Friday, April 30, 2010

the theology of prayer, from a three year old

There is one little girl whom I love more than any other little girl in the whole world.

(I can say that because I only have one niece and none of my own offspring yet to claim.)

Her name is Abby. She is almost three. She is sweet as sugar, smarter than a whistle, and sometimes thinks she's the boss of everyone.

Today we were reading a book about children in different countries. There's a page about Haiti, and the last time we read it, Haiti had just been hit by the earthquake. I told Abby in simplified terms what had happened, and we prayed for the people there.

We haven't picked up the book for months, but when we got to the Haiti page, something clicked in her little mind.
"Lara, there are people hurt there."

"Yeah, Abby. Some people did get hurt in an earthquake there. Do you remember talking about that and praying for them?"

"Yeah. Let's pray for them."
She screwed her eyes up and launched straight into this prayer:

"Dear Jesus God, some people got hurt, please help them. Thank you for all the people. Thank you for my family. In Jesus' name, Amen."

My heart melts into a soft mess of willingness and yearning when I hear her pray. I remember what Jesus said about the faith of a child. She's not praying for anyone but Him. She says what needs to be said. She believes He's listening.
Amen and amen.

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