May 27, 2018

Teach Kids About Unanswered Prayer

Benji is 5 1/2.  He celebrates two birthdays annually, one for the whole number and one for the half fraction. When he figures out there are multiple fractions, we will be in trouble.

I'm concerned for Benji because he has a lot of worries going on and he's too private or shy to address them. So they simmer. Then they blow. But there is a type that doesn't blow, it simmers and comes to a rolling boil of anxiety we know nothing about. Or so I suspect.

In the past, he has learned that a genuine promise from an adult he trusts still might not come true. I can see him mentally walking a tightrope determining if what I say could possibly fail. And I just want to hug him.

His other grandma, "Gammy" and I were going on a cruise together just over a year ago and Benji was disturbed that Gammy was going to fall overboard, never to return.  We insisted that would not happen, we promised she would return. She didn't fall overboard, but she didn't return, either, due to a fatal car crash. I look back and wonder why he knew she wasn't returning, he was very adamant about her falling overboard. Maybe because she limped. That makes sense. But there's a part of me that thinks he has some spiritual insight and that would explain the extreme worry.

So he's turned 5 1/2 and he has discovered another BIG worry in life.  Not only do adults make promises that can remain unfulfilled, but God Himself can be shaky.  He can decide NOT to give you what you pray for.

Kids assume if you teach them to pray, that God will answer their requests exactly as requested. Isn't it odd that I never thought about this.

He and I prayed the other day and subsequently I mentioned how much fun it will be IF God gives us what we asked for - I think it was that his daddy would come home early. Benji was stunned. He narrowed his eyes at me and said, "But we prayed for it, so God will do it."  Then I saw every failed tenet on playback in his brain.

Now I was the surprised one.  Really?  We never taught him about unanswered prayer?

We then discussed it. Benji was concerned at first, then he saw some benefit of a God who can see the future and not give us what we ask for.

I'm over-thinking our encounter. I fear I have burdened him even more. Look at me -- worrying about his worrying. Join me?

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