My wife and I have been attempting to teach our 3-year-old
how to pray. I believe Andre is far ahead in his overall cognitive development,
but his vocabulary is somewhat limited when it comes to verbally expressing all
his thoughts and desires. Therefore, his prayers are short and sweet. He would usually
interlace his fingers, bow his head, sometimes close his eyes, and whisper a
few words of gratitude. I can hear both innocence and shyness in his voice, but
when I listen attentively, I can also hear brevity. Yeah, that is my son and I
am a proud dad, but the short content of his prayers always amazes me.
We intentionally seek not to put words in his mouth, but we want him to freely express himself by verbalizing whatever his thoughts could be. Andre always expresses nothing but gratitude: gratitude for his parents, his brother, his godparents, grandparents, friends, the ability to play and so on. I know this prayer may sound typical for a 3-year-old, but I cannot help but think how the words spoken in his prayers stem from the content of his little heart – a heart filled with joy, contentment, and gratitude. I am reminded of how Jesus taught his disciples to have a child-like attitude if they want to inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-5). I want to encourage all of you, despite the pandemic, politics, and whatever hardship you may have been going through, to develop a joyful, content, and grateful heart.
Paul reminded us that God’s will for us is to be grateful in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:16-18). It is also worth noting there are clinical studies proving that gratitude and kindness can help increase positive emotions and reduce anxiety while fostering a peaceful environment. Being thankful is not only a biblical mandate for disciple of Christ, but it also helps improve our health and overall quality of life. This thanksgiving season, which is going to be unlike previous thanksgivings due to the pandemic, let us improve our relationships and fellowship by showing genuine, child-like gratitude for each other.
I thank God every time I think of all of you (Phil 1:3)
God bless you, and I Love you all