Praying With Jamie Lynn Spears

Whenever I get back from a week in Nashville, there is so much I miss. The Goo Goo Clusters, the sound of the chirping birds at the crosswalks, the smell of beer and cigarettes outside every bar on Lower Broadway and all the y’alls.

This time, I’m pining for the prayer.

Right before I left Nashville following the 2014 CMT Music Awards , I went to lunch with Jamie Lynn Spears and her family. It was an intimate — but very casual — event on Music Row. Spears’ parents Lynne and Jamie were there, along with her new husband Jamie Watson and her daughter Maddie.

And while Spears’ father made the Louisiana meal — jambalaya, beans, shrimp salad, potato salad, white bread and sweet tea — it was how he led the whole group in prayer that really stuck with me.

He asked the group of about 50 country music insiders to “grab a paw.” And as we all held hands, Spears bowed his head in prayer.

“Dear Father, we thank you so much for us to be able to come together today and the share with each other and to be able to have this food together,” he said. “Father, we thank you and we ask you to bless this food and bless all the ones that are here today. And we ask you, Father, that we will have safe travels today as we go through this weather. It’s bad. And Father, we ask you to lift everyone up in here and what they do that they can follow and fulfill what they want to do. Father, I ask you to bless this food and help it nourish our bodies. For these things I ask in your name. Amen.”

If Jamie Lynn Spears was raised to always pray before meals like this, I can’t think of a better foundation for a career in country music. How could she want more?