The LDS children's song, A Child's Prayer, has always, always been one of my favorites. It's a mother/child duet with the mother teaching the child about prayer and about our Father in Heaven.
Since Bri began talking, I've wondered how long it would take her to be able to say a prayer on her own, without any help from us.
It started with her repeating us, and then at her Christian daycare, they teach the children to say grace before meals and snacks and so she got really good at saying, "Dear Lord, please bless this food that it will nourish and strengthen our bodies, in Jesus name, Amen."
She said that all the time. In the morning, before dinner, before bed. You name it, that was her prayer. I tried a few times to have her change out the food part for simply "thank you for this day" when we said her evening prayer, but she wouldn't budge.
Then, two Sundays ago, she came home with a note from Primary asking her to say the opening prayer in Sharing Time. We told her right away to get her used to the idea, and then a few days before, I practiced a prayer with her and had her repeat it about three times so that she might try and say it on her own.
The day came and I went into Primary with her where she refused to sit anywhere but on my lap, and when it was time for the prayer, I took her up to the podium, and whispered the words in her ear, but she didn't repeat them, so I ended up saying the prayer for her.
I wasn't surprised by this. I know my child. She is loud and funny and energetic when she's comfortable, and silent and still when she's not.
But good things have already come out of this first experience with saying prayers in church, and many good things will come in the future.
The next evening (Monday), when Collin and I tucked her into bed and asked her to say her prayer, it went something like this:
"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for today, thank you for not being sick, and bless that we not spit up (throw up), thank you for going to the store and for Mommy buy me a treat, thank you for today, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen."
Afterwards, all three of us smiled ear-to-ear at each other and hugged each other tight. We told Bri what a great prayer she had said, and each night, the prayers have gotten longer, and are specific to what we did that day.
This is her first step to "getting" prayer and why we do it, and I'm so thankful to be able to see her progress and help her learn.