Posts Tagged ‘prayer’


November 16, 2009 1 comment

I do not want Haven to pray to God. I want her to talk to God. Praying often means employing strange words, a fake voice, and worn out phrases. Talking, on the other hand, means telling God in your own words with your regular voice what’s really on your heart.

prayer hands

So when it’s time to pray, I ask Haven, “Want to talk to God?” And I encourage her to say three things to God.

  1. Thank you.
  2. I’m sorry.
  3. I love you.

After the first time I urged Haven in this direction, I wanted to be sure they were representative of a good theology of prayer. I think they are. ACTS is a familiar device used to help remember four key elements of prayer: adoration (I love you), confession (I’m sorry), thanksgiving (thank you), and supplication.

The only thing I left out with Haven was supplication, but I’m okay with that for now. She’ll pick up on the God-please-give-me prayers soon enough on her own, if she’s anything like most of us.

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October 30, 2009 2 comments

Overall I think Heather and I have done a decent job in establishing and maintaining bedtime rituals with Haven. The routine has evolved over the course of her first 1000+ nights, but now typically goes something like this: book one, book two, Bible story, talk, be silly, kiss, hug, secret, then lights out. Often there will be a prayer between Bible story and talk, but this most important part of bedtime ritual has admittedly and regrettably been the most inconsistent part of our pre-bed protocol.


Wednesday night after church I was inspired to do better, as I had the privilege of hearing Walker Whittle reflect on how he and Mrs. Louise raised their children, Dwina and Rosemary. He prefaced his recollections by saying that he doesn’t set his family up as the example to follow; however, upon hearing his reflections I was convinced that I would do well to take some cues from them. As he was talking about praying with his daughters, I was thinking, “I can do better than I’m currently doing.”

So last night I told Haven that we were going to talk to God before she climbed into bed. As we were getting ready for our Bible story I asked her to start thinking about what she was going to talk to God about.

What are you going to thank God for? I asked.

She began to think out loud: Granna and Pops and Aunt Amanda…baby Pierce…

What are you going to tell God you’re sorry for? was my next prompt.

For getting too many squirts (of the liquid hand soap).

Are you going to be sweet to God and say nice things and tell Him you love Him?


Then we read our story, said our prayers, and she climbed into bed. I’m glad we prayed together last night. I plan on praying with her at bedtime tonight, and I intend on doing a better job of making prayer a consistent part of a better bedtime routine.

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