Dispatches

When Children Pray

Can Kids Teach Us How to Talk to God?

My friend in another state was scheduled for open heart surgery and I was planning to stay with her at the hospital and during her first days back home. The Sunday before travelling, I asked three young girls at my church to pray for Miss Judy that the surgery would go well and that she would recover quickly.

“I won’t see you for a month,” I said. “When I return home, you will be on break from school, travelling with your families. So I will report back to you when we meet again.”

They nodded and promised to pray.

A month later, the father of the first-grade girl stopped me in the hallway before worship service began.

“How is your friend after heart surgery?” he asked.

“She’s recovering slowly.” I was happy that he knew about it.

“One evening before bed my daughter told me we must pray for Miss Judy’s heart,” he said.

I thanked him.

“You know, I was surprised,” he continued. “Some evenings I would forget, but my six-year-old daughter remembered every night at family prayers. I guess we should ask children to pray more. They take it very seriously. It was a good lesson for me.”

That was Jay, a professor of elementary education at a university in our town, learning from his little girl. We can all learn a lot by observing children. Jesus knew this when he put a little child in the midst of his disciples and said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven ...” (Matthew 18:3).

An old preacher I used to know often said, “If you have a serious prayer request, always get children to pray. They ask with great faith and God hears them.

Mary Wooten lives in Fort Wayne, IN.

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