I read a post on Facebook yesterday questioning if they wanted to have the child pray this made up a prayer that stuck with people over the years. It says, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul, to take.”
The fear was that the child would be afraid of dying during their sleep. Well, the confusion here is how to pray and not what to pray.
Prayer is not vain repetitions said over and over. That is religious praying. Prayers are conversations with God. Personal, intimate conversations with God.
Could you imagine each morning a husband wakes up with his wife and says, “Good morning, how are you today, hope you have a home to live in and clothes to wear and food to eat and a car to drive. Hope you have good thoughts and the sun shines upon you and you don’t have any accidents today and you get some good deals at the store etc.
Then every morning afternoon and night they say the same words over and over. Don’t you think someone would get pretty board with that conversation very quick?
Yet that is what many people have done for years after years, month after months, weeks after weeks and days after days. Just vain repetitions. Thinking they will be heard because of their much speaking:
Mat 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Mat 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Mat 6:8 “So do not be like them; for your, Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
The Bible tells us to enter His gates with Thanksgiving in our Hearts to enter His courts with Praise:
Psa_100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psa_95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Psa_69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
A parent does not want their child to say some legalistic, religious, repetitious prayer of which they are afraid they might die at night.
When you pray with your child teach them to enter his courts with thanksgiving. God thank you for the ice cream today, thank you for the fun we had at the park, thank you for the safe trip to grandma and grandpa’s today etc.
Then praise the Lord with your child. God, you are so wonderful, you have so much love, You are such a Great God etc.
Then sing a simple song with them before they lay down. Something like, ” This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I shall rejoice, I shall rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it, this is the day that the Lord has made, I shall rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made!
Then read a verse to them, example:
Psa_127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.
Don’t get religious in your prayers get relational…God bless you have a blessed day.