I have three young daughters whom we are teaching to pray. We pray every night at dinner time and my girls often squabble over whose turn it is to pray because they both like the post-prayer praise from their parents. We like to fawn over the little details they remember to pray about like potato bugs in the garden or the hilarious parts like asking in prayer for “the food to taste better than last night.”
One night last year at the dinner table my three-year-old demanded to give a second prayer after her six-year-old sister had already blessed the food. I consented that a second blessing on my cooking was never a bad idea so our three-year-old launched into a very long prayer that was hard to follow. At one point, we all thought we heard her say, “Amen” so we all said our amens too and looked up. Well I guess we all said “Amen” before she was good and done because she started yelling, “NO Amen! NO Amen!”
My six-year-old, not fully understanding her younger sister’s plight said, “No problem, we can say A-girl instead of Amen.”
And I had to raise my hands up into a Touchdown signal and laugh my head off. My husband and I caught each others’ eyes and we smiled to each other, knowing this story was bound to make it into our family history book.
After a good long laugh, my husband and I explained to the girls that we say “amen” to close a prayer to show our agreement to what was said during the prayer. We have since had many more lessons on how to pray during Family Home Evening or during our nightly prayers, but I will never forget my daughter’s humorous misunderstanding of the word “amen.”