How to go from reverent to irreverent without even really trying…


If ever you ask my seven year old to pray before a meal, I suggest you make sure you’re not starving.  Because Sloan?  He brings it when he prays.  All I need is a tent and a white hanky and Glory, Hallelujah we’ve got a revival.

Landon and Tia, try as they might, have a very difficult time making it through one of Sloan’s prayers without sneaking a bite or four.  Sloan has been known to pray up to five minutes or more.  He thanks God for everything from his toys to the military.  He prays for poor people and for everyone he can think of by name.  He prays for his own attitude and, on any given day, could likely be heard praying that his sister’s attitude would change too.

Last night’s dinnertime prayer went something like this:

Dear Lord.  You are the Creator.  You created.  Everything.  God.  You are our Lord.  Thanks for being our Lord.  And for being our Savior.  Thank you for, um, the veterens (which he pronounces vechrins).  Thank you that they protect us and keep us safe.  Thank you for Mr. Nevil that he fought to protect our country.  We are very glad for them.  Thank you for the Army vechrins and the Navy and…um…the Air Force.  And all of the people that serve.  It’s just awesome that they do that for us.  Give them glory, Lord. 

We thank you for Jonri (our Compassion child), God.  He is poor.  But he’s not poor anymore because we can help him to not be poor.  And thank you that he will get Christmas presents.  We pray for all the poor people, God.  We pray that they will have food.  And toys.

Lord you are very great.  God.  Thank you for our family (lists everyone from grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins). Thank you for all my friends (lists as many as he can think of by name).   And, God.  I pray that I would have a good attitude.  Thank you that I had a good day today and was nice and happy.  And thank you that Tia was nice to me today and we could have a little fun.

*It’s at this point that Lee and I are trying not to crack up as Landon, with his head down and his eyes squinted open begins grabbing food and putting it in his mouth, then clasping his hands together again while he prays and chews.  My grandmother would have told him he was going to choke for sneaking food during prayer.

We just thank you for everything you give us, Lord.  And it is in your Holy, Powerful Name we pray…In Jesus Name.


It’s not hard to understand why Jesus commanded us to let the little children come to him.  There is no holding back in the sincere prayers of a child.  I am always blessed by Sloan’s prayers, no matter how lengthy they may be. 

As soon as Sloan finished his prayer, we all echoed the Amen and picked up our forks to eat.  But wait!  Tia wanted to pray.  So we bowed again.  Her prayers are generally short, sweet and to the point.

Dear Wowrd.  Fank you dat we have a gweat famiwy.  And fank you dat you dive us dis food.  And…well…amen.


Ah the reverence.  I was momentarily tempted to pat myself on the back for raising such wonderful, thoughtful children. 

Then I was humbled.

After the beautiful prayers, the meal took a slight downhill turn.  We picked up our forks again and Lee thanked the kids for being willing to pray.  Half of Landon’s plate was, of course, clean.  Everything was gone  except his meat…naturally.  I made beef stew.  It was delicious but I will admit…it didn’t look appealing.  Tia put it a…different way.

She looked down at the pile of meat on her plate and wrinkled her nose.

Is dis poop?!”

And thus, the reverence of the moment was totally gone.  Sloan cracked up and Landon looked with great disdain at his plate.  It took several minutes to convince him that I did not, indeed, prepare poop for dinner.

We started off grand, though, didn’t we?