We gather round the kitchen table. We close our eyes and bow our heads as she begins her prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross.”
Her dad and I peek at each other across the table, wide-eyed grins contagious. She finishes the rest of her prayer, and we all say “Amen” in unison. It’s the same every time she prays.
Her fingers laced together remind me how innocent she really is. Two shades of pink princess polish were painted to match her friend’s this week. Her world is still small. We still ask Jesus to help her not be afraid of the dark at bedtime. Yet as this prayer escapes her lips, I can’t help but beg God to transform the way I pray.
Though her world is small, her prayers are anything but.
When I bow my head to speak my heart, I can get caught up in thanking God for all these earthly blessings. Every good thing in my life comes straight from His hand, yet many of these good things He’s given only to be enjoyed while I’m here. Our right-now blessings point to eternal blessings to come.
If I’m honest, I thank Him for my comfort and my security. I thank Him for all the ways He meets my needs and for all the people I love and who love me. I thank Him for temporary healing and momentary pleasure. I thank Him for the food in front of me knowing it will only sustain me today.
My five-year-old begins her prayer with a posture I’m just now learning. Nothing else matters more than Jesus’ sacrifice for me. I grew up hearing about how He died for me, but it’s taken years to discover that my sin was so great and so offensive to a holy God that Jesus had to die for me. There was no other way to bring me back to the Father. Yet He decided that no price was too high to bring me home, to give me a seat at His table.
Today, as we go around the circle naming blessings, may we let this one rise to the tip top of our lists, because it's the one that gives meaning to the rest: Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross… for me.
Jesus loves you,