I remember the first time Jesse asked me to pray with him, out loud, just the two of us. I almost started giggling as he spouted off what sounded like a very formal, very “church-y”, prayer. He was studying to be a pastor, after all. When he was done, I asked him if he always prayed like that. He does.
And I eventually move on to general thankfulness for things that happened that day, or requests for everyone to please sleep well tonight, or prayer requests for friends or family members, or whatever else comes to mind. But the thankfulness comes first.
Since this happens in bed with the lights out, sometimes I drift off to sleep mid-prayer. My rambles take awhile, and I am easily distracted by other thoughts. But that’s okay too. I usually at least make it through my thanks, and even if I don’t, God knows my thoughts.
Maybe not everyone reading this is religious. Maybe you don’t pray. But I think this way of remembering the good things each day, this act of being thankful for specific people, for specific things from that day, is a perfect way to end any day, even the hard ones. It puts me in a positive mindset for peaceful sleep, for waking up to start a new day at an earlier time than I might like. It helps me remember that even though things may not be perfect, there is so much good in my life.
My prayers won’t ever be mistaken for those recited in front of a church. They might even make Jesse laugh if he were to listen to them. But they help me focus on the important things, the abundance of good in my life. And they remind me that I am so blessed.