Christian Living


Mommy and the Joyful Three 02/20/12

Learning to Pray Like a Child

There is nothing sweeter than the prayers of a child. The other night I was visiting a friend when her daughter Kalia asked my friend if it was OK for her to pray. Her prayers were so sweet and candid, spoken straight from the heart. It truly touched me.

My own children constantly speak to God; and their conversations with God are beautiful and pure. There is no embarrassment or pride. Sometimes they are funny, such as when my oldest daughter prays to God that her little brother will not steal her socks anymore. Other times they are sad like when my children’s pet fish died and they cried to God about how they missed him. Regardless of their mood, the prayers are always truthfully and beautifully spoken.

Children seem to have the ability to talk to God in the way we as adults should. Our Heavenly Father wants us to come as we are and present our prayers humbly before Him. There should be no holding back, no intimidation.

Somehow, as we grow older, we tend to withhold our true thoughts and feelings. When it comes to talking the Lord, we need to be open and not worry about what others may think or even what we fear God will think. He is a loving Father and wants us to go to Him with our fears, worries and joys.

Teaching our children to pray and praying with them is of the utmost importance. It’s possibly one of the most important things you can do with your children.

Children need structure, but that shouldn’t mean there is just one set time for prayers. If your son or daughter has a bad day at school, pray with them when they first tell you about it. If they are nervous about something, stop what you are doing and pray with them. Teach them that the go-to for their problems is prayer.

Pray with a thankful heart. Teach them to thank the Lord for all the good and even the hardships. Showing your kids that with prayer and faith God will guide you is a vital part of their faith foundation.

It’s important for us to notice how our children pray from their hearts. For adults, it can be hard to open up and remember that God does not judge us the way we or other people do. Honestly, I sometimes feel embarrassed when I pray and am intimidated by the gravity of the importance of prayer. In my humanity, I attempt to conjure up perfect prayers, not realizing that “perfect” prayers are really ones simply spoken.

As children learn to speak, they make mistakes. My oldest daughter cannot pronounce certain words correctly and her flubs always make me smile. Just as we love our children the way they are God loves us even more. The older my daughter gets the more she starts to overthink her words. She tries to say phrases that will make her sound more intelligent. This is a natural part of growing up. But, I sometimes miss those candid, random thoughts she used to share with me.

In the same way, we should just share our thoughts with God. Although He knows them already, He wants to hear our voices. Praying shows God where our faith lies. It is our way of communicating with Him.

When I was a teenager, my parents, in wisdom, would wait for me to open up to them. I always knew they were there for me, but they wanted me to come to them instead of pushing the issue. Likewise, God wants us to go to Him willingly. He wants our conversations with Him to be our choice and our joy.

Prayer should come so naturally to us, just like speaking. Take the simple, thoughtful prayers your children speak as a reminder of how we can talk with our Heavenly Father.

Do you love the way your children pray? What are some of the most random, sweet things you have heard them talk to God about?

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