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Dear God …

Children have a wonderful way with prayer. As their vocabulary extends and they learn new words and how to pronounce them, occasionally some fun things can happen. They’re also delightfully ignorant of some traditions or norms of prayer, which means their prayers can be brutally honest and naively charming.


An example is the little girl who was asked to say grace before a meal when visitors were attending. She said to her mother, “But I don’t know how!”, and the mother replied, “Just say what Daddy says before a meal.” So, she did: “Oh, God, what are we going to have to chew on now? Just smile at your mother and eat whatever comes out of that kitchen.”


I was helping at kids’ church at a corps I soldiered at once, and a child was asked to pray at the end of the activity. He put his hands together, bowed his head, closed his eyes and launched into it: “Dear God. We had fun today. I hope you did too. I’ll come back next week if you give me a puppy. Amen.” I don’t think he got the puppy, but he returned the following week anyway.


The internet contains many examples of lovely prayers by children. Here’s a few:


“Dear God. Are you a ninja? Is that why we never see you?”


“Dear Jesus. If you look in church on Sunday, I’ll be wearing my new shoes.”


“Hey, God. Did you mean giraffes to look like that or did you stretch them too much?”


“Dear God. Thank you for my new baby brother but what I prayed for was a bike.”


“Dear God. I don’t think anyone could be a better God. Keep up the good work.”


I recall reading a ‘Peanuts’ cartoon with Linus telling Charlie Brown he’d had a major theological revelation. He said, “If you pray with your hands together pointing down, you get the opposite of what you pray for.” I’m not so sure about that.


Some years ago, I was attending a YP anniversary (that’s Young Peoples, for those of you new here) and a little boy was asked to pray before the corps officer provided the Bible message. Apparently, he had a prayer written down on a piece of paper and he simply had to pull it out of his pocket and read it.


Confronted by a hall of faces looking at him, the boy froze like a rabbit in the headlights and then – without putting his hand anywhere near his pocket – just commenced praying: “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful.”


A very worthy prayer for any congregation to hear before a sermon!


–      Major Mal Davies is Assistant Divisional Commander for the Victoria Division.


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