Every night after Gabi is tucked into bed and has been read a story (or two, or five), we say our nightly prayers.
We start by thanking God for everything he has done for us, for giving us a house to live in, food to eat, and clothes to wear. Including pajamas. And sometimes toast with jam.
We then move on to asking God to bless our friends and family. Gabi never leaves out any of the dogs she's ever met. Or the emus, horses and ducks on my Aunt and Uncle's ranch. Or the mothers and fathers of all of her friends, by name.
She also usually throws in a few random things for God to bless, like the grass and the moon, or our car.
At then end, we always say, "And in Jesus' name, Amen."
The other day Gabi asked me about that other name that Jesus is called.
Me: Is it God?
Gabi: No, it's the other name at prayers.
Me: What other name? We only say Jesus.
Gabi: At the end! And Jesus' name is...
Me, a lightbulb going off: Amen?
Gabi: Yes! Jesus' name is Amen.
To a three year old, it totally sounds like we are saying that Jesus' name is Amen! I told her that Amen is a word that means The End, but she just nodded and ran off. So either she understands, or she's figured out the nod and run that all kids perfect when they don't know what the heck an adult is talking about.
Last night I asked Gabi if she'd like to start the prayer on her own. She nodded, clasped her hands together tightly, and closed her eyes.
"Dear Jesus, thank you for you blood. Dear Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful things. Like Kara's dogs Chleo and Mac and Lucy. And the two little kitties. Mom, what's their names? Oh, yeah, Potato and Kayla. Potato is the BAD kitty who only likes Kara, and Kayla is the nice kitty. But Kayla jumped on the bed and said HISSSSS and MEEEEOOOOW to the doggies when they got too close to her. So she can be nice and bad at the same time. And Dear Jesus' name, Amen."
Nightly prayers have become my favorite part of the whole day.