Lately, my 5 year old has gotten quite creative with our dinner prayer time. She has led us in rousing renditions of Vacation Bible School songs complete with hand motions (and don’t even think about skipping a verse, missy!) and has even relayed a very long list of blessings that her favorite stuffed animal apparently whispered in her ear. We, of course, encourage her to give thanks for all that we have in whatever way appeals to her in the moment, since I think it’s *pretty* safe to say God doesn’t care what form our prayers take. But saying grace before meals hasn’t always been so…um, eclectic.
We started saying a prayer before dinner with our older daughter when she was about 3 years old. We decided to use the kid-friendly prayer that my husband’s family said when he was young:
I thank the Lord for this bright day,
Parents, food, sleep and play.
Thanks for blessings large and small.
We could never count them all. Amen.
I like this prayer because it encompasses all the important things in a young child’s life: wake up, eat, play, spend time with family, repeat! I also like that it introduces the idea that blessings come in all shapes and sizes and that we truly have so much for which to be thankful. Another plus: it was very easy for her to learn since it has a nice, bouncy beat and rhyming words.
Flash forward a couple years, and we now have our one year old participating in prayer time as well. Right now, she only clasps her hands together and doesn’t always make it to the end of her older sister’s sometimes lengthy blessings without starting in on her food, but I look forward to the day not far down the road when she’ll join her sweet voice in the above prayer…and let us know what her stuffed animals are thankful for as well!
Note: The prayer above was handed down orally in my husband’s family. After a quick Google search, I was unable to find a source to site. If anyone knows where this prayer originated, please let us know and we’ll include that information here!