Do Kids Pray Stupid Prayers?

My son, looking for answers

by Heather Bock

Mr. C, Little E, and I were having a discussion at the kitchen table, a place where we spend a lot of time since we do a good chunk of our homeschooling there. I was telling them how God had answered a prayer of mine, and He had answered yes. Mr. C remarked that God doesn’t answer his prayers much. I don’t remember how I responded, but I don’t think I did a good job because Mr. C said, “Kids pray stupid prayers! Adults pray good prayers!” After denying that statement, I told him that it’s true that as we grow closer to God, we’re more likely to pray for what God also wants to happen. We might be less likely to pray for an X-Box or other toy that we don’t need.

As I spoke, I was thinking about these verses in I John: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (I Jn. 5:14-15). Yes, God will give us what we ask. Jesus promised this to His disciples in John 16:23-24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” He will give, but the I John passage makes this statement clearer when it adds “according to His will.” Otherwise, He would give my son all his desired $100 Lego sets.

Then, I told a story to Mr. C and Little E. This was a story that featured Little E, a story I knew neither child would remember, as it happened in the summer of 2013, when she was three and a half years old. I posted about it then, but I’ve reposted it here:

One morning during breakfast, Little E was looking at the back of the cereal box as usual and became excited when she discovered that more free books come with other Cheerios boxes.  We already had one, and she wanted the rest of them.  I told her that I couldn’t promise that we would get any more.  A minute later, I heard her praying quietly to God, asking Him for all the books on the back of the cereal box.  When she was done, I told her that it was good she asked God, that He might say no, but it was good to ask Him just in case.  I didn’t think anything more about it, and I didn’t plan to answer her prayer for her.  The next time I went grocery shopping, because of a big sale going on and coupons that I had, I was able to save the most amount of money to buy a bunch of Cheerios boxes, so I did.  Between that trip and one other, we ended up with every single book on the back of that box.  I didn’t plan it, but God answered my daughter’s prayer for books!

I told Mr. C that sometimes God might give us something we don’t need that we ask for just because He loves us and wants to bless us with something we want. Sometimes, too, He might do it to help our faith grow, as He seemed to do with Little E’s prayer when she was three.

I hope both Mr. C and Little E understood from that conversation that their sincere prayers are not stupid and that God doesn’t look at their prayers that way. It is better when we’re praying in line with God’s will instead of for our own selfish desires, but when we don’t know whether we’re praying in His will or not, it’s better to just pray and trust the Giver of good gifts.

P.S. I recently wrote about prayer in Part One and Part Two of “What’s Your Wish List for Your Father God?” if you want more about this topic.

Comment below if you have a story of God answering one of your prayers. I’d love to hear testimonies of His goodness!

Book Giveaway and Bible Winner

I am in the middle of a drawing for a copy of the book Move Toward the Mess by John Hambrick. See my book review here if you are interested in hearing more about the book. Here’s what you need to do to enter my giveaway:

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I will announce the winner this coming Saturday, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!

In addition, I announced the newest winner of The Journal the Word NKJV Bible last Wednesday, but I never heard back from the winner, so the new winner is Naren. Naren, be sure to contact me within a week at heather.bock[at] with your address so I can send you your Bible. Congratulations!


8 thoughts on “Do Kids Pray Stupid Prayers?

  1. I was about 12 when I asked God for something I really wanted and it appeared two weeks later in a Christian bookstore. It was an eagle picture with just the right frame and mat for my room. More importantly, just the right verse – Deuteronomy 33:26 (The Children’s Living Bible version). It hangs above my desk, a constant reminder of God’s promise of majestic help and His provision.

    Liked by 1 person

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