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Sharper Focus – From mac and cheese to China

by Erin Wikle

Just after setting lunch out for my daughter today, I asked if she would like to pray. My energetic 3-year-old rarely misses an opportunity to pray over a meal. Bracing myself for her typical, rushed rant, always forgetting to actually pray for our food… she caught me off guard. Instead of rattling off every relative’s name she could manage to recall, my baby girl—with as much “seriousness” a 3-year-old can have written all over her face—looked at me and said, “Yes, mommy. I would like to pray.” Then commenced a very heartfelt and thoughtful prayer that went something like this:

“God, we pray for daddy. Help him to finish work today.I want to pray for my nana too, because it’s her birthday.And we pray for the people in China… that all this money will help (in reference to the change she’d been collecting/skimming off the top of her daddy’s dresser).
Thank you, God, for this macaroni and cheese. In Geez (Jesus’) name, AMEN.”

Honestly, between the length of her surprisingly well versed exchange with the Lord and the actual content of my wee ones prayer, there’s no way around it—I was blown away. What a

sweet smell of simplicity and sincerity.

How often do we get caught wading deep in the waters of spiritual semantics? How often do we pray the same prayers over and over again, finding some sort of strange solace in thoughtless repetition? Do you ever get stuck praying “inside” the box?

Today, my daughter’s lunchtime exchange with the Lord encouraged me to look for fresh pportunities to pray with simplicity and an earnest heart. When we pray, God wants to share in conversation with the child he created and knows full well. We can’t fool the King into believing we’re someone we’re not.

Today, my little girl was grateful for macaroni and cheese. She thinks her small change is going to transform lives in China. It takes boldness to believe God can do big things through simple prayers (and small people). But, he can. And he will.

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