Growing up in a Christian family (or as a “church kid,” as some would say), really does affect your childhood experiences. Instead of playing house or school like his fellow 3-year-olds, my son likes to play “church” or “home meeting.” We will often find him “baptizing” his cups, rubber duckies, or sometimes even himself while taking a bath. While eating out at a Mexican restaurant one night, he proceeded to “break the bread” by crushing the tortilla chips on the plate and passed it around. Sometimes he’ll grab a book and sit in my rocking chair and tell me he’s having “morning revival” (actually he thinks it’s called morning re-Bible, but close enough). When he sings and prays, he does it with such fervor and zeal, it makes me wonder if maybe he really does understand what he’s saying.
Of course, CC is just learning by imitation. He prays and calls on the Lord because that’s what he hears us doing. I’m pretty sure he’s not regenerated and has not yet touched the reality behind the practices that he imitates so well. At least I don’t think he has.
During our most recent road trip back from So Cal, I had my first experience of “praying” with my son. I was driving the last leg and both Larry and Turner were asleep. CC was awake and bored and so to keep him entertained, I asked if he wanted to sing together. After singing a few of his favorite songs, spontaneously he started to pray from the words of the songs, probably because he’s heard us doing that in the meetings so many times. But his prayers were so genuine and heartfelt that it immediately ushered me into my spirit and I couldn’t help but join in. His prayers went something like this:
O Lord! Keep my heart! Keep my heart while I’m young. Keep it all the day. Keep my heart soft to you.
(After another song) O Lord Jesus! Always rejoice! Unceasingly pray! In everything give thanks! Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord! We love You! Praise You, Lord! Praise the Lord!
(After yet another song) Thank You, Lord for my spirit! Thank You, we can pray. Lord, we love to sing to You. Thank You, Lord for everything! Thank You for everything!
In the middle of his prayers, I had interjected amens and my own prayers. We went on like that for at least 20-30 minutes. At the end of it, I was so refreshed and my spirit so watered. CC was also noticeably more well-behaved and cooperative for the rest of our trip. I don’t know if CC really understood what he was praying…but I sure did. And I learned from my son that night how to pray and sing my heart out to the Lord.