I grew up listening to old folks pray. Well, you know. Adults. They taught me how to pray.
They didn’t know they were, but they did. I watched and listened, because even as a little kid I tended to hang back and observe. Spending all these intervening years from then until now, you’d think I’d have learned a few things about praying, wouldn’t you?
⇒ God pays the most attention to little kids’ praying.
- I’ve heard evangelists pray with thunderous voices that could crack boulders.
- I’ve almost sort-of heard quiet Sunday School teachers pray with such tiny, all-but-inaudible voices that I seriously wondered if they’d ever been moms. Or wives.
- I’ve barely tolerated the severely-limited vocabulary pray-ers whose 16-word prayers eat up over 29 minutes through repetition: “Father God, we’re so thankful, Father-God, for your grace and blessings, Father-God, and we come to you today, Father-God, because–well, Father-God, we—–“
- Then there’s the prayers of The Minimalist Just: “Oh God, we just wanta thank you and just praise you! We just lift and magnify you, because we just love you! God, we’re just asking that you’ll just be here among us and just—-“
- I’ve heard pastors and (Dun-dun-DUNNNnnnn) seminary professors pray like Mrs. Shakespeare’s little boy would’ve written.
- I’ve heard youth workers and clinical chaplains and hipster writers and seminar speakers pray with their easy, polished groove on until it sounded to me like not even Klingons could be offended.
- And I’ve listened to little kids’ praying.
Emylee’s 4. Gramps was visiting, and was walking down the hall of Emylee’s home at night. As he passed his granddaughter’s room, he noticed her kneeling beside her bed, eyes tightly closed and saying her prayers in a very matter-of-fact tone. Stopping and sticking his head inside the door, he heard her clearly reciting the alphabet.
“H… I…” When she was done, Gramps asked, “Emylee, why were you doing that?”
“Well, Gramps, I didn’t know what words to say, so I thought I would just give all the letters to God and He’d know how to put them together the best.”
We adults have learned to hedge our faith. “Well, if it’s God’s will, I know He can—-” “We just must’ve not had enough faith, because—-”
Little kids just believe. They have mega-rama-lama-ding-dong FAITH, son. I mean . . .
Pet missing? “Dtheezhuth woo bing Wocko back.” Tornado took the roof off the house, took out the barn along with two horses and a new Mahindra frontloader? “Gaw woo taykeh ov uth.”
Kids don’t know any better than to just. Trust. God. That’s why God pays the most attention to little kids’ praying.
“How did the world get borned?” “God made it.” “Oh.” And they go skipping happily off.
Next time you ask for prayer, appreciate those mighty, stentorian, dynamic, powerful adult prayers crammed with spurchul phrases. It’s taken those folks most of a lifetime to develop that cadence and the eloquence necessary to make those prayers r-i-s-e on the winds of need. . . It’s enough to stir your very soul.
How often have we adults finally sat back after agonizing in intercession, wiping sweat away and proud of our effort, thinking it’s all US—
When all the time, God’s been hunkering down, intently listening to a little kid’s simple, direct, no-frills prayer. If you’re looking for results, now? Ask a little kid to pray for ya.
I’ve known folks who, when they say, “I’ll be prayin’ for yeh,” my spirit cocks an eyebrow and wags its head. You’ve known ’em, too. Right?
Want things to get real, and fast? Give that simple need to a kid.
One word that I’m coming more and more to believe makes all Hell cringe and back off:
“Dtheezhuth. . .?” I believe when God’s little ones get down to pray, those simple, direct words flicker back and forth across God’s vast Universe, faster than thought.
Little kids are just that important to God. That’s why those who’ve espoused the wholesale slaughter-for-profit of The Little Ones are going to have some frightening charges to face from God, the Righteous Judge.
After all, Dtheezhuth thaid it: “Of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” And for a reason.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2015