By Brian Norsman It was mealtime. All five of us were gathered around the dinner table, along with 11 month-old baby George in his high chair. We had been teaching George how to pray for the past month: Fold your hands together, bow your head, and say your prayer first . . . then eat.
Only this evening, extreme hunger and preoccupation with our favorite meal of grilled burgers, set in. We added the condiments, passed around our side dishes and bit into our juicy burgers.
As we paused to converse some time later, we realized our baby, who was usually chatty, noisy banging dishes, clanking silverware, and dropping food, was completely quiet. There must be something wrong.
We gazed over from our half-eaten plates and saw something that convicted us. George still quietly sat there in his high chair with folded hands ready to pray—waiting for the cue from us.
A little child (Isaiah 11:6) led us that evening. Our hearts were convicted by that child’s innocent understanding on mealtime prayer. First, fold your hands, bow, and pray. Nothing more, nothing less.
Four years later, he is the prayer consultant every mealtime. Which prayer George? Superman, Johnny Appleseed, Love Love, Jaws, Adams Family, or a spontaneous prayer? We fold our hands, bow, and wait for a cue from him. We pray . . . then eat . . . always.
Every child is waiting for a faith cue from us. What’s important in our home becomes important to our children. Student has become teacher. With faith in the home, everyone is the teacher. If you build a foundation of faith early, faith will come back and surprise you, over and over.
Parents fold your hands, bow, and pray today about what you would like your kids to live out in their faith four years from now or forty years from now when they’ll teach their kids. Will it be mealtime prayer, a nightly blessing of the cross, a monthly service project, reading a daily bible verse, or listening to your favorite Christian band? What you model for them now will go with them into the next generation.
They’re waiting for a cue from us.
Brian Norsman enjoys life abundantly as a father, husband, family Pastor, and systems innovator. He resides in Stillwater, MN.