Since I am a horrible person, I sometimes roll my eyes at the “prayers” I hear given over the pulpit. They are sometimes sermons, sometimes poetic declarations, sometimes dramatic presentations, sometimes obviously scripted, and sometimes downright over-the-top long. (Notice the abundant use of sometimes. I’m not trying to make a sweeping generalization about all prayers.) I remember a few years back in General Conference, Elder Cree-L Kofford got up and said a one-sentence prayer asking the Spirit to be with us. It was awesome. It may have been right after Elder Russell M. Nelson taught “Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers:”
A closing prayer in a Church meeting need not include a summary of each message and should not become an unscheduled sermon. Private prayers can be as long as we want, but public prayers ought to be short supplications for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us or brief declarations of gratitude for what has transpired.
So it’s about a thousand levels of refreshing to hear my children say their prayers at the end of the day. Sure they seem super short, and perhaps even a little thoughtless, but take a close look at one of my recent favorites from Clark:
Dear Heavenly Father, Please bless me that I won’t have any bad dreams. But if I do, I won’t be mad. But please bless me that I won’t have bad dreams. Please help us that our days will be great. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
There’s much to learn in that prayer. Children just get it sometimes.