The prayer of innocents is, I believe, the purest form of prayer. When we pray, we need to leave ourselves behind and simply bring our heart along. For children, this gift comes rather naturally. If only it were that simple for us adults! It is a struggle to still our hearts and blank our minds. It is difficult to put ourselves away and get into the mood for prayer. For a child, this comes without a thought, instantly! Here’s a little poem that I penned after a heart-softening bed-time moment with my son Mark.
It was Mark’s bedtime, and he reluctantly went
torn between watching a football game with dad
and storytime with mum.
Later as he was tucked into bed,
“Let’s pray Mark, “mama said.
He nodded, and immediately crossed himself
as was their custom to begin any prayer
He squeezed his eyes shut and the words flowed
“Thank you God for the lovely day you gave me
for the pants, shirts and underpants
for the toys and for the lovely food
for giving me a lollipop and chocolates and the ladoo too
help the repairman to come soon
and fix all the toys I broke
bless my mumma, dada and sis
help Aba’s leg to heal
help me to sleep well
and be a good boy tomorrow”
Mama had tears in her eyes
the purity of his prayers had touched her soul
“How easily he prays”, she wondered
“How sweet and true his words ring.
He speaks to God like He is a friend”
“I wonder why that clarity I can’t bring
into my own prayers to my King”
And then, ‘how easy it seems’ she wondered,
‘to flit from mischievous to angelic in half a second!”
Mark smiled at her and they kissed goodnight.
And as she watched him nod off to sleep
a prayer touched her own lips
“Thank you for this wonder I call my son
He exhausts me and he refreshes me,
he exasperates me and he humors me,
he can be stubborn and obedient;
shy and vociferous
You have taught me patience
You have taught me fear when he falls down,
uninhibited laughter when he tells a joke
Dear God, you have created a masterpiece
and I simply am so lucky to be his mum!”
Little did she realize that she had uttered from those whispering lips
a prayer as honest and pure as his!
Indeed, children are the shortest route to God
Sharon Colaco D’Souza is a mother of two kids, a girl and a boy. She is a business management post graduate, and works as a content strategist for a living. She is passionate about home decor and design, and blogs at The Keybunch. Parenting is ‘that continuously-unravelling mystery’ for her and she views Parentous as a great place for parenting information, as well as a place to share her own parenting discoveries. She is currently working on a book idea on indigenous architecture and hopes to see it to fruition!