Do you ever feel like you are stuck in your prayer life? Maybe you feel as if you’re going through the same old routine again and again? Or maybe you find yourself not knowing what or how to pray? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and will most likely be there again. But I have discovered a quick and easy remedy for those prayer-life lags. Would you like to know what it is? It’s simple. When you feel your prayer life suffering, go listen to the prayer of a child.
I have the awesome privilege of listening in on the prayers of many different children and what a joy it is! As sweet voices begin saying “Dear God”, I can’t help but draw close and join in the conversation with the Lord. For I know these children have the attention of their Heavenly Father and I don’t want to miss a moment of the special communion about to take place. There’s nothing else like it in the world.
And what excitement there is among a group of children when given an opportunity to pray! I love to see hands reaching for the sky and little bodies jumping up and down when I ask for volunteers to pray. “Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me!” they all begin to yell. It’s difficult to pick just one, especially after seeing the sadness and disappointment that washes over their faces when they don’t get chosen. Rarely could you find such a display of emotion when asking a group of adults to volunteer to pray!
Oh, but we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to the prayers of a child. Far greater than the sweetness of their prayers and greater than their excitement to pray is the sincere faith that is displayed in their prayers. When you listen to a child pray, you hear requests for all sorts of things – for grandma to be safe, for the dog to get better, for daddy to stop smoking, for the homeless to find homes, for brothers to stop being annoying and for teddy bears to be found. No request is too big and no request is too small because praying children know that God loves them and He is listening when they pray. That is all they need to know.
I wonder. At what point in our lives does the excitement to talk with our Heavenly Father begin to fade? When does the fact that God loves us stop being enough for us to trust Him with our every need, both big and small? When do our prayers become an obligation rather than an opportunity to talk with God and for Him to speak to us?
So, are you ready for a prayer time pick-me-up? Then make your way over to the children’s area of your church this Sunday. But I must warn you – with children, prayer is a “no holds barred” experience. You’re liable to hear anything and everything. Nothing is off limits and no secret is safe. That’s the beauty of the prayer of a child, though, and it’s those uncensored, heartfelt conversations between a child and the Heavenly Father that remind us who God is and why we pray in the first place.