Since children today, more than ever before, need comfort and security in their lives, nothing -- no thing -- is more important than to have girls and boys engage in prayer.
All children, even the youngest child, can learn God is always there for them -- at anytime -- from the moment they wake up in the morning, throughout the day as they engage in play outside and inside the home, as they share mealtimes, right up until they are tucked in bed to fall asleep at night, and even after that -- through dream.
Children must know they can pray about whatever is on their minds. Whether they are happy, sad, angry, frightened or deeply concerned over something, they can quickly learn to turn to prayer.
Youth today grow up in an oft-time tough world. They are confronted with a great deal of negative news via our media -- from radio and television to a variety of technological devices. Prayer can become a comforting time when all of the world problems can be turned off, when children can feel calm and at peace.
We can teach children that prayer is a way of saying 'thank you' for the multitude of everyday things they experience in life -- for friends, for the beauty of nature, for siblings, parents, grandparents, for the food we eat.
They can also learn that prayers need not be long. A simple 4-6-8-10- line verse can say a great deal which is why so many prayers for the young are in poetic format.
Hear My Prayer, is a book for today's youth. It contains simple, easy-to-read, easy-to-remember selections to involve boys and girls in everyday activities. In collecting the verse I wanted to emphasize the innocence of childhood. Spending time with very young children certainly brings out pure and simple thoughts such as:
You now how busy
I must be today,
If I forget you,
Do not forget me.
Sorting through hundreds of prayers, I couldn't find one connecting children with grandparents, people who are of utmost importance in children's lives. My own sister, grandmother to six, reminded me of this omission while I was compiling Hear My Prayer. I could not resist writing:
You touch us all--
Teachers, crossing guards,
Window washers, writers.
Yet always remember
To give your touch
To Grandma and Grandpa
Who I love so much.
A favorite verse of mine, as well as a beloved one for many, written eons ago by an anonymous writer, says so much about linking children and prayer together:
ALL THOSE I LOVE
God bless all those that I love.
God bless all those that love me.
God bless all those
That love those I love.
And all those that love those
That love me.
Prayer is the mighty voice of children. Let them be heard.
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