Friday, September 3, 2010
Should Bedtime Prayers Be Serious?
My favorite time of day is bedtime prayers. I love to spend time with my kids, talk about our days, and hear their thoughts and concerns.
The only problem?
We can’t seem to get serious. And it’s getting worse.
On a school night, we try to head to bed by 8:30 p.m. I always start with Anna and Abby, since they usually sleep together. We read a few books, and by about 8:50 p.m. it’s time to say prayers.
I start off praying and try to be spiritual. But Abby is known to interrupt me.
“Dear God, I pray that Anna’s breath won’t smell.”
My girls start laughing hysterically. Nick hears them, and he comes in to join us. I yell at everyone and say,
“We’re talking to God. This is important! Let’s get serious!”
Abby gets defensive and exclaims, “It’s Anna’s fault. She was touching my armpits!”
They start laughing hysterically again. Nick is laughing so hard that I think he’s going to pee his pants, and I think to myself, When am I ever going to get these kids to sleep!
Usually, when I’m almost ready to give up, I can count on Anna to wrap us up with some substance.
“God, please heal Grandpap. Help Haiti and Chile to feel better. Help everyone in the world to find food and water and all the children to find moms and dads. And wash away the sin from our hearts.”
At least someone has been paying attention.
Some nights, I feel like just letting them laugh. I wonder if God enjoys their laughter. Does He expect them to be serious when they pray? Should I?