Question: So what do they say to a God they don't understand? What do they ask Him for?
Answer: When children are little they are learning about our God, who He is, and why we Love Him. They are watching, listening and learning all we teach them. There comes a time in each of their lives where He reveals Himself to them and they desire to live for God instead of themselves. I often tell the children. "Remember, you won't be getting to heaven on Mommas reservation. Everyone has to have their own reservation/relationship with God." It's not about recited prayers it's about relationship. I believe that we must be on vigilant guard to make sure that our children aren't learning the motions of something and never developing the conviction (relationship) of why they do something. Also keep in mind that God reveals Himself to each of us right where we are. My understanding of God when I was seven is much different than it is today. Does that mean that I didn't know who God was or have a real relationship with Him? No, it means that I understood him to the best of my ability at that time in my life. As I grew and matured so did my relationship with God. I am reminded of Paul's words, "When I was a child I behaved as a child.." I would encourage you to keep setting the example of prayer as an extension of your relationship. God will show you how to reach their hearts and reward your faithful effort to teach them of His commandments.
You might want to consider the following activity. We have done this over the years to help the children consider what they want to pray about. We have also talked about and studied the "Lord's Prayer" and discussed how to apply it to our daily prayer life. It's also a passage the children have memorized.
Write this on a board and then discuss the importance of each step in prayer. Share the verses that go along with each word as well. You can find passages by doing a word search using your Strong's concordance. For Adoration use the word worship. After you've been teaching them the meaning of the word and the scripture behind it then ask them to give you a few suggestions. We've even taken old magazines and had the children do a collage cutting and gluing pictures out of magazines for the things they want to thank Him or ask Him for and then draw pictures of other things such as items they are confessing or reasons they love Him.
The ACTS of prayer:
Adoration- worship: a feeling of profound love and admiration (tell God that you love Him) Have the children write down all the reasons why they love God
Confession- an admission of misdeeds or faults (admit to God our sin and ask for forgiveness) Have children write down what they are asking God to forgive them for
Thanksgiving- giving of thanks (telling God thank you for everything!) Have the children write down all the things they are thankful for
Supplication- to ask humbly and earnestly (ask God for His help for us and others) Have children write down all the requests they have for God.
I hope this helps. Thank you again for writing. Please know that I pray for you often!
With much Love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood