Our bedtime routine is pretty basic. Bath time, vitamins, teeth brushing, reading (if it’s not too late), and prayers. I pray with all three of the kids in Adelade and Sawyer’s room, and then Emerald and I leave to begin her own special brand of bed time routine. I put her in bed, and then she recounts her entire day and thinks of a million questions to ask, and as I inch closer and closer to her door she continues saying, “But, Mama, I need to tell you something…”
In the past few weeks, she has started asking me to pray in her room, too. She also dictates what I should pray about. At first she was having me say five or six separate prayers for various things, but in the interest of cutting down on the length of this ritual, I have now condensed her prayer time down to one (or two prayers). She has all kinds of different ideas to pray about. Tonight she wanted to pray for Elsa from Frozen. She often wants me to pray for Adelade and Sawyer or for her grandparents. But, one thing she is consistent about every night is asking me to pray for our hands. She has never explained what she means by that, but I pray about our hands every night and she seems satisfied with my interpretation of her request.
I don’t think I have ever prayed for my hands before.
Have you ever thought about all of the things that your hands do in a day? How many good and precious things we can do with these gifts, and how many harsh and sinful things we can do? Have you ever considered how often your hands are idle? Or whether they are working too often on the wrong things?
Neither had I. But, now I have. And, I have thought of so many different ways to pray for our hands and the things that we do with them.
In Emerald’s tiny little bedroom, leaning over her bed, holding those soft, sweet little fingers of hers, I have breathed prayers for us. For our hands. I have prayed that we would serve God and serve others. That we would be hard workers. That we would use our hands to bless people. That hurting souls would find comfort in our touch. Understanding. The love of the Savior. I have prayed that our hands would be useful to God. That we would be known as people with a soft touch and a firm hold on truth.
I still don’t know what Emerald means when she asks me to pray for our hands. But, I keep praying for them, every night. I can’t help but wonder, in the way that mothers do, if the Holy Spirit isn’t whispering some things into my baby girl’s heart that her mama really needs to hear. I’ll probably never know.
But, this I do: I’ll keep praying. And, I’ll keep holding Emerald’s hand and listening to her heart. And, occasionally, I may even pray for Elsa.