Lord, I give myself to you.
One day, Ellie and I were cleaning out the water bucket for the sheep. She turns to me and sings (albeit a bit off-key), “Oh, the Lord is good to me.”
Shocked, I say to Ellie, “Where did you hear that?”
Ellie says, “Don’t be silly, Dianne. We learned that together at Bible School.”
For those who are trying to remember where those words come from, here’s how the prayer goes: Oh, the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord. For giving me, the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seeds. The Lord is good to me. Amen. Amen. Amen, amen, amen. Ahhh-men.
I learned this singing prayer at 4-H Camp a hundred years ago. We called it the Johnny Appleseed prayer. While at VBS this summer, we sang it before we ate our evening snack. Weeks later, Ellie spewed out those words.
I said back to Ellie, “You are absolutely right. The Lord is good to us.”
Maybe it’s not the fanciest prayer in the world, but it’s a prayer. It’s one that a three-year-old can say and in her own way, believe. When the kids are with me and we eat, we often sing the Johnny Appleseed song as grace. Yes, Virginia, it is a prayer.
People sometimes say they don’t know how to pray. I think prayer is just talkin’ with God. God doesn’t expect fancy phrases or dramatically designed sentences with words hard for us to pronounce. Nope, God simply wants us to talk to God.
I really, really try to begin and end my day in prayer. In the morning, I ask for grace and guidance, for patience and firmness at just the right times. I ask God for wisdom and that I am available for God’s service throughout the day. At night, I end the day with the Lord’s Prayer.
What about the rest of the day? After reading scripture, I have a few quiet minutes with God. Sometimes I write out my prayer in a journal. One smart Christian lady told me years ago that a prayer journal is helpful because it helps you see answered prayer. Sometimes I use recite a prayer from a prayer book.
The last thing I think God wants us to do is to make prayer something we are not comfortable with. God simply wants our heart, our soul, us. There is not right or wrong way to pray. It’s simply sharing from the heart. Throughout the day, I use “one-sentence prayers,” in which I share what is on my mind. I also find when I am in the car alone a great time to have a chat with God.
What are your prayer rituals? Do you have them? Is there another way you can create more time to share your heart with God? I encourage you to make talkin’ with the Big Guy a regular and consistent part of your day.
Yes, Lord, you are good to me. And let me thank you for all the things you bless me with this day. None of it is insignificant. May time chatting with you be an important and meaningful part of my daily life. Amen.
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