Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

When A Child Prays

Franciscan University of Steubenville has a great culture of prayer. After each Mass, everyone kneels for a few moments of prayer. The sanctuary is completely silent as congregants exist as living tabernacles. It’s a practice that my family continues to practice.

Last week, when the Mass had ended, we knelt down together. Alison instructed Lucy, our 3-year-old, to pray the St. Michael prayer. Lucy stood right next to me as she said the words. It wasn’t perfect, but she hit the high notes. At that moment, I felt the power of her prayer. Here was a small child, praying one of the most powerful prayers in the Catholic lexicon, sending evil fleeing.

There was more to it than that. As she prayed, the focus of her mind was clear. She stood, hanging on to the pew, methodically pulling the words from her memory.

In His ministry, Jesus again and again highlighted the faith of children. When the adults discount their worth or tried to push them out of the picture, Christ pulled them in close. Why?

When a child prays, they do it simply. They don’t have an agenda, they surrender to the moment and to the weight of the words. They don’t try to come up with a better prayer or a fancier verse, they adhere to the simplicity that is given to them. They approach God openly and innocently, as they are.

Adults would do well to learn to pray as children do. We would experience the richness of faith that comes when we enter prayer with a simple trust.