I had an interesting conversation with a fellow Mummy, who was a little intrigued that my kids would say their own prayers at bed time, and wanted to find out a little more.
Both Jay and Xav first started praying by themselves early – and this was mainly because they started speaking independently at a pretty young age (18 months for Jay, and about 22 months for Xav). With Jay it was a natural progression, because he was so active when we were saying our bedtime prayers, that we asked him to pray just so he would sit still. Haha! But it worked pretty well, and after a few months of simple prayers, he learnt to “converse” with God (and also give a good hint to us at the same time).
Jay started out praying very simply: “Thank you God for a wonderful day. Bless Daddy, bless Mummy and bless Jayvon. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
And this is almost exactly how Xav prays now. Of cos, he also includes himself and his younger sister!
The moment Jay started understanding that he could really pray whatever was on his heart, it was then that his prayers really started taking ”flight” and showing what he was thinking of.
When he was into his animal phase, where he would be crazy over all sorts of animals and had a stupendous vocabulary of animal names, he would pray for as many animals as he could recite.
Some “memorable” prayers Jay has made over the years (all entirely thought up by himself):
At 5 years old:
(When Nic was in Sydney) “…let Australia not have any … erm… earthquake or… erm… let the earth open up and keep Daddy safe…”
“... bless Daddy even as he is setting up the Christmas tree, give him strength so he can be strong and finish the tree fast...”
“Dear God, thank You for a wonderful day in church. I got so many toys and the teachers got me popcorn and candy floss! Bless Xavier, Mummy and the whole family. Bless Titah and bless Titah's country. Let it not have any volcanoes so no more people will get hurt or die. Bless Titah's country to be as blessed as Singapore as well. In Jesus's name. Amen.”
“… heal Xavier. Let him not cough anymore please God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
At 4 years old:
“Thank You God for such a wonderful day. Can You bring us to buy a lot of toys? I'd like the blue dinosaur for Christmas. Amen.”
To me, getting the kids to pray helps them understand the concept of a God who always hears our cries and prayers, and of course when the kids hear the way the hubs and I pray, I suppose that helps to shape how they word their prayers as well. Of course, I would be the first to admit, my prayer hardly ever cover third-world nations, so I suppose his “burden” for them comes from his conversations with my domestic helper on her homeland, and watching documentaries and movies like Slumdog Millionaire.
I am grateful for my two kids, and seeing the world through their innocent eyes and childlike faith also never fails to encourage me (and the cheekiness sends me into peals of laughter the next second).