Saturday, January 18, 2014

When Children Pray

Not long ago, my niece shared this poignant photo of my grandniece—the one I call sugar plum—on her knees in a prayer room at church. As others were kneeling in prayer, sugar plum slipped from her mother’s arms and found her own place to pray at the altar.

When I saw this photo, tears sprang to my eyes and ran down my face. The reasons are so many and so varied, but I guess most of all I cried because it reminded me of when my own daughter used to do this very thing, in a similar prayer room at church. I still remember how she looked, so small, so innocent, bowed down on bended knees, and I can still hear her little voice as she would offer up worship in her own way, in a way that only a child can.



From the time our daughter was old enough to kneel, my husband and I prayed with her. Bedtime prayers were the most routine, but I also made a point of spending my devotional times with her. 

As any mother of a toddler knows, such things aren’t easy, and sometimes I only managed a few minutes, but still I wanted her to know the value and power of prayer. What better thing could I teach her?

I remember well the day in 1988 when Anna toddled into the kitchen where I stood preparing the evening meal. In one hand, she clutched her small Bible; the other hand held a wad of Kleenex tissues. She had just turned two.

"I go pray, Mommy," she said. "I go pray."

Something gripped my chest as I watched her familiar form toddle down the hall, toward our usual place of prayer. Only this time, she was going alone.

In a few minutes, her little voice wafted into the kitchen, the sweet sound of a child—my child—praying. It was one of the most rewarding days of motherhood.

My daughter is now grown, and despite all the blunders I made as a mother, it’s a relief to know that I did at least one thing right: I taught her how to pray. And it’s a blessing to know that she still practices daily prayer. 

No matter where I may be, or how far from her I may travel, knowing that my child knows how to pray is a great comfort, because a single prayer connects us to something greater than Wi-Fi. It connects us to the God of the universe, the One who holds the world in His hands.

When we teach our children to pray, we give them a support system for life.



Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  ~ Matthew 19:14

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27 comments:

  1. I came over from Still Saturday and I am so glad I did. I cannot put into words this morning how this touches my heart. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Beautiful, moving post. Children's prayers are most precious---and to our Father, too. Yes, the most wonderful thing to teach a child.

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  3. What a beautiful picture. When our children rise up on their own to pray to the living God. Awesome!

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  4. I don't know why I am not getting notice anymore about your postings - I'll have to do something about that!

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  5. This may be my favorite post of yours ever!

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  6. Dayle, what a precious post. You are so right...nothing we can teach them is more important. I remember when my youngest son was a teen and one morning as he was showering before school, I heard him talking to himself...or so I thought. Like a good mother, I put my ear to the door and listened for a few seconds...long enough to hear that he was praying....it blessed my heart!

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  7. Tears...you know why. This may be my favorite post on your blog.

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  8. Thank you for your sweet comment on my post, "Don't Rule out a Miracle." I loved your story on Children praying and your photos. Yes, some of the most powerful prayers are those of children.

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  9. So sweet and important.

    You touched my heart today.
    Dottie

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  10. Such a sweet post, Dayle. I couldn't have gotten through my life without prayer. xo Laura

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  11. Oh just couldn't be any more right! Such an important thing to teach them. And in todays electronic world, how much more this is to realize. AMEN to it all!

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  12. Such a lovely post. I also prayed with my children when they were young and even today, when they have a problem, I simply remind them to take it to the Lord. It's a great comfort to me.

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  13. Teaching our children to pray is something that will stay with them...I know you must be really proud of her...as you should.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  14. I am in a puddle.

    So, so grateful for these words. Good job, Mom. Our prayers never die. Never.

    I truly loved these images.

    Proud of your girl, too, who chose to be a wise woman and pray to her very best Friend.

    Happy highways,
    Kelley~

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  15. While I sat in church, today, I noticed the little ones around me.They bowed their heads and folded their hands. What a beautiful sight!

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  16. Nothing sweeter than having our faith shared by our children and seeing them teach their children. What a wonderful example and heritage your little granddaughter has!!
    Mary Alice

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  17. Dayle, this was so touching. I am so happy to know that we can always come to Jesus with childlike faith and talk to Him. What a privilege, what a blessing.

    GOD BLESS!

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  18. I loved this post, it really touched me. Your closing statement is so true and so beautiful. Thanks for your comment on my blog; yes I think we are kindred spirits! I've loved coming to your blog. I have identical twin aunts! They are lots of fun, but of course they grew up in the day when they dressed alike and even had a double wedding!

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  19. Hi Dayle! What a gorgeous post. I have to say that I was a little teary reading your daughter's little words to you at the age of two. No wonder she is such a wonderful child and child of God. You gave her such a firm foundation.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  20. Such a sweet and heartfelt post! Have a wonderful week, Dayle.

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  21. The words and the pictures together were such a blessing this morning. I couldn't sleep so finally gave in and got out of bed. What a treasure to read this.

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  22. I love this ~ thank you so much for sharing! Really made my eyes leak a bit. :) It's just so precious to see little ones do things like this as well as maintain their relationship with God as they grow older. What do people do without Him and faith???

    Finally got a new computer so now I can visit. :)

    xo
    Pat

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  23. A beautiful duet--the pictures and the words. A mind picture I carry with me is my 12 year old reading her Bible and my 2 year old beside her "reading" her Bible--upside down.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle