Revisiting a Childhood Prayer

blue bloods.jpg

The TV police drama Blue Bloods grabs my heart as well as my mind week after week. I suppose it’s for a number of reasons: I’m from New Jersey and the show takes place in New York City. The Reagans (a large close knit Catholic family) reminds me of my own large close knit Catholic family. And many of the religious practices of the Reagans, like “grace before meals,” mirror those of the Renners (my family name). The individual Reagan family members are honest with each other and a bit out-spoken … and that is actually what many extended family members and friends (Renner-wannabes) “admire” about us.

So week after week, I reminisce as I watch Blue Bloods.

danny & nancy.jpg

But recently, I was shocked at how I was affected by the way police detective Danny Reagan, one of the adult sons of Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, “said grace” before a meal. Danny had lost Linda, his nurse wife, months before in a care-flight accident, and he was grieving. His house had also been burned down as a payback by the Mob. So between Linda’s death and the destruction of his home, Danny was unable to move on with his two teen boys. This is when the Reagan family steps in to help Danny by renting a new home for him and his sons. At first, Danny rebels and really fights it, but then he slowly begins to get it. This is what family is all about. And so Danny’s heart softens, and he then insists on being the one to “say grace” before their meal.

And oh my…what emotion, meaning, and heartfelt thanksgiving.


And this is the same prayer that we Renners all recited quickly and, mostly unthinkingly, so we could finally eat before everything got cold. But obviously not Danny.

Bless us, O Lord, …
and these Thy gifts, …
which we are about to receive …
from Thy bounty …
through Christ our Lord ...

The amazing thing is that unbeknownst to me, my “all his life Protestant” husband John was deeply moved also. So guess what, we are now saying this grace slowly and with meaning before our supper each night.

Who would have ever thought that watching one of my favorite TV shows would inspire both John and me to adopt a prayer from my childhood. Maybe you too have a childhood prayer that you have abandoned or maybe one that you are still praying … or maybe it’s a Scripture prayer or a meaningful one learned even as an adult. The important thing is that our hearts are engaged toward our God. So pray it with all your heart as John and I are now praying my childhood “grace.” Amen.

PS. This reminds me that God can use anything to speak to us … even a Blue Bloods’ Danny Reagan or MeTV Rifleman (take a look).

the Renners

the Renners