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     After 6 months of parent-led bedtime prayers, the children finally felt ready to say their own this evening. This completely warmed my heart because I've been explaining to them since they came to us that it's really easy to pray... you just talk to Jesus the way that you would talk to anyone else. And remember to thank him for the things he's done for you, ask him to help you with something you need help with, and then tell him that you love him. Here's how our beginners' prayer went....

     Tay: "Dear God, thank you for this day.... your turn, Cameron."
     Me: "Taylor, why don't you say something else to Jesus."
     Tay: "Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for giving me lots of money to buy pictures and curtains."
     Cam: "What are curtains?"
     Me: "They're drapes.... don't interrupt your sister, please."
     Tay: "Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for yummy food and new clothes that aren't from the dollar store, and for pencils.... and nail polish."
     Me: "That's very specific. Thank you.... now, Tay, do you want to ask Jesus to help you with anything?"
     Tay: "Dear God, thank you for this day...."
     Me: "Taylor, you don't have to start over each time you add something to your prayer."
     Tay: "Um... Help me to have fun."
     Me: "Ok, good job. Cameron, do you want to take a turn?"
     Cam: "Dear God, thank you for this day.... um, what do I say now?"
     Me: "Why don't you tell God what you're thankful for?"
     Cam: "Thanks for my stuff... Now what?"
     Me: "How very NON-specific of you. Would you like to ask Jesus anything?"
     Cam: "Can I have a tractor, God?"
     Me: "Cameron, this is NOT a letter to Santa Claus."
     Cam: "OK! Dear God, help me to be good at school tomorrow and...."
     Tay: "Help me at school, too, God!"
     Cam: "TAYLOR!!! STOP!!!"
     Cam: "Be with my family and help me to have good dreams.... what else do I say?"
     Me: "I have an idea. I'll start this sentence and you finish it.... Jesus, help me to be brave when...."
     Tay: "...I'm under water."
     Cam: "TAYLOR!!!!"
     Me: "Ok, guys, enough! Taylor, stop interrupting your brother. Go ahead, Cam."
     Cam: " Help me to be brave under water, too, God. And help Pappy and Shivonne not to argue about the tablecloth."
     Tay: "And help Shivonne not to smack Pappy's bottom anymore when he makes a mess..." (said through peeking eyes and a mischievous smile.)
     Me: "Alright, alright. Now remember to tell Jesus how much you love him."
     Tay: "Dear God, please love me."
     Me: "He loves you even when you don't ask him too. Pretty cool, huh?"
     Cam: "Yup. Can I have a tractor though, for real?"
     Me: "No, go to bed."
     (Whiny, tired cry inserted here.)
     Me: "Taylor, why are you crying??"
     Tay: "Because I forgot to thank Jesus for strawberriiieeesss!!"
     Me: "Honey, then thank him for the strawberries already!"
     Tay: "Dear God, thank you for this day." (oh my word.) "And thank you for strawberries. Amen."

     It really could've gone worse. Let's just hope Christ finds what was lost in translation...