And in my world--the world that intertwines normalcy and childhood cancer-strife varies from a job loss to potty training horror to a dying child.
I pray a lot.
I used to save up my prayers. I would create mental lists or write lists of people who needed prayers. I would email my church ladies or post a request on Facebook. But, my actual praying--the actual act of asking God for something--that would wait until I had a sufficient things to ask for or maybe it would wait until I felt it was the right time or maybe I would forget all together.
After all, most of my lists end up shoved in the bottom of my handbag; completely undone.
Then we started praying more regularly with our girls at bedtime. Before we say, the Lord's Prayer (Our Father), a tradition from my childhood bedtime routine, we always ask the girls what they have to pray for.
Occasionally Lily has one or two things to add. But Chloe, she has a list. Tonight, her list included:
- Thanking God for helping her find her pillow pet
- Asking if she could have a playdate tomorrow
- Thanking God for her pink pillow
- Asking if she could read a book in a few minutes
- Thanking God for being able to sleep next to her sister
- Thanking God for the Minnie Mouse pull-up she put on moments earlier.
It is the same every night. Chloe prays for those things that are around her at the very second we are praying. She prays for the things when they pop into her head. She prays when the prayer is needed. Chloe does not wait. She does not hold it in. Yeah, Chloe is only three--but she gets it. Life is about the present moment. The future is not real; not yet. Prayers are for now. Not for then or next or when.
Just right now.
So now, I try to pray like Chloe. I pray when the prayer is needed. I pray for things as they come. I pray for the relief of suffering at the moment the suffering is happening or the moment I become aware. I pray with a thankful heart when it dawns on me just how darn blessed I am. I pray, not when the time has been designated and not when it is convenient, but when it is time to pray. I pray when my heart moves me to--no excuses, no shame, no procrastination.
Because, there is no time like the present to pray.