Questions about prayer that children ask provide teachable moments when we can respond and share truths about God. We need to take their questions about prayer seriously because they are trying to understand how prayer works. Use and consider what your child really wants to know about prayer or God. Let’s consider several questions and how to handle them.
What’s a Blessing?
From ‘God bless you’ after a sneeze to ‘count your blessings,’ and ‘be a blessing,” children here phrases that sound mysterious. Start with looking up the meaning of the word in the Bible. The might involve checking a lexicon to understand the word in the original language used.
The Hebrew word for bless is barukh, related to the word berekh for kneel. It means to strengthen with God’s strength. Let children kneel and have parents pray a blessing over each one.Then discuss the picture formed with kneeling and the Heavenly Father bending down to bless the child. That shows love and care.
Discuss what strengthens us in different ways. Healthy foods strengthen our bodies. Encouraging words strengthen us on the inside and give us confidence. Answered prayers build out trust that God listens and responds to inspire us to pray more.
Looking around to notice blessings from God helps children know God better and see what he does for us. That helps children understand that God wants to interact and have a relationship with us.
When we consider how to bless others, we can look at the meaning again. A child can begin ton understand that blessing someone is like being the one standing tall who can help someone and realize they may be in a position to help the person. They can bring hope that strengthens them inside or provide food for the hungry to strengthen the person physically.
Add a Hands-on Exploration to Explore Questions About Prayer
We can also do something visual to help answer questions about prayer. Fill a small container with red water and another with blue. Use a small measuring cup to scoop colored water and dump it into a larger clear container that is sitting in a bowl. As you pour in the the water thank God for a blessing. That’s a gift like sunshine or hugs or even your new toy. Take turns to let the water overflow. Keep going to let more water overflow and mention how our blessings overflow.
Conversations about blessings can continue by sharing each day how you were blessed and how you blessed someone. Let the explorations be part of family devotions.
Common Questions about Prayer Includes Why Should I Forgive Someone?
Talking about forgiveness is more complex because it involves pain and often more than one person. It’s one of the tough question about prayer that all people wonder. Children feel pain and/or anger when someone hurts them. They don’t naturally want to forgive. It’s easier when they have hurt someone but want that person to still be a friend. That may bring more of a desire to understand forgiveness because they need it.
The Hebrew word for forgive is salaam. It means to lift or remove. consider having a weight on your foot or chest. It can feel heavy and needs to be taken off. So, too, when someone does something wrong they have a weight on them they need moved or lifted off.
Forgiveness is connected to sin, especially the actions and choices of disobeying that hurt people. The Hebrew word for sin is chat and that means to miss orgs wrong. Look t the concept in In Isiah 1:18 where God compares sins to a red stain that he will clean and make white. Forgiveness is a way to erase the pain and start over.
In English forgive contains the words for and give. Forgiveness is a gift we can give. It is for that person but also for the giver. We take. weight off ourself when we forgive, the weight of out emotions. In giving the gift, we reach out to restore our friendship.
We forgive because it makes the friendship better. We forgive because when we do wrong, we want to be forgiven. Most of all we forgive because God forgives us.
Why Does God Take so Long to Answer My Prayer?
This is another common question about prayer, especially when microwaves and cars make it seem that everything happens fast. They don’t have a long history of experience to see how some things take more time or ton understand we are not always ready for what we might like.
Use the difference in looking a few treats to share about the right timing. Pull out ingredients for cookies or bread. Offer that they can have it right away if they just want the ingredients. Thats not as appealing as the finished cooked food will look or taste. Then remind the child that it takes time for some things to cook while apples and grapes are ready fast and foods that only take a minute in the microwave are quick. Just.s different foods take different amounts of time to cook, so too some prayer answers will take more time.
Go beyond that to discuss the right timing. Ask if they think you should tach a baby who isn’t crawling to ride a bicycle. That seems silly but it’s a way to share how the baby doesn’t have the balance or strengthen to do that. God knows when we are ready for prayer answers and when it is not the right timing.
Children will start understanding that we need to trust God’s timing. It doesn’t make it easier but it helps them wait.
What to Do When a Child Asks Questions about Prayer
There are many more questions than the above ones that children ask, so prepare to respond to their curious minds.
When your child ask a question about prayer, let your child know it’s important. Youn understand they want to know more about how prayer works and how to talk with God. If you know the answer, you can talk about it. If you are not sure how to respond, let your child know you want to think about the best way to answer and you will talk about it later. Try to give a time. Write down the question and post it where you will see it.
Look up meanings of words and scriptures that refer to the topic. Search the question online to see how people answer it, especially to find any lessons on the topic. Share what you have learned with your child. If there are hands on activities to do then gather what’s needed and do the activities. That helps children visualize the answer.
Consider the questions as opportunities to grow in faith as a family. You can explore the topic together. Also share stories related to the question. For forgiveness you could share about Jesus forgiving people and also share a story of when someone forgave you. Stories help children understand how faith is put into action. Praying together after exploring questions reinforces the importance of prayer.
Questions Help Minds Grow
Helping to satisfy a child’s curiosity about faith as they ask questions about prayer also helps them grow spiritually. It’s also a time to bond with your child and start on a journey of exploring faith together. Let the questions be a foundation for a lifetime of sharing faith.