1 Corinthians 13:11
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
When I was a child my parents taught me to say grace, before eating. This is when everyone would sit at the table with heads bowed and put our palms together (we never held hands) and we recited this prayer: God is grace, God is good, let us thank him for our food, by his hands we are fed, give us Lord our daily bread, Amen.
When we prayed before bed it was the same thing, only we were on our knees with elbows on our bed. We prayed a prayer, (now I lay me down to sleep) always in repetition and always the same thing never any deviation. Did anyone else learn to pray this way? There is nothing wrong with teaching young children like this when they are learning to pray but as we get older thanking God this way isn’t really honoring him or thanking him.
If your child talked to you like this you wouldn’t know how they were really feeling about their friends, homework, situations at school or if something made them sad, or happy, and you wouldn’t know what they really wanted.
Think about it, when you give your child something to eat and they say, “thank you for this food, it is much appreciated, I will always appreciate it” and that’s it, no emotion, just the same words every time you feed them. It is empty. Wouldn’t you rather hear, “Oh mom, thanks, this is great!” or “mom you’re the best, you always remember my favorite ice cream” or, “I’m so hungry, and this really hit the spot” think about it, which would you rather hear? A mechanical thank you that sounds forced, and sounds like you are saying it to get it out of the way, something that is said over and over because it is memorized? Or would you want to hear a heartfelt thank you in your child’s own words?
God is our Father, and He wants a relationship with us and that starts with us being real with him, opening up to Him and sharing our true feelings with Him. Tell Him how you feel, what you are thankful for, happy about, what you want to change, and for blessings for others.
The next time you say grace, open up and thank him for not only the food he has blessed you with but for the relationships sitting around the table. Pray a real conversation, a real prayer with your own words. People don’t normally share their food with people they don’t like, but with people, they care about and love. Remember to open your heart and thank Him for those people in your life and your blessings and don’t forget to pray for His will to be done.