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Childlike Prayers


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

My granddaughter, Sadie, who is now thirteen, came into this world with a desire to talk. Before she could form words, chatter spilled from her lips. She was full of life and wanted to express it any way that she could. She would look up at me and tell me an entire story without words. She loved for me to just look at her, nod, laugh and encourage her conversation. She would go on and on and on. Even when she didn’t have my full attention, she would fill my ears with delightful stories.

And then came the books. She would bring the books and climb up on my lap to read. Before I could finish the book, she would flip the pages and chatter and laugh as if she were reading every word right back to me.

When her words began to come, they were precious. She talked all the time. I treasured every word that she spoke. Of course there was a favorite word for me. It was “boo-ti-ful.” She seemed to love the word also or maybe it was the reaction she received.

“Nana, look at boo-ti-ful tree. Nana, sky is boo-ti-ful. Thank you God for this boo-ti-ful day.”

As every Nana knows, it melted my heart. I could listen to her forever.

As she began to talk, her words became clearer, but “boo-ti-ful” remained the same for quite a while. I remember the day that she said it grown-up. I think I cried because I loved her words more than the mature ones that she imitated.

As I gathered with a group of friends today, we circled around tables to talk to God. As I announced that we would be praying together, I could sense an uncomfortable feeling in the room. I knew that the enemy’s lies had permeated some hearts. They are lies that hinder us from praying. The lies sound something like this:

“You don’t know how to pray. Don’t pray out loud, you will sound foolish. Your words are so simple and childish. Just remain quiet and listen to the others.”

And so year after year, we sit in circles and pray silently. We don’t participate because we think we don’t measure up. We miss being a part, because we believe the enemy’s lies.

When a prayer is sincerely directed to God, it is never worthless.

I say to any of you that know what I’m talking about: “No more! No more listening to the lies.”

As precious as Sadie’s baby chatter and baby words were to me, I believe our voice is a delight to God. He longs for us to climb up onto His lap and pour out our hearts. It doesn’t matter if we bring childlike chatter and simple one word prayers. I wonder if He is somehow saddened when we learn to pray bigger words and longer phrases.

I’ve always heard that prayer is conversation with God. So start where you are. Don’t miss out on this glorious privilege that we have been given.Pour out your love to Him. He bends over to hear you. Your heart is boo-ti-ful to your heavenly Father.

“I love the LORD because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalms 116:1-2


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