Want a lesson in honesty and openness, and spirituality? Hang around a young child. Children can be so much more natural in their approach to God in prayer. In this video, United Methodist kids from Silver Spring United Methodist Church in Maryland share their deepest concerns and personal prayer requests. And they show us the way, as the Rev. Tanya Eustace of The United Methodist Church's Discipleship Ministries explains: "They approach the Holy, hands wide open, saying 'Here I am, God. How are we going to journey together?' And I think that's such an important gift that children have, that we need to honor and respect and encourage."
(Locator: Silver Spring, MD)
(Voice of Teacher) What kind of things do you pray for?
(Kids respond) Mmm…uh…um..For uh…like.
William:I pray to God and I thank Him for this day and things like that…”
Nora prays: Dear God, thank you for this day…
The Rev. Tanya Eustace: We believe in a relational God, somebody who wants to know about what’s going on in our lives and wants us to feel like we can communicate. And so through prayer, we share our joys, our concerns, our innermost desires, and really build that relationship with our Creator.
Chelsea: I pray for my brother, my mom, my dad.
Ellis: I pray for myself when I am stressed out.
Nora: If I am having trouble in school.
Christopher: I can’t even name them all.
(Voice of the Rev. Tanya Eustace) By teaching children that it’s okay to be real and honest in our prayers, we’re saying no matter what happens, God is with you.
Ellis: God will always try to make what you prayed for happen.
Sarah: You can help poor people when you pray.
(Voice of Christopher) These are all the people I pray for.
Chelsea: But I might need more paper because I pray for a lot of people.
Grace: I pray for peace on Earth and for God to bless every living creature.
Audrey: Enough food for everybody to share.
Nora: It’s easier to talk to God because you know he’s listening and you feel a little more comfortable about that.
Scarlett: I’ve learned that all my prayers will come true, but I just have to believe.
(Voice of the Rev. Tanya Eustace) Children bring tools of wonder, awe, and imagination. And they approach the Holy, hands wide open, saying “Here I am, God. How are we going to journey together?” And I think that’s such an important gift that children have, that we need to honor and respect and encourage.
Ellis: Always be good, always have peace all around. Amen.
(Voice of Teacher) Thank you, Ellis.
(Voice of Ellis) You’re welcome.
This video was first posted in May, 2015.