I took my daughter with me on my prayer walk Monday morning. She’d been sick on Sunday and so stayed home from day care on Monday. Monday morning she was feeling well. Well enough to come with me on my prayer walk.
Me: “Do you want to come with Daddy so we can go pray in the woods?”
And so we headed to my favorite spot where my prayer bench resides. As we drove there, we didn’t speak much. Of course, she’s 3 1/2 but usually she’s a chatterbox. We did make faces at each other through the mirror as I drove. We waved at my son’s school as we passed by and she looked out the window, seeing all the cows in the pastures.
This was something new for me, to tell the truth. I was sharing something important to me with someone else. I was sharing my own personal devotional life with my daughter. Once we left the car, she took my hand and we walked to the trail.
Me: “Now, remember, always stay on the trail.” Good advice from someone who knows why.
She: (mostly to herself) “Stay. On. The. Trail.”
And so we walked the grassy path, our shoes becoming wet as we kicked up the dew and remnants of Saturday’s rain off the grass beneath our feet. Soon, she was no longer walking, but instead residing upon my shoulders, looking around and exclaiming how she could no longer see the road nor the car.
Soon we came to where the trees covered the path, dismounting from my shoulders, she walked joyfully along the trail. I praised God for such a moment, seeing my daughter enjoy walking down the trail. Seeing her hop and skip and dance on the dirt path. All the while she kept repeating to herself “Stay. On. The. Trail.” I had to smile and thank God for that. I was teaching her something here.
Eventually we started making our way to the prayer bench.
Me: “I want to take you to my favorite place.”
She: (once again riding shotgun on my shoulders) “You are!? It’s my favorite place too.”
Me: “It’s the place where I like to go and talk with God.”
She: “God lives in your heart”
Me: “Yes, yes he does.”
We came to the prayer bench. She ran and sat down, looking out over the Missouri River. I came and sat down next to her, silently praying. The reason why I came was to show my daughter how to pray. She snuggled up to me for a bit as I prayed. And then, as any 3 1/2 year-old might, she got up and danced. She twirled, she hopped, she shuffled her feet in the grass and dirt. And she smiled. Joyfully.
She: “Daddy, I wanna go now.”
Me: “But I still want to talk with God for a bit and to enjoy him.”
She: “Daddy, God lives in my heart.”
Me: “Yes he does, and He’s also all around. This is His world and we live in it.”
She: “No daddy, He lives in MY heart.”
Her God, my God, is personal to her. She knows her God and loves him, knowing that he is always with her.
Out of the mouth of babes, I guess.
I smiled and she once again took her place upon my shoulders. We then made the trek back to the car and headed happily home.