I love to hear the prayers of a child. I’ve learned three things about prayer while sitting at the bedside of my children and grandchildren throughout the years.
Humility – Honesty – Simplicity.
Children seem to hold the wonder and assurance that we can have access to the God of heaven purely by bowing and getting real before Him. Prayer is simply talking with God – no King Jamesie old English, no formality, no stuffy dialogue.
When we pray we climb into the shelter of a Father’s love who longs to talk with His children. If we can somehow leave the adult mess behind and live in the enchanted place of His presence, we can pray with the ease of a child.
Kids will say almost anything to God. I remember one of ours used to pray “give us this day our jelly bread” and “now I lay me on a heep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep” . . . I just love the beauty in the crazy-trusting place within a child’s innocent heart. Any of you who know my kids probably can figure which one it was.
I want to be there ~I want to stay there . . . in the honest place of a child’s faith when I’m lamenting over a deep need. And I’m there now . . .
There are some things we need to unlearn, especially when we replace the sweet simplicity with a bunch of shoulds and oughts. I’ve stepped back lately to just spend the summer in the Psalms. It’s the place where every emotion seems to be noted – joy, praise, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, even hatred.
Although some sound like dancing in the wind, some sound like whining in the dark, King David took the raw moments of life and wrote them out honestly right there in half of the book of Psalms – the sacred writings that are the best tool to teach us to pray.
And so are children . . . may we pray and believe like the ones who can teach us.
O Lord my heart is not lifted up. My eyes are not raised too high. I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother –like a weaned child is my soul within . . .