.
Whatever it is, I know I need to get to the bottom of it and I need to admit that I can be a very reluctant prayer during these times.
However, I always find that when I am able to release whatever it is that I’m clinging onto, that it’s always much easier to live with.
Are there some situations in your life that make you feel like it’s too big for God…or like God wouldn’t care…or like it’s selfish to pray about? Are there some situations in your life that you think you can handle on your own, rather than surrender them to God?
I challenge you to stop praying reluctantly in order to start giving it all to God.
I challenge you to turn away from your reluctant prayers in order to let go and let God.
Release it all: the ups and downs, the hard situations, the deep insecurities, the personal grudges, and all the muddy stuff that’s keeping you from praying fully to God.