Each night for over a year now I have prayed with and over my children before bed. It started after reading Mark Batterson's Praying Circles Around Your Children. After the first week or so my oldest asked me why I was praying over them each night. So I told her I read a book and felt it was important to pray for them. This started the dialogue about prayer and it's importance. In the last 2 years my oldest daughter has memorized the Our Father and the Hail Mary at school, and those have been added into our nightly prayers. Sometimes her leading and some times me. My son memorized both by praying them with us before he got to grade 1 where my daughter learnt them. A few weeks ago my daughter aske to say her new prayer, it is one she learned this year in school.
Lord open my heart
to be a good friend.
Help me to treat
others the way you did
with kindness, caring and love
It is a nice prayer and I enjoy saying it with her. But as I pray it I think about Jesus over turning the tables in the temple, rebuking the Pharisees, and other events of his life. I am not saying we should not try and emulate the prayer, but love goes beyond simple platitudes and sometimes love is hard. But I need to find the softer side in my life, in my prayers.
(Special thanks to Jared Zimmerer author of The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights for allowing me to use the image above.)