Bedtime was rushed and frazzled. It's probably the worst time of the day to rush a little person (if indeed there's ever a good time to do it).
Little spirits need nurturing and quiet and peace at the bedtime hour, not a nagging mama who can't wait to close the door on a long day.
But sometimes mamas still nag and fret. Because that minute hand has already passed the hour and precious sleep is being lost and that means a cranky tomorrow morning which means a difficult school day. And who wants that?
So Mama borrows trouble from tomorrow and rushes the prayer with her son. She gets irritated when she's interrupted by another child who storms into the room wondering if shower gel is the same as shampoo. The frustration mounts, Mama forgets Who she's talking to and prematurely cuts off the prayer with a snapped Amen.
The listening boy is still and quiet. That's not how Mama's supposed to pray. He gently whispers the truth, "Mom, you forgot the fruit of the Spirit."
It's true and it hurts. Not only did she forget to pray the fruit over her child, but she grossly forgot to live it before him. And he noticed.
But guess what Mama read just that morning? She read in Numbers 14:18 that "The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion." And she is so, so thankful.
She tiptoes back to her boy's room and asks for a redo. "Honey? Can I pray with you again?"
His face beams. It's noticeable, even in the darkness. He's more than willing. And this time, Mama doesn't forget the fruit.
A Child's Prayer by Jessie Wilcox Smith