Her beaded hair braids click, click, click as she wiggles and tosses around in her little white toddler bed. I tuck the blankets up under her chin and cocoon her all the way down her tiny figure. Maybe that will hold her for a minute. Wishful thinking. I tell her its time to pray and she folds her hands, and with legs bursting from the chrysalis she begins in that raspy voice, "Dear Jesus, please help Mommy to feel better (That's me). Please help Emily to get her pyjamas on. Please help Oliver to play with the ball. Please help Mommy to buy soap. (That's Valerie.) God bless Daddy and Meghan and me and..." (lists a few more people) After a pause, I say, Amen, and she echoes that. She doesn't need to open her eyes because they've already been darting all over the room. I'm smiling because I'm walking down that lane of memories where four other little voices piped out darling, innocent chats with God. She's sliding her pyjamas up her leg to scratch an itch and babbling a story about the day. I'm silently praying she'll take this practice of prayer and make it her own one day.
Indoctrination? Oh, yeah! Why? Because when you believe with all your heart that Jesus is God's Son and that He died and was resurrected and lives today, you want to pass that hope onto your children. When He's held you through trials and spoken to you in your confusion to lead you in a way you couldn't see, you don't want those kids to miss out. When you know their futures will hold fabulous moments and painful challenges, you desire nothing less than the God of their universe be close to them and that they trust in Him. They will each stand at a crossroads one day and decide whether or not this communion with the Almighty did any good. I know for a fact they will say, yes. Praying kids become praying adults, and that's my great expectation.