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The Secret World of Children’s Prayers

Amanda Tipton Photography

Dear God, please help my prayers be a fraction as pure as theirs.

“If I played Minecraft, could that be a prayer?”  he asked.  “Sure.  If you offer it up to God, and play Minecraft for His glory,” I said.  “But,” I hastened to add, “you wouldn’t offer something bad to God, right?  You’d offer him the best you can do.  So if you were playing Minecraft before your chores were done, that wouldn’t be a good prayer.”  I knew where this was going.

“What about riding my bike?”  he asked.  Biking was his new favorite skill.  “Yup.  I know God would love to get a prayer like that from you- provided your chores were done and you had shoes on.”  He smirked at me and looked at his bare feet.

Later that afternoon, the kids were playing outside while I attempted to instill order onto the whirlwind of our house.  From the open windows, I could hear my five year old’s voice, coming from the cul de sac:  “This bike ride’s for you, God!” and the image of a small boy- with shoes on- straining his legs against the pedals of his bike, whipping past that house at remarkable speed became my prayer.

“God, thank you for this glimpse into the prayers of my children.  Please help my prayers be a fraction as pure as theirs.”

Cari Donaldson is the author of Pope Awesome and Other Stories: How I Found God, Had Kids, and Lived to Tell the Tale. She married her high school sweetheart, had six children with him, and now spends her days homeschooling, writing, and figuring out how to stay one step ahead of her child army. She blogs about faith and family life at

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