Today’s post is a contribution for the series Lord Teach Us to Pray, written by Dr. Alex Tang. Alex is a spiritual director, avid social media technocrati, consultant paediatrician in a private hospital, associate professor with Monash University Malaysia, and lay practical theologian and director of Spiritual Formation Institute in Malaysia. He blogs at Random Musings from a Doctor’s Chair <www.draltang01.blogspot.com>, muses at Kairos Spiritual Formation<www.kairos2.com> and hangs out at Facebook <www.facebook.com/dr.alex.tang>. He is also very excited about his granddaughter who arrived at the beginning of this year.
Conversations with my Granddaughter: On Prayer by Alex Tang
Hello little one,
You woke up very early this morning, didn’t you? Your Mummy noticed that you have been waking up very early but being the good girl you are, you allow her to sleep. You know she works hard at her job in the daytime. You are contented to lie in the dark. Darkness is not scary to you as it reminds you of your time in your Mummy’s womb. It is more than five months since you left that comfortable place to come into this world. To amuse yourself you try a push up. The fact that you are not able to do a push up does not bother you, as you know your body is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Your guardian angel told you this. At this moment you can only lift up your head and you are happy just to do a ‘head up’. You delight in your body, don’t you? Everyday you discover something new you can do. And all the big people become so happy and excited when you show them the new skill you have developed. It takes so little to make the big people happy. You like making them happy.
You then fall asleep, but you make sure you wake up in time to see Mummy and Daddy leave the house. Mummy and Daddy do an important thing called ‘work’ in some far away place so you want to send them off happy. You know that smiling makes them happy so you make sure that they each receive a big one. You do not worry because as they have taken care of you, you know that a very big person (your guardian angel called him God) will take care of them.
After they left you look forward to going to the park with your Nai Nai (grandma). Somehow, watching the fresh morning sunlight brightening the trees and bushes makes you happy. You feel good and fulfilled; a feeling similar to after a good feed at your Mummy’s breasts and you are resting on her, feeling her warmth and softness. You hope you will catch another glimpse of that yellow red bird that flies in the sky. Some big people like to stop and make funny faces or noises at you. You do not mind as this is your opportunity to make them happy. A full blast of your smile and they walk away with lighter steps. At times some big people walked past you without stopping or looking at you. You feel sad and wish them to be happy.
Then it is back to the house for a warm bath, a bottle of milk and a nap. You hope that you will dream again of the place of brightness, goodness and happiness. In that place there is a sense of that very big person and you like him very much. Then you wake for more milk, to discover new things until you are tired, then sleep. When you wake again, you know Mummy and Daddy will be coming home soon. You can’t wait to be with them and make them happy.
Little one, Grampa is thinking about a blog post for a series called, Lord teach us to pray. I have been reading and thinking hard. Then you smiled at me. You know, little one, you are wise beyond your months. You may not know what prayer is but you know how to pray. You came into being by prayer and into the world by prayer. And now you are a living prayer. You must be what St. Paul had in mind when he taught us to ‘pray unceasingly’. Most big people think that praying is saying words. But you know better. Prayer is being – in connection with the people you love, the big person and the world you are in.