Gathering in the bedroom for bedtime prayers the parents and child all close their eyes. It is the little boy’s turn to pray. With eyes squeezed tightly shut he begins, “Dear Jesus, thank you for a beautiful day, thank you for a warm bed, and for jammies, for Mommy and Daddy and grandpa and grandma…” The little boy pops one eye open as he begins to scan the room. With a slight hesitation he continues, “thank you for books, and windows, trees and clouds, for our puppy dog and for duplos, and blocks. Thank you for carpet and clocks, for stuffed animals, thank you for a glass of water, and a rock. Thank you for my pillow…. And so the prayer would continue in a boundless listing of all his eyes took in.
In November we are drawn to pause as a nation to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. But I would like to offer a recipe for prayer that will work on any day of the year: at bed time, sunrise, at the meal table, at your work cubical, anywhere (except maybe behind the wheel of the car because of the whole eyes closed thing). I learned it from my son’s prayers. Close both eyes real tight and begin your prayer thanking God for the day he has given you. With my son, to this day, every day is a beautiful day. Then list those people closest to you for whom you are thankful. When these two items are done, then simply open one eye slightly and begin to look around where you are. As you look around begin to list all that you see. From the big to the small, all gifts from the Father of Light.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
In Luther’s small Catechism as he writes about the Lord’s Prayer we find these words about the fourth petition, Give us this day our daily bread;
What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
No time like the present, close your eyes and begin; “Dear Jesus, thank you for a beautiful day….”
<>< Craig McCourt