I love how the Lord uses children to speak to us and teach us how we are to live. When we found out we were pregnant with Riley, it was evident to both of us that this child was from the Lord and HE would have to parent through us! We were (and still are!) clueless about how to raise a child - especially a God-fearing child. So, from the get-go, prayer was a huge part of our parenting technique. We prayed all the time while Riley was in the womb, and then once he entered the world, we began including him in our prayer times. Since he was just a 6 pounder, I've (I say "I" because I'm usually the one to put him to bed, but Daniel does the same when he puts him down) prayed with him right before laying him down for the night. I'll never forget the first time a few months ago when he said "Amen" after I finished praying. It completely took me off guard, and it was the sweetest thing to hear from my baby! Now it's a common occurrence. In fact, he now asks to pray throughout the day.
This morning is a perfect example. As soon as he wakes up, I give him a sippy cup of milk and he usually sits in his crib while drinking it. This morning was no different. After he finished his milk, he was ready to get down and play a bit in his room before breakfast. He has a twin bed in his room, and he loves to get up on it and play with several teddy bears that sit on the headboard. As he was playing with the bears, he saw a cross that sits on a shelf (which he plays with a lot, too) and started saying, "cross. hold it." I gave it to him and began explaining about Jesus dying on the cross so we could know God and talk to Him. Riley then said, "Jesus. Pray." and held out his hand (we hold hands when we pray) to show me he was ready to pray. So I said a simple prayer thanking Jesus for dying on the cross and loving us. As soon as I said "amen," Riley said, "pray." So I prayed for Daddy to have a good day at work and for us to have a great day at home. Again, when I finished and said "amen," he said, "pray." So I prayed for all of the relatives I could think of - for God to keep them safe and bless them. You've probably picked up on the pattern by now...when I finished and said "amen," he said, "pray."
And this, folks, is what it means to pray without ceasing! I love that the Lord used my 18-month-old son to show me such a clear picture of His Word. I also love that at such a young age, Jesus is real to Riley and he knows what it means to pray. And we wonder why Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3) May we all have faith like a child and never take for granted the privilege we have to pray to the Lord and Savior of the world!