The ONE THING for today

Can you pray like a four year old?

  • Hosea 11:4 (NIV)  I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.  To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

Philip Yancey in his book entitled, Prayer, recorded an instructive example for us concerning prayer.  He wrote:

 “My neighbor Elizabeth, age four, was staying with her grandmother while her parents went to New York City on business trip.  Kneeling by her bed that night, she prayed, “Help Mommy and Daddy to come home safely.  And if they don’t want to come home…”, her grandmother interrupted, “Honey, of course they want to come home.” Elizabeth set her straight with a sharp reply “I’m talking to God!”

This reminds me of a prayer my grandson David Lee (also 4-years old) prayed in my presence recently.  I had taken he and his sister Ella with me to visit one of the elderly women in our church—Pearl Bailes.  As we were preparing to depart I gathered David Lee and Ella around Pearl’s chair and we all joined hands to pray.  I asked David Lee to lead the prayer.  He prayed a wonderful prayer—going around the circle praying for each of us.  When he got to Pearl he said, “And help Ms. Pearl to be happy and when she grows up help her to keep all the rules.”  (Keep in mind Pearl is in her 90s :)).

I recently read about a new type of glasses that translate foreign languages for you as you read.  God has had one of those since the first day a human prayed.  The most mature of us is but an infant child compared to God.  Yet he can translate our simple child-like (and even childish) prayers into “God-talk” and know exactly what we really mean and know exactly what we really need.

Many people try to make prayer a science or an art.  While I am definitely not against learning how to communicate better to God (even a child gets better at communicating as they mature), let me caution you against making prayer something it is not.

Prayer is not like trying to pass an exam (I got to get it right).  Prayer is not like getting out of jail (I’ve got to put in my time).  Prayer is not magic—trying to earn God’s favor or force God to do something He doesn’t want to do because we got the “spell” (prayer) right.

Prayer is a mere human going into the presence of Almighty God in Jesus’ name and simply sharing what is on your heart and mind knowing that God will take it from there.

So whatever else you do today, keep up your childish chatter to God throughout the day–He loves to hear you talk; it means you’re in His presence.

2 thoughts on “Can you pray like a four year old?

  1. Dear Pastor….David Lee’s prayer was precious! He is a very special child and God is going to use him in a mighty way, but you already knew that. Have a blessed day!….Love Ann & Joe

  2. Dear David, This is very special to me right now. I still pray like the farmer plowing in the field. Or maybe like ‘Anne of Green Gables’, just breathe a prayer! I talk to the Lord as if He is right here in person and of course HE is! I can almost see Him smiling at some of the things I say! LOL He knows I am serious though! He knows my every thought and prayer!

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