We had just sat down to dinner when my 4-year-old grandson, Kai, proclaimed, “I pray now. I love Grandma. I love Grandpa. Am! (Translation: “Amen!”)
Best grace prayer EVER!
Kai was acting out a story that had been lived out before him all of his life. Now he wanted to try his hand at it.
Did he have a doctrinal understanding of a grace prayer?
Did we care if he didn’t? Nope.
Have you ever known a spiritual truth to be understood before it was lived?
Of course not! Faith always precedes understanding.
- Prayer can’t just be explained. It must be lived before it becomes ingrained in our faith DNA.
- Forgiveness makes no sense until experienced in the trenches of a wounded soul.
- Obedience sounds stupid until you’ve walked its long road to discover a freedom you’d have missed if you’d stayed on your chosen detour.
Note how Hebrews 11:3 puts faith before understanding:
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith has to be in motion to be understood. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of motion.
Kai’s prayer was simple, but this was his chance to tell a great story in just a few, short sentences.
How do you tell a great story in life?
Simple. Live it over… and over… and over again.
Whether a person is 4-years-old or 40, it doesn’t matter. They are watching you repeat your story.
- They notice your well-worn Bible always sitting in its usual place on the coffee table.
- Your notes of blessing and encouragement are treasured.
- They feel your story when you give them a goodbye hug and whisper a short prayer in their ear as they head home after a visit.
- Those words of faith in the midst of your cancer treatment? They haven’t gone unnoticed.
Kai wanted to say grace at dinner because he had repeatedly seen others do so.
He felt the warmth of family and the Spirit as grace had been said over dinner, night after night after night.
Kai wanted to participate in that feeling. To be an instigator of it.
As your kids and grandkids watch you forgive, again and again, they’ll follow your example.
They’ll grab more tightly to obedience when they’ve seen you follow the Lord in difficult situations.
Who wants to hear a story, let alone follow its lead, if the story hasn’t been lived in some way by the storyteller?
What story are you living right now?
Ahem… *cough, cough* … it’s usually the story you’re avoiding.
Because the best stories have struggle swirling throughout. It may not be a fun story, but it’s powerful if you’re living it with Jesus.
Ask yourself this question: What do I want those watching my life right now to notice and copy?
Because if you want to tell a great story, you have to live it. Again and again and again.