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Praying Children

Updated on July 10, 2016
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"Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But then Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God." - Mark 10:13-14

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Never Too Young to Pray

I find it atrocious when I look around church on Sundays and see the youth sitting around, drawing, reading magazines or playing video games. Children who are old enough to pay attention to the sermon come to Church with dolls and teddybears. I understand if it is for the purpose of keeping an infant or a toddler entertained but an older child should know to pay attention.

I've realized that some adults believe it's best to leave children and let them do whatever they want during service. It makes no difference to them whether they pay attention or not because, after all "they're only children. They don't understand all this spiritual stuff." Or how about, "prayer and all this other religious mumbo-jumbo is too deep for them"?

WRONG!

Mark 10:13-14 clearly shows that Jesus wants the children to pray. Jesus wants the children to communicate with him.

Old Enough To Understand

How old is old enough? Any age is old enough to pray. As long as a child has a general understanding of God and that praying is speaking to God, they're ready to pray. And they're certainly ready to listen to a sermon or at least to a Sunday school lesson.

Children don't need to possess a thorough theological or philosophical understanding of God and of Heaven. They simply need to understand that there's a Heaven (the place where God lives) and a Hell (the place where Satan lives). They will know that Satan is the bad guy and God is the good guy.

It's children's innocence, and--for those who have a general understanding--their genuine love for Jesus that makes Him desire their prayers. The prayers of children reach places that the prayers of adults cannot reach.

Any age is old enough to understand. A two-year-old can have an understanding of God and pray to Him.

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Traditional Children's Prayers

God in Heaven hear my prayer ,

keep me in Thy loving care.

Be my guide in all I do,

Bless all those who love me too.

Amen

Remember this prayer? I'm sure that most of you Christians out there have said this prayer as a child or perhaps something similar to this prayer. How about:

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,

Look upon a little child;

Pity my simplicity,

Suffer me to come to Thee.

As children, we are taught these prayers by our parents, older siblings, other relatives and Sunday school teachers. Reciting these prayers serve as a guideline for when we feel we're ready to pray on our own. Prayers from direct Bible passages such as The Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:9-13) or Psalms 23 are the foundations of teaching children how to pray.

Some parents, while they do not actively "teach" their children how to pray, they ensure that their children memorize: "God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food." Or "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul will keep..."

Why Teach Children Scriptures to Use In Prayer?

The reason we teach children scriptures such as Psalms 23 is because, first of all, Prayer is a weapon.

The Word of God in prayer is a method, if you will; a way of using the weapon. When the Word of God is used in prayer, it tears down the strongholds of the enemy. Using the Word of God in prayer silences the enemy.

Therefore, teaching children scriptures gives them a simple way of smiting the wiles of the devil.

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Give The Children Credit

Believe it or not, children know a lot more than we give them credit for. Children are aware of the darkness in the world, despite their innocence. Christian children who have been taught about Heaven and about hell know that hell is a dark, evil place. Children know what evil is. Perhaps they don't have as complicated an explanation as an adult would, but they know enough to want to get rid of evil.

Children can use prayer as a weapon just as well as adults. They won't necessarily know all the big words the adults use but that doesn't matter. The "efficiency" of prayer isn't about the words you use or the tone of voice; it's about the understanding and the conviction.

Believe it or not, children can reach deep spiritual realms through prayer. Is that dangerous? You bet it is! Anything that opens the spirit is dangerous; it gives access for the enemy to infiltrate. That's why we must protect our children. As Christian parents, you have to pray over your children and pray with your children. Give them the strength and the foundations to pray before you leave them on the battlefield on their own.

For those who believe that children can't reach the same spiritual levels as adults, you MUST watch the video in this Hub.

VIDEO

The conviction and the passion of these children's prayers gave me goosebumps. This video really blessed me and I hope it will bless you as well.

This is a MUST-SEE

Comments

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    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you so much, SandraLee!

      -K. Alto

    • SandraLeeC50 profile image

      SandraLeeC50 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      This is just awesome in all its ways! I commend you for such a powerful message on prayer filled with so much truth and the presence of God upon this writing. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Yes it is very sad. Thanks for commenting, C! :)

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 

      7 years ago

      Very good hub, I remember saying the pledge of allegiance and the lords prayer after the announcements at school everyday...and public school at that...sad they've taken God out of schools.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I agree completely, pretty dark horse! Thanks!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      Beautiful indeed, we need to model this to them, I like this hub, Maita

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      HI parrster. It is a beautiful thing, isn't it?I have yet to nurture any child in God's ways but I know I will have to some day... Thanks for the lovely comment.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks kaltopsyd. The sincerity and pure devotion of children is a beautiful thing. Although it is weighty responsibility we have to nurture our children in Gods ways, I have often been the pupil at my own children's feet; humbled by their simple, priceless faith.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Zannie! Well thanks for stopping by. I'm so with you on that whole paying attention thing. But I guess it all depends on the parents to encourage their kids and set and example right? Thanks for commenting.

    • Zannie10 profile image

      Zannie10 

      8 years ago

      I just found this on your page and had to read it because it seemed like a great topic. It was beautiful to read! Children do need to pray as it is very important. I can't stand seeing children in church not paying attention to why they are even there. They need encouragement from the adults to pay attention. Great hub! :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, lahoriamplifier! Yes we should.

    • lahoriamplifier profile image

      lahoriamplifier 

      8 years ago from Lahore

      nice hub and we should learn from the children

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello Dobson. Your little anecdote honestly made me laugh. Grace! Ahh, kids. They're too much! I'm glad that your kids has adjusted and are listening and learning. Thank you for sharing and for commenting!

    • Dobson profile image

      Dobson 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      My little nephew was asked to say grace at the table before a family gathering. He was all to happy to comply and when the time came he said simply "Grace!" I agree that allowing children to do anything other than listen and pay attention only retardsd their spiritual development. Our kids have struggled in their adjustment at times, but now as teenagers they are listneing and learning from the sermon as my wife and I did at their age.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks, LizzyBoo!

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 

      8 years ago from Czech Republic

      This hub is so great. I always like hubs which has a meaning. I am a very spiritual myself and I believe into a power of prayers.

      Thank you for writing this beautiful hub. Thank you for sharing.

      LizzyBoo

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks for commenting, Lady. Yes, the seed needs to be planted from early. I like the way you put that.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful Hub - the seed needs to be planted in them early and it certainly goes a long way. May God keep our kids.

      Thanks and Best Wishes.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Lamme, that's very true about the toy thing. I've noticed that my 4-year-old godsister can do that. Yet, I see kids 14 and 15 years old reading magazines and when my Bishop asks the congregation to stand, they haven't heard a word. Then they look confused. So I know they weren't paying attention.

      Good for those, like your son, who can multi-task. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Lamme profile image

      Lamme 

      8 years ago

      I think it's important to teach our children to pray. The most effective way, is to model praying in the home. I've prayed with my children long before they were able to comprehend, but they were still in my arms (learning). Your comment about the children in church playing with toys, books, etc., made me think of something you may not have considered. I homeschool my 5 children and one of my boys is very ADHD. You would be amazed what he can recite back to me and the level of understanding he has of a subject that he had been "playing" through. In fact, I now give him playdough, markers, legos ... something for his hands while reading out loud to them. Just because a child has a toy and doesn't appear to be listening does not mean they are not hearing and absorbing the message. Thanks for a very well written hub!

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks for commenting, green tea-cher. From my experience in the church, I believe that those children are praying from a deeper level that, say, I will pray. The desperation/hysteria in their voices is perhaps the result of things that others don't see or don't understand. It seems, from my interpretation, they those children are crying out for the condition of the WORLD.

      They feel that it is their job, their calling to pray for God to save those who aren't as blessed, perhaps, as they are. I know for a stage when I was younger I felt so aggrieved by what was going on in the world that I often went to my globe, spun it and prayed for whatever country my hand settled on.

      They way these children pray sound a lot like the way prophets, prophets, intercessors and other spiritual leaders pray. I find that amazing for CHILDREN.

      Thanks for commenting once again. :)

    • green tea-cher profile image

      green tea-cher 

      8 years ago

      Hi kaltopsyd! I feel it is a good thing to teach children to pray. But there is something about the video that is very unsettling to me. I don't know the circumstances of the children in the video, but the desperation in their voices at times seemed to border on hysteria. To me prayer should be gracious, thoughtful, reflective and peaceful. I am not sure I would consider the video prayer. Then again, perhaps I just don't understand the world these children live in. I do find the topic interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR

      kaltopsyd 

      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I like the way you put that. That makes it so simple. "Teaching a child to pray is like teaching them anything else." Thanks, Paula.

    • profile image

      Paula 

      8 years ago

      Teaching a child to pray is like teaching them anything else. Like everything a child is thought they practice. Knowing they can talk to God themselves gives them a sense of comfort and security. Thank you for a good article.

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