My twelve-year-old daughter recently expressed difficulty in praying. You never prepare yourself for what you are going to say in these situations, so I told her to keep it real simple and short. I told her to try the following:
Father, we love you and thank you for being our God. Please help me with __________ .
I wanted her to focus on who God is (Father) and that we need to start our prayers with gratitude and recognition. Then, I wanted her to focus on a specific request and ask God to help her with it. Her problem, and mine often times, is that her prayers are too generic. Discovering how God answers our prayers is much easier when you have a specific situation you are needing help with. Asking God to give me a good day tomorrow is harder to track than something specific such as, “Help me approach my role as parent with graciousness and love.” Those were the only two guidelines that I gave her. Address God properly, praise him, and make a request.
What do you think? Do I have my theology mixed up? Am I giving my daughter false ideas of who God is? Or, have I given her a decent starting point to a more effective prayer life. Maybe I should try this for myself.
Father, you have answered so many of my prayers and I thank you. Please help me to have a more consistent and meaningful prayer life. Amen
I will let you know how this prayer turned out.