Have you ever given your kids the chance to just pray from their hearts? I encourage you to do this if you don’t already. When we first started saying nighttime prayers with our sons before bed, we would pray for them but we have begun to allow them to pray freely before bedtime now, followed by a short prayer by my husband and I. You would be amazed to hear what comes out of their mouths.
Sure, you get the amusing little prayers of “Thank you God for FOOD!” (typical response from my 3 year old who I swear never stops eating). Or “Thank you God for my toys and please help me get MORE toys!”. And sometimes I even get the shocking (but quite hilarious) “And Jesus, thank you that I can pee standing up!!!”. By the way, it is incredibly difficult to not outwardly chuckle through a prayer like that.
But, there have been other moments that my children have absolutely floored me with what they have found in their hearts to pray about. One request we hear often included in my oldest son’s prayers are to heal all of the people in the “hostipals”. Wow! Another example would be when my son prayed, “Thank you Jesus that we can love friends that all look different; some with different hairs, some with different eyes and some with different skins and some with different clothes”. Uh, what? I sat there, tears glistening in my eyes, listening to the pure and innocent heart of my babies.
Just the other night, we were praying and earlier that day we had been talking about the hurricanes and wild fires and earthquakes that have plagued this Earth this week. My son was praying and said, “Jesus. Please help all the people in Florida and Mexico Canyon (I don’t know where the word canyon came from). Help the families and God,…Please raise those people from the DEAD!!!!”
Welp, my eyes bugged outta my head and I was about to correct him when I realized, maybe I was in fact the one who needed correcting. I mean, how dare I tell my son NOT to pray for the dead to rise!? If anything, maybe I should be having him teach me how to pray!
Oftentimes as we grow, we let the hardships of adulthood stunt our spiritual faith and we forget to have “childlike faith”. Then I think we try to pass what we think is wisdom along to our kids and end up stunting their spiritual growth by placing God inside the box that we’ve built for Him. While I think it’s important to help children and lead them in the way they should go, we also need to give them room to experience their walk with God on their own, and sometimes even allow them to teach us a thing or two. Like faith.
There’s something about the faith of children that has always been refreshing to me. If left unaltered, the prayers of children are something so very special and often powerful! Their innermost thoughts and feelings rush out in such a way that leaves me inspired. And the prayer that my oldest prayed about raising the dead did just that for me.
We can’t place God in a box. Nor what He can do. Let your kids pray and allow their pure and innocent prayers inspire you to pray with a child-like faith. Let it remind you of what God can do!