When my three little loves were first learning to talk, my heart swelled every time one of them said “Mama.” Of course, that was after each of them first said “Dada.” But, bitterness aside, the point is that words can and do have the power to touch people’s hearts.
After getting the names of family members down – or mangling them into something adorable to remember fondly forever – we mothers tend to quickly move on to what are widely considered to be the magic words – please and thank you. We’re teaching our children – through modeling and endless repetition – how to ask for something nicely and, when something is received or something kind is done to you, how to show gratitude.
Such simple words and phrases. But, when used with sincerity, they hold so much power. Whether it’s a toddler saying them to his mommy or this mommy saying them to God. Little words saying so much.
I am not an eloquent pray-er. This strikes me as being slightly humorous since I am a writer. Someone who uses words to express my thoughts and ideas ALL THE TIME. Someone who – if I’m being honest – sometimes uses more words than are strictly necessary to convey a point.
I know people who are skilled at the art of spontaneous, unscripted prayer. I am not one of those people. I say a great many Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Angel of Gods, and Glory Bes. But when it comes to praying “off the cuff,” my prayers tend to focus on those same magic words.
“Please God, keep my babies safe. “
“Please God, continue to bless my marriage and family.”
“Please God (and anyone else who may be listening), grant me patience.”
“Thank you God, for the gift of my husband. “
“Thank you God, for our wonderful school and parish community.”
“Thank you God, for our health. “
And every night, when I sneak into each of my children’s rooms to give one last kiss before I go to bed, a simple, ineloquent but oh-so-very-heartfelt, “Thank you.”
As I guide my children in prayer, I hope I am able to convey the power, the majesty and the simple beauty of saying those simple words to God.
Copyright 2014, Marilee Haynes