A few nights ago I had a really special moment with my son Hudson. I always pray over him every night before he goes to bed. In fact after I pray he often says, “again daddy”. And of course I pray again. What could be better for a parent?
Well I found “better” a few nights ago. As I was leaving his room he called out and said, “Wait Daddy”. So I came back and said “What’s up buddy?” He looked up at me and said, “Daddy I want to pray”. I was so happy and excited so I said, “of course you can pray. Why don’t you pray right now.” He looked down though and was kinda sad and said, “But I not know how…
And so I got the amazing privilege to teach my son how to pray because he wants to know how to pray. I told him how we pray to Jesus who is our friend. I told him how Jesus cares about all we care about and how he prays about those things. I told him how when we pray we give thanks for things too. And so he gave his first nighttime prayer a shot. Here is what he prayed,
“Dear Jesus, I pray for mommy and daddy, and thank you…them. I pray to not pee the bed. Amen”
Pretty great first nighttime prayer right?
But here is the point for us. Why is Hudson asking to learn to pray? Because he sees me do it every day with him. Because this is an action that has been modeled for him. This is why Jesus says, wise is the person who hears my words, and puts them into practice. This is why our faith is not about believing just the right things, but living a certain way. Because our practices show our beliefs. And so I got the amazing privilege of teaching my son to pray, because prayer has been a part of his life now for a while.
So the point is this: that if we want to pass along our faith, we need to start to practice it consistently. Because our friends, family, and neighbors notice. They see when you pray, when you bless someone, when you forgive and reach out. And as you do these things consistently they too might be like Hudson, saying, “Will you teach me” And trust me, there is nothing more beautiful than being able to teach your son how to connect with God.
So this week make sure you practice what you believe. Make sure you act and live out your faith with those around you. Who knows, maybe God will use your example and model to influence and change others. Because that’s what happened with me and Hudson.
Oh…and by the way…Jesus answered both our prayers that night and our little boy didn’t pee the bed…