Each night I read the Bible and pray with each of my daughters before their bedtime. My youngest is 2 years old, and she sits on my lap, sucks her thumb, and listens. I know that she listens because if I accidentally skip a part of the prayers she lets me know. This tradition make the bedtime routine long, but it is also very rewarding having this one-on-one time with them after being gone at work all day.
For each daughter I have them tell me what they would like for me to pray for. The youngest will say the family members, some friends she has played with recently, and anything in the room she likes. For the longest time, I laughed only thinking about how she was practicing speaking, but the other night as she was going through her list, I realized how in some ways God wants us to be like this. He wants us to be thankful for all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). He wants us to tell Him the things we like and speak to Him about everything. He enjoys the time with our attention focused on Him. He likes spending time with us.
I can’t fully know why my daughter names all that she names for me to pray about, but I do know I can be very grateful to God for her horse and cat that she sleeps with. These stuffed animals provide her with comfort and joy, and as a father I enjoy seeing her happy. And I know that every good gift comes from God (James 1:17).