Listening to the prayers of Children

Pike's Peak

Last week I was in the mountains of Colorado with my family.  If you want to feel closer to God, you can’t get much higher than Pike’s Peak.  (OK–we didn’t actually climb Pike’s Peak, but we drove past it–at 11,000 feet!)  We spent the week at a Christian family camp near Gunnison.  The week was a refreshing respite from Texas heat & humidity, and truly a retreat for our entire family to re-connect with each other, and re-focus on God.  The camp is designed to be small: only 6 or 7  families attend at one time; therefore the setting was intimate and interactions were personal. 

Before each meal, our group would gather and link arms (rather than holding hands) to share announcements, discoveries and pray.  More often than not, one of the children would volunteer to bless the meal.  I love listening to children’s prayers.  They are so honest, and straight from the heart.  They know that others are listening, but they don’t try to sound too spiritual or religious.  They say what they feel.  Here are some excerpts from prayers I overheard during the week:

“Lord, bless this food and make it taste good.”

“Please be with us today on our trip to the lake and keep us from tipping over in the kayaks.”

“God watch over us and help us to keep from fighting in the car.”

“Thank you for this day, and help my sister to have a fun birthday.”  (There were 4 birthdays while we were there!)

“I just ask that you be with each of our families and make sure that we travel safely back to our homes and that we will remember our blessings from this week.”

When my children pray out loud, I sometimes have resist the urge to compliment them.  Prayers spoken from the heart to God’s ear are always good.  I don’t want my kids to think that just because I am listening, I am also silently critiquing their words.  I can’t help but feel proud when my children volunteer to pray, but I need to be careful not to show any disappointment if they want to keep their thoughts private.  Finally, I can also glean some good tips and treasures from the words of their prayers.  I learn not only what is on their minds, but what is important enough for them to tell God.  What a great example for me to follow….!

July 2009 062 by you.

~Sharon

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