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7 hilarious prayers that (my) children say
My daughters top seven prayers may have elicited some laughter, but they convey fundamental truths about prayer that have changed my perspective. - photo by Amy Osmond Cook
You, mother, father! Teach your children how to pray, admonished Pope Francis in his weekly catechesis on the family in Vatican City. By finding time to pray, we give time back to God, rediscover peace in the important things, and discover the joy in unexpected gifts.

I sincerely believe that praying is a direct line to God and that He wants to hear from us. But, lets be honest sometimes my prayers get a little stale. The same cannot be said for my four daughters, who have taught me how to pray from the heart with their sincere, albeit slightly off-topic prayers. Here are the top seven prayers that my girls have said and have taught me a lot about praying in the process.

Please bless that I can save people ... because Im a spy. Maia, age 3

This prayer occurred after hours of playing spy with her brother, Jacob. I first thought that she had the heart of a saint in her desire to save people from sin by proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel. But, instead, she was having a hard time drawing the line between fact and fantasy.

What I learned: Our desires should be selfless, regardless of what our reality looks like.

Please bless that we will be nice ... and wont tie up our families in the living room. Jenny, age 3

Again, I thought this prayer was very sweet until it derailed in the middle of the sentence. This prayer occurred after my husband and I inadvertently let Jenny watch an action flick that was obviously too mature for her. But rather than complain, she internalized it and prayed that it would never happen to us.

What I learned: If youre worried about something, pray about it. Any worry is meaningful to God.

Please bless that we can have fun at Disneyland and Seaworld. Hailey, age 3

This prayer is not hilarious in and of itself the comedy came after listening to the same prayer for 365 days of the year. Thats right Hailey prayed every single day that we would go to Disneyland. And after about nine months of waiting, we went.

What I learned: Persistence pays off.

Please bless that we will be safe and funny. Hailey, age 4

This, to me, was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hailey prayed for about a year that wed be safe and funny. Im not sure whether I was given much funny, but I was safe and she was certainly funny enough for the both of us.

What I learned: Pray for the inner qualities you desire.

Please bless that well close our eyes during the prayer, Hailey. Lizzy, age 8

As the second oldest sister and resident boss of the little kids, Lizzy is mature beyond her years. Its not often that our house is quiet and everyone is listening to one person. The one exception is prayer time. So Lizzy took the opportunity to educate her sister about prayer ... during the prayer. The result? Hailey closed her eyes.

What I learned: Timing is everything.

Please bless that when its one persons turn to say the prayer, the other person doesnt say it. Jenny, age 7

Following her sisters lead, Jenny took the opportunity to educate her little sister, Hailey, about prayer etiquette. But rather than taking a direct approach, she opted for something more subtle. She hoped that Hailey would learn from Jennys wisdom and understand that the other person was, indeed, Hailey. The result? Hailey kept interrupting Jennys prayer with a prayer of her own.

What I learned: Be direct.

How are you doing? Are you having a good day? Lizzy, age 6

This prayer made me laugh at first. How sweet (and worthy of a chuckle) to ask God how His day was going. Wasnt He beyond having a bad day, after all? But the more I reflected on this simple prayer, the more I realized that this is something I need to do in my own worship. I need to remember that God is real, that I can talk with Him, and that He can actually communicate with me.

What I learned: Prayer is a conversation. Remember theres someone on the other end of the line.

My daughters top seven prayers may have elicited some laughter, but they convey fundamental truths about prayer that have changed my perspective. If my prayers are focused on selfless desires; if they are heartfelt, persistent, sincere, relevant, and direct; and if they are spoken with the desire to receive answers, then they will be more meaningful and yield the peace, happiness and communion we all seek.
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