When my first son was 6 months old we introduced his first solid food. It was shortly after this that I was sitting one day feeding him his food at the table when I thought, I should pray with him. In our family, we pray and thank God for the food he has provided before we eat. It is a habit I learned as a child and have done my whole life. While I am not one for doing things just to do them, or doing them out of habit, I do appreciate, and believe God appreciates, taking a moment to remind myself that I did not provide this food on my own, that it should not be taken for granted, but that God provided it, and He provides all of my needs. Prayer should always start with thanksgiving. It is the best way to worship.
So as I was sitting feeding my son and thinking about how to introduce prayer to him, I thought a simple song would be best. I started singing as I would pray, and soon had a simple prayer song. Almost four years later, our family always begins a meal with our prayer song. My one year old son also now knows it and hums along. Our extended family knows it as well. The grandparents sing along when they are visiting. The cousins all sing it at their house as well. They even added a fun little hand clap at the beginning to get their hands in a folded position before they pray.
It warms my heart everyday to hear my children sing this prayer. So simple but so powerful. I’m sure God’s heart is also warmed to hear his children pray. This is a simple thing we have added to our daily rhythms for living that has a profound effect.
Here is the prayer if you would like to use it with your kids. I encourage you to also write your own song. Include your kids in the process; it will make it more meaningful to the them.
Dear Jesus, thank you for our food
Thank you for our family too.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for giving us all that we have.
We love you. Amen.