Over the last month or so, my 6 year old has come up with a new little rhythm in his prayers. All of them- before meals, before bed, when we see an accident on the highway. He says, “Dear God, I hope…” Last night it was, “Dear God, I hope that no more people die in Japan, and I hope nobody in Africa gets bit by those mosquitoes that make them sick, and I hope I have really good dreams tonight.”
Something about the simple, declarative essence of his “I hope” statements has really struck me. I love that, in true 6 year old optimist fashion, he can throw out some gargantuan requests like they’re completely possible. Like free online pokie machines it just takes us bringing our hope to God for malaria to be a thing of the past. Last night when I heard him pray that, I wondered if he was, in some way, right. If we actually did bring our declarative hopes out like that and hang them like flags of promise, I wonder if malaria wouldn’t seem that far-fetched a problem to fix. Maybe our hopes stay so small and inward that we need to get them to a place the wind can sway them in a way that actually moves us all in the same direction. Maybe we need to declare them, like blaring trumpets, both to God and to ourselves: Dear God, I hope!