Do You Want Me to Pray for Your Toe?

Lessons I Learned from a Little Boy's Prayer

Tyler, The prayer warrior!

Several years ago my daughter Traci dropped a heavy block of wood on her foot and broke a toe.  The pain was agonizing but there a was a deeper disappointment that drove her to tears.

She had trained to run a half-marathon to benefit Cooper Trooper an organization dedicated to helping the families and siblings of children who have faced life threatening disease.

With her face in her hands Traci sat on the couch sobbing. Then she heard the tiny voice of her three year old son, Tyler.  “You want me to pray for your toe?”   It is hard to hear and sob at the same time so Traci composed herself and asked Tyler to repeat what he had said.  This time he articulated each word loudly and distinctly so his mother would understand.  “DO – YOU – WANT – ME – TO – PRAY – FOR – YOUR – TOE???”

Traci responded, “I would like that very much.”  Tyler bowed his head, and with sincerity only a three year old can express prayed, “Jesus loves me this I know, please help my mommy’s toe……  AMEN!”  Then he went back to playing.

What did I learn from Tyler’s prayer?

Lesson 1

Little hearts are very sensitive to the needs of people around them.  He was genuinely concerned.

Lesson 2

Little people go straight to the heart of the matter.  No religious gobbly-gook…..  “Help my mommy’s toe!”

Lesson 3

Little hearts believe their prayers are heard and will be answered.  No need to hang around. God is going to take care of it.  Might as well get back to Thomas the Train. 

No wonder Jesus loved little children. They really have the biggest hearts of all.  Big people have a lot to learn from them. This was posted almost six years ago but when I saw it today, I had to re-post it.

Have you ever been touched or tickled by a child’s prayer?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear the story. 

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Tyler today
tyler

 

 

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67 thoughts on “Do You Want Me to Pray for Your Toe?

  1. my son was about 7-8 and got in trouble for his blessing..”good food. good meat. good God, let’s eat…” the next day his blessing was “….and thank you God for a sense of humor….” 🙂

    when he was a teen it was my honor to hear my son pray for his widowed mom “God thank you so mych for my mom…”

  2. Your story about a child’s prayer touched me deeply and brought back this memory. . .my niece Amanda was about 3 (maybe 4) and we prayed together about lots of things – by “we” I mean I prayed the words and she listened to me talk to God. One day she told she wanted to pray and listed the thing on her heart. I asked her if she wanted to say the words out loud this time and she said, “No, I don’t know the words to the song.” Surprised I asked, “What song?” She said, “The one you sing when you talk to God.” I know how I pray – I cry out. . .I whine. . .I ask and sometimes beg and when I remember, I include a bit of thanks and praise. Through it all, she heard singing. She’s 22 now and one of my “songs” is gratitude for the gift she is to me.

  3. So, you have to let us know when your daughter is scheduled to run in the marathon so that we can be praying for her toe to heal in time for her to train for it. Is it Oct 15th?

  4. So we were going to eat lunch and my littlest brother and sister are twins so we didn’t teach them the “God is great, God is good” prayer we taught them something like “Thank you Jesus for this Day for this food amen” anyhow when they were 7 my little brother was really starving and sad he wanted to pray so we are like “Okay”. So his prayer was simply “Thanks God” then he started eating. Lol

  5. My 12 year old son came back from Lutherdale Bible camp over the summer and he has a father that hasn’t been active in his life very much. I asked what he learned at camp and he said, “Jesus is my Father too, and He is the father that will never leave me, no matter what! It doesnt matter that daddy isn’t around much, I have another Dad!”
    I will never forget that moment:)

  6. Hi Ken,
    I was in my car driving our 4 year old daughter to Pumpkin Patch, a pre-school for 3-5 year olds.
    All of a sudden I heard sobbing from the backseat. From this little girl in her carseat. I pulled the car over and went in the back seat and hugged her and asked what was wrong. Her response was: Mom, Jesus died on the cross for us. He died for US. So, I immediately started bawling myself and said: Yes He did, Isn’t that wonderful! and hugeed her even tighter.
    She has since started college this fall and is the most amazing Christian Young Woman and continues to challenge me in my walk and faith. I love her so much.

  7. That is adorable. It reminds me of some of the blessings our 6-year old grandson says. Like you said, they go straight to the heart of the matter. Whatever is on his mind at the time, that’s what he prays for (not necessarily the food)… some are hilarious, but all of them definitely ‘interesting.’

  8. Yesterday, while coloring with my young granddaughter, she wanted a particular shade of blue to complete her picture. Out of the huge bin of crayons she had, she just couldn’t find that one crayon that she had used only a few moments ago. I looked, she looked. I then prayed out loud, “Jesus, please help us find that blue crayon”. The very second I finished, she put her hand on that very one-of-a-kind blue crayon! I just looked at her and said “WOW! Jesus sure answered that fast, didn’t He?” She agreed, thanked Jesus quietly, and went on coloring. Isn’t our Lord wonderful?

  9. While babysitting my 3 year old grandson, Luke, he wanted to have a picnic. Well, it was winter, so I asked him where we would have our picnic. He said, right here in the den, Nana. He spread out his blankie, got some goldfish and his juice. As we sat there, I started to eat a goldfish. He said, no Nana, we need to pray first. He took my hands in his little hands and said, “Come Lord Jesus be with us and thank you for our food. AMEN! Now you can eat, Nana. I’ll never forget his little hands holding mine and praying. What a gift that was. I must admit, it brought tears to my eyes.

    • Susan,

      I had to read your comment three times before I realized the goldfish were eating were the cracker kind and not the kind swimming in a bowl.

      Thank you for your touching comment.

      Ken

      • Oh dear Ken … I love your twisted mind .. real goldfish .. that cracked me up.
        It makes me so glad to know that God has also given ME some of that; when I was about 5, I had just watched Peter Pan, and I wanted pixie dust. So I ordered .. ORDERED God to give me pixie dust, and I specified it must be there for me next morning “right under my pillow” (verbatim).
        Well, God also mercifully blessed me with a short attention span because when I saw there was no pixie dust under my pillow or anywhere else, I promptly forgot to be mad at God, and went outside to play on the swings or whatever I did .. I can’t remember. 🙂

  10. My first born son was about 1 to 2 years old. He was in his car seat in the back of our Honda. We had been teaching him words like “light” and “no” and “yes”. I also taught him “one way” which was his first two word combo. One late afternoon I was driving in my old neighborhood and saw an old girlfriend. I pulled over and started talking with her. By the way I am married too. My old girlfriend invited me over to her apartment and knew what for…. as she asked are you coming? My son blurted out “ONE WAY”! At that point I was reminded and ministered to by my one year old son that there is only one way!
    By the way, when he became a teenager I kept reminding him that there is only “one way”.

  11. My family loves to share this story of my older sister giving the blessing of our evening meal by simply stating “Jesus Christ this food is good!”

  12. This one is just kind of cute…last summer my six year old son went on a day-long drive with his aunts to Amish country. That night as he was saying his prayers, he prayed “dear God, please help the Amish to get electricity.”

  13. My grandson Christian is the same way when someone is hurt or upset. My husband was using our Mandolin slicer and cut his finger. As he was sitting at the table with pressure on it he mentioned that it was really going to hurt tomorrow. Christin looked at him and said well grandpa you know what to do about that so it won’t. He then came over and placed his hands on my husbands head and very simply asked God to make grandpa’s finger heal fast and not hurt. My husband and I were amazed as that finger immediately stopped hurting and bleeding and didn’t hurt as it healed. As adults we lose that child like belief that when we ask it can be immediately granted.
    He is also a great example at restaurants and places we go to eat. It doesn’t matter who is around or where we are he asks about saying prayers before we eat. A little child shall lead them. They are a great reminder to us of what it means when Jesus says to have the faith of a child.
    Once the boys were praying with me for someone who was very sick when we were having breakfast. At lunch I had started to ask for healing for her in my prayer and Christian said grandma that’s already been taken care of so why are praying about that? Ah the wonderful faith of children is such a blessing.

  14. At the end of each week’s lesson, Alpha Dude leads those little Alpha Sprouts in a closing prayer. Only one night was different. We had just finished the lesson on “Why and How Do I Read the Bible?” One young fellow raised his hand and had a very urgent question. He asked if he could pray. I explained that we did that last week (during “Why and How Do I Pray?”).

    No. He wanted to do the closing prayer.

    As I glanced over my shoulder to the Sprouts Director, I said, “We’ve never done that before” (I’ve been the Alpha Dude for three and a half years, and no Sprout has ever asked to lead the closing prayer).

    The Director gave me the nod that said this would be okay, so that one little boy led the entire group, the Alpha Sprouts and all the teachers (and Alpha Dude, too) in the closing prayer.

    He was awesome.

    Just as Alpha Dude had taught them, all the Sprouts stretched their arms outward to the side, then CLAPPED them together, palms together, ready to pray. As this fellow folded his hands together, everyone closed their eyes and bowed their heads in respect for God, he buried his face in his folded hands and the room fell silent.

    His prayer went something like this…..

    “Dear God! Thank you for giving us the Bible and for giving us your Word and for teaching us to respect it. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for us so we can be with you forever. Thank you for all the Sprouts and the teachers and keep them all safe. God Bless you. I love you. In JESUS NAME……..”

    And he waited for everyone in the room to help him finish by shouting, “A-MEN!!”

    Like I said, this has never happened in Alpha Sprouts before. I feel honored and blessed to be able to see the Glory of God poured out and radiating from one six year old little boy.

  15. It was my daughter’s turn to pray at supper one night. She was about thirteen and a little nervous when out of her mouth came, “Eeenie meenie minie mo …” She was mortified! But not missing a beat one of us chimed in and prayed, “Bless this food and help us grow!” What followed was a conversation about how much God loves us, quirks and all, and even though she really meant to be serious, though she was embarrassed, God also appreciates our sense of humor. After all he gave us joy and laughter!

  16. While volunteering at Salvation Army’s after school program, we prayed in a circle. The
    requests in one day were: “help my daddy not to
    hit my mommy anymore” and “make my Dad not go back to prison.”

  17. Please pray for my son Daniel. He is 11. I am a single Mom as I’ve mentioned before. He is struggling right now. Momma doesn’t quite know what else she can do for him. I have tried everything I can think of to encourage him in the right way. Pray for wisdom & understanding & patience for me and him please.

    Thanks
    Misty

  18. When my oldest granddaughter was 3 or 4, she was sitting at the table coloring. Suddenly she sat back and held up a crayon. Her mommy asked what she was doing. She said, “I’m coloring with God. And it’s His turn.”

    She waited a while and her look of expectancy turned to disappointment. Her mommy explained that God doesn’t usually do things like color.

    She accepted that, then a light went on in her little head. “I know what game I can play with God! Hide and seek!” She hopped down from her chair an off she went. In a couple minutes she was back. Her mommy asked how it went. She reported with a sigh, “He found me right away.”

    I was so touched by this when my daughter told me about it. I could picture my granddaughter, crouched under a table or in some nifty hiding place, then having that awareness that there is no place to run or hide from God. He is everywhere. She didn’t see any great spiritual implication in this, but I sure did.

  19. My daughter was at band camp. If that doesn’t create a mental image of its own… Picture all of the campers huddeled in the basement of the dorm during a tornado. This is what happened in Manhattan, Kansas, June 11, 2008 at Kansas State University. A tornado had touched down in Chapman, Kansas. It was headed for Junction City. My husband- a full time career firefighter for the Junction City Fire Department was headed to Chapman. The sirens were now going off in Junction City. My daughter Laura was in Manhattan, Kansas at band camp. I was struggling to keep my emotions together. Not only was the weather out of my control but my family was scattered. Nothing seemed right. I was in tears and fear was overtaking me when my 9 year old son said mom I’m going to pray for Laura. He folded his hands and was silent for a few minutes. I stared at him. I could not believe his calm in the midst of this unbelievable storm. He said, If I die tonight it’s ok. I know that I lived a good life. I prayed for Laura, people I like and people that I don’t like- that they would be safe. I know that everything will be ok. With that I stopped crying and also began to pray. The tornado took at least two lives in Chapman, Kansas that night. It traveled along I-70 over Junction City and right through Manhattan and the Kansas State University campus. Trees were uprooted, cars and homes were destroyed. Moore Hall, where Laura was staying, stood tall with limited damage. All the students that night were safe!!!

  20. When putting my six year old son Jonathan to bed, he told me, “I’ve got a great idea Mom!”

    “What is it, Jon?”
    “I want to have a party for God!”
    “That’s great, Jon, but it’s time to pray. Do you want to pray about it?”
    “No. I want it to be a surprise!”

    Jon went on to describe the party and how we could sing songs about loving God. Sweet boy. Just turned ten. Pulled this story from my journal of favorite kid memories.

  21. When my son was about 3 years old we were talking about Jesus. He knew many of the bible stories. He knew about heaven. He had made a decision that he wanted to go to heaven when he died and not to the place with the lake of fire. Our bedtime routine was to say our prayers and sing songs. One night I asked Austin if he wanted to pray to ask Jesus into his heart. He looked at me and shook his head NO. He was horrified. When I asked him why not, he said,”Jesus couldn’t breath in there!”

  22. Years ago, we were gathering shoes for the Shoes for Orphan Soles program. It came time to pray for the people who would receiving the shoes, and a 3 year old little boy prayed (this was in front of the whole children’s church). “Dear God, I pray for all the kids who don’t have boots and their feet are cold. Bless these boots.” He’s in 5th grade now and still very compassionate!

  23. Me and my daughter were reading the story in the Bible when Jesus turns the water into wine at the wedding feast. After reading we began to pray and my daughter says, “And Jesus, when my daddy gives me orange juice in the morning will you turn it into Pepsi?”

    Thank you, Ken, for your sensitive insight on life!

  24. Earlier this year, my father had a very complicated, very risky surgery far from home…. but never recovered. During that time that I was away from my family, my husband relayed that my 4 year old son prayed one night, “God, please help Grandpa’s belly to feel better….oh, and he’ll need a really big band-aid. Amen.” After dad passed away, we had a talk with our son that Grandpa was in heaven with Jesus, where he’d never get sick again. A few days later, I heard him talking to my 3 year old. “Grandpa’s in heaven with Jesus and he’s AAAALLLLLLLL better and he’s SOOOOOOOOO happy!” Oh the faith and trust of a child….I’ve learned a lot from that little guy…

  25. I LOVE it!!! Thank you! You know, so many times when I am praying for someone, I am not sure what to pray. Not so much because I don’t know how to ask God, but because sometimes you pray and those you are praying with or for are not satisfied. Either you were too wishy-washy (“You didn’t claim the healing that God had for them.”) or you were too name-it-and-claim-it. It has become hard to pray for people. Thank you for the reminder that simpler is better.

  26. My 5 year old son’s Sunday School teacher says she will never forget him praying in class for his (own personal vine) tomato “to hurry up and turn red so he could pick it”, only to have his baby sister do it while he was not around one day. He was so disappointed! Time then for a lesson on forgiveness!

  27. My youngest son is 4 years old, and at his night-time prayer a few days ago, he melted my heart. After going through everyone in the entire family he could think of at the time and thanking God for them, he finished up with, “oh, and I’m sorry God that you had to die for us. Amen.” It reminded me how I often ask God for so much and take for granted the biggest gift he could have ever given me… His son.

  28. I was touched by my son’s question and reply a few days after praying a prayer of salvation. He was 6 years old and we were out on a walk. Three times he asked me if Jesus had sweaty hands. (as a child he had a sweaty palm problem.
    Each time, I responded, “No.” Finally I asked why he wanted to know. “Because,” he responded slowly wiping his sweaty palms on his jeans, “when Jesus comes to get me and take me to heaven, I wouldn’t want to slip from his sweaty hand and fall back to earth.”

  29. A friend told me a story of a child she knew who was around 2 or 3 years old. At that age, children are learning so much, so quickly, that sometimes things get a little confused. They’d been working on things like letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. At night, when the parents put their little one to bed, they listened as he carefully said his prayers. “Now I lay me down to…three, four.” 😉

  30. When my youngest son was about 5 we had invited another church in our association to join our choir for our Christmas Cantata. We had presented the music for our church and after a meal we were going to present it for their congregation. I was helping to prepare food in the kitchen when I heard my son ask the Pastor if he could say grace. The Pastor agreed and Patrick began saying grace. Just a few seconds into the prayer though he became stumped on what he should say. The Pastor whispered to him to just say what was on his heart. When he continued his prayer he prayer I pledge alligance to the flag, praying the entire pledge of allegiance. I was ready to hide under a counter at the time but recently the Lord reminded me of this prayer and I realized that maybe we should all recite the pledge as our prayer for our country

  31. Many years ago, almost 40, my son was about 3 or 4 and we raised pigs. There was an incident in the pen and one of the piglets was stepped on by mama pig. We brought it in the house to see to it. Poor thing was in extremis (sp), rattling breathing, etc. My son was very worried by this. I told him he could pray for the pig. He ran down the hall to his room, slammed the door and I heard him holler, “Please God, heal my pig”! Wouldn’t you know it, that little pig was dying and then it was healed. :o)

  32. My Daughter in Law is having a baby boy in April. Her 3 year old daughter, my grand daughter, was praing before bed. She’s still learning to pray on her own, so I usually ‘get her started’. Dear Jesus, please bless mommy, and daddy… Who else do you want to ask Jesus to bless? She said, they guy with the box. Now I had no idea what she was talking about, but I encouraged her to go ahead and ask then. She said, Jesus, please bless the man with the box. he needs a real home. Amen.

    I later found out that, while at a freeway off ramp, my grand daughter noticed a man with a cardboard box on the side of the freeway and asked her mommy why he was carrying that dirty box around. My daughter in law explained that that was the man’s home, that he didn’t have a real house, like we do.

    Apparently, my grand daughter was moved to prayer, even nine hours later.

    Footnote: The man had been seen at that same off ramp for the last four years that I know of. Within a week, he was never seen there again.

  33. I work in the children’s class in a ministry at my church called Reformers Unanimous International, where we help give people who struggle with addictions the Biblical help that is necessary in their lives. The program establishes 10 principles that tell you how God can set you free from your struggle (in the children’s class we call them Principle Palls) and the very first one is, “If God is for it, so am I!” Well, we have a very smart 3 year old, Olivia, who comes very consistently, and for a few weeks we tried establishing the principle until she had it semi-memorized in her little head. One week we were playing “kitchen” and when we sat down to “eat” our food, she said, “I’m gonna pray, ok?” and at first, she started saying, “1, 2, 3…..oh wait that’s not it!” 🙂 after we giggled she proceeded to pray again, this time stating, “If God is for it, so am I!!” With the biggest smile on her face! Such a precious thing a child is! 🙂

  34. My favorite prayer ever my son did after a difficult night between the two of us. He was 6 at the time and knelt down to pray saying,
    “Well…God, She’s not happy tonite. Please take the mad out of her. Amen”

  35. I have a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl, who in the last 6 months, they wanted to say grace before diner. They usually fight over who says it, so they both say grace now. Talk about a double blessing.

    Recently I started praying with them before bed. I’d tuck them in and lay down next to them and ask if they would like to pray, or they want me to pray for them.
    So Georgia my 3 year old has a crack at it. She started off ‘Thank you Father for the food,’ stops, opens her eyes and says, ‘not the food, we’re not eating…… Unless you have icecream.’
    So every time she starts her prayer now, goes ‘Thank you Father for the food, Not the food.’ Like it’s herds, daddy’s and God’s little game. Very cute.

  36. Recently at my niece’s school, during prayer time she asked for prayer for her Grandma’s kidneys. The sweet little gal who offered the prayer heard the request as “Grandma’s kittens” and prayed that “Grandma’s kittens would grow up strong and healthy.” Lol! Still applicable!

  37. Thank you. my only comment> many years ago when i was doing home health, i was a nurse, i had just bought my first tape of you. do not remember what you said on the tape but my son and i were listening as i drove down the highway. the two of us got to laughing so hard i had to pull over and my son who was also laughing hard reached over and punched the tape out. we agreed that it was dangerous to listen to you in the car and we would wait until we got home to finish it. when i die i would wish you to give a talk at my funeral. God is so great to have given you to the world.

  38. My grandson has the same type of heart. He is 7 and so very compassionate.. I have a scanner and when we hear of an accident he often suggest that we pray for the person or people in the accident.. He is just so sweet. He never fails to encourage us to pray at meal time when we are out to lunch or dinner.
    I have a problem with my hand and he has been tying my shoes and he never finishes without asking if they are tight enough. He is truly a disciple for our Lord.

  39. When my son was younger, he would always start his prayers “Thank you for the Lord.” and then he would go on with the rest of his prayer. It always touched my heart that he was thanking God for being Himself.

  40. My son was maybe 4 when he came into the kitchen to tell me he had just asked Jesus into his heart.The first thing he did was lead the little neighbor boy in the prayer on our front porch. (this little boy is still walking with the Lord). We raised pigs and one of the newborns got stepped on so I had it in the house tending to it. I was concerned it wouldn’t make it and my son eas upset. I said we should pray for it even tho I knew it was a gonner. He went running down the hall to his room, slammed the door and yelled at the top of his voice…..Please God heal my pig!…..and by golly that pig lived.

  41. My great-neice was showing her grandma and grandpa through her new house. Avery is four, and she thought it would be a good idea to have the new house blessed, so she called Jesus on her phone and had each person talk to Him. Her belief and innocence is so moving. Makes you want to call Jesus more often!

  42. I sure have been touched by aittle child! Our youngest son, Jeremy was only three years old when our oldest son, Rob was killed in a motorcycle accident, after being married for only 2 months and 6 days. Not only did rob leave a widow behind but she was also pregnant. Jeremy in his child like Faith, spoke many words of encouragement to me during that time of grieving! I wish I had written down the things he said and the prayers he prayed for us and especially for me, but I didn’t. Now after almost 21 years I have forgotten the words, but they were so dear to me. It taught me so much about what my Faith should be. It’s like you said they pray, believe the Lord will answer and go on with what they were doing or playing. I thank the Lord for sending me so much help and encouragement at that very difficult time, through the mouth of a young child. Today our sons daughter, which he never saw, is 21 years old and also married. What a story this life has been!

  43. He looks like you grandpa, Ken. We enjoyed your humor/ministry at the Celebrate Your Marriage
    Conference at Mackinaw Island recently. We appreciate all of those who support you behind the scenes as well. Have a blessed weekend.

  44. My middle son, Justin, was asked to take a turn thanking the Lord for the food. As he began, other things to be thankful for entered his mind, and he continued praying as they came to his attention. When he began being grateful for the house and its useful features, like “doors and windows,” Mom suggested he talk to the Lord about those after we had eaten.