Prayer Rocks and Young Children

We’ve cuddled the children, sang our good night songs, said our family prayers and trundled the children off to bed with the admonition to “say your prayers.” Ah, it’s quiet and time to nurse the baby before she goes to sleep.

Thunk, whack, thunk, crunch!

I turn to my husband and ask “Do I even want to know what that was?” The noise came directly above me and I thought for sure one of our bunk beds had collapsed.  I quickly handed the baby and charged up the stairs, opened the bedroom door to my boys’ room, and stopped. The boys were both sleeping quietly in their beds. There was no evidence of any sort of destruction. I was puzzled.

The first night it happened was right after a family lesson about prayer. We talked about how God wanted us to talk with Him daily. We set a family goal to have personal prayers morning and night. And we spent a good twenty minutes decorating prayer rocks. We got the rocks from our back yard. The ground where we live grows rocks really well. We washed the dirt off of them. Then we started to work on the rocks with permanent markers. It was really fun decorating the rocks together. My prayer rock has a smiley face on it and a reminder that prayer will make the day go better.

Prayer rocks are reminder rocks placed on the bed. Each person gets one rock. The idea is to place the rock on the pillow after the bed is made in the morning. At night, the rock has to be moved to get comfortably into bed. So, moving it provides a reminder to say a prayer. Then, the rock is moved to somewhere on the floor. When it’s found again (by the finder’s toes, usually) in the morning, it’s another reminder to pray in the morning. It’s an efficient system. And my kids all really enjoyed decorating their rocks. Some even worked on the rock again the next day.  My preschooler likes to pack her rock around in her backpack.

Well, each night after we had gone through our bedtime routine, my husband and I kept hearing the same four distinct crashes. It took us three nights to figure out we were hearing the prayer rocks being gleefully flung toward the ground after my children had said their personal prayers. The crashing sounds became a fairly reliable way to check if the kids had said their prayers or not.

My husband and my prayer rocks, however, seem to have a magical quality. We place them on our bedside table at night, and magically, they appear on our pillows the next night. I have had a painful reminder, once or twice, to say my own personal prayers. It’s really quite sweet to have my children look after mom and dad, and help us remember to say our prayers, too.

Apparently, we had an effective family lesson about prayer, or our kids just like to throw things to the ground.

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