10 SEC READ: Prayers and children

Illustration by Ken Crane

EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > Dios en la vida real
EM PORTUGUES, CLICAR AQUI > Deus na vida real


A protestant priest, having started a family, no longer had any peace for his prayers. One night, when he knelt down, he was disturbed by the children in the living room.

"Have the children keep quiet!" he shouted.

His startled wife obeyed. Thereafter, whenever the priest came home, they all maintained silence during prayers. But he realized that God was no longer listening.

One night, during his prayers, he asked the Lord: "what is going on? I have the necessary peace, and I cannot pray!"

An angel replied: "He hears words, but no longer hears the laughter. He notices the devotion, but can no longer see the joy."

The priest stood and shouted once again to his wife: "Have the children play! They are part of prayer!"

And his words were heard by God once again.

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  1. Marie-Christine says:

    and chil dren are nerds remember so …
    Become a member.
    ah ah ah :)

  2. tata says:

    Yes indeed: the laughter of children is the smile of God and the crying of children is the rage of God :)

  3. Zynab says:

    I’ve recived once a mail about letters from children to God.
    All of them were innocent and as clear as the sky.
    Here are some letters:
    1-“Dear God, Please be in the Church this Sunday, I want to show you my new shoes!”
    2- “Dear God, I think of you even when I’m not Praying.”

    Childre are so close of God, their spirits are well- connected with him.

    Children’s Hearts are like clear mirrors, very clean and not polluted with the dusts of life, so you can see God clearly in their eyes..

    Endless Love,


  4. jessica says:

    ‘Dear God, moves us tonight……’

    As the prayer goes…….

    How do we pray if our mind is not quiet or disturbed by outside noise? Difficult to focus….no?

    How do we hear, if our ears are flooded by outside noise?

    How do we rejoice, if we are disturbed by minor thing?

    Get the kids to pray with us?

  5. Mark says:

    Calling the Divine
    By so many names…Ha-Ha
    One I love the most…
    My God did we laugh
    That delicious vibration
    Is Your Very Voice…
    Laugher is total
    You are present and beyond

  6. azulito says:

    Los niños son una bendición y sus gritos son una gran oración…alguien decia por ahi…”miralos hasta parecen adultos…

  7. Shine says:

    Sweet :). Thanks Paulo. You are a guiding light.

  8. helen says:

    very nice. My bestfriend, a Carmelite contemplative novice, told me that the “noise” in prayer does not come from outside. It’s actually from the inside…

    1. avs says:

      true.. agree w/ ur bestfriend :)

    2. helen says:

      i do. i am so full of noise myself. haha.

    3. satish says:

      U R Very right, the karma (dos/don’ts) we do keeps us away from attaining that state.

    4. helen says:

      people in cloisters do have an advantage admittedly. but that does not really give me an excuse not to do my best to foster the interior silence that illuminates life itself…

  9. amanda malinka says:

    In all this I read mine own reflection back…And after a day of destruction I can sleep now with a smile..It is not for nothing…My wish is to write also things that inspire and that a get the protection that if people give reactions on that am strong enough to handle there emotions and also my own..Your road was a difficult one. But I wanna say thank you cause it inspires me also…Amanda

    1. amanda malinka says:

      This part schould not stand here but above by the warriors of light…I thought you got to give a reaction under…

  10. annita says:

    Los niños pequeños reflejan como están los adultos

  11. Marie-Christine says:

    Qu’est ce que je vois?
    Un homme avec une barbe blanche , assis sur le fauteuil vert, tranquille comme Baptiste avec un gros sourire , il est au septieme ciel.Il mange.. pas des pretzels,non non, il jongle un peu. En haut, au-dessus de la tete il y a un burger ring.
    Il est relaxe. C’est une bonne soiree. Assis devant la tele, il y a le programme mondial recycle- tout est similaire – mis en vedette.
    Il regarde la serie “Adam & Eve”. Rien n’a change depuis les premiers livres. C’est un livre ouvert – tout se “lit” en regardant les images – UNE REFLECTION DU MONDE – Pas tres jojo. Pas besoin de changer de chaines. Elles sont toutes les memes – “Operation a coeur ouvert” La terreur seme.

    Heureusement les anges sont la pour veiller sur nous et nous informer de l’etat de la terre et de nos droits.
    Y a du travail a faire.
    “Bonne nuit les petits.”

    Merci Ken et Paulo.

    1. katie says:

      hihi. just waiting for it. great, Marie-Christine.

  12. Marie-Christine says:

    The old man in the sky –
    A window into our world
    Where men rule the world
    It will be nice to know how much money is being spent on trying to unfold the causes of all these happenings they are showing us ad nauseum such as:

    – wars – who start them in the first place?
    – drugs – who introduce them in the first place?
    – garbage shown on tv (stress-related domestic – portrayed as being a daily-occurence -)
    Take your pick, it is the same all around the world with the same faces over and over, running investigations about people being murdered. why do we need to know all that? I am asking who is increasing the rates of these murdered people.Who is putting ideas into minds?
    – speeding – showing us the way with the ads

    I am asking what is the responsibility of the media in all that?

    Cancer (one example)- smoking causes cancer – so what is being done about that?
    We are urging people to stop smoking.
    However, in this case (this is considered as taking your rights (you are free, remember?) So, we , as a Government cannot do much about that, except warning you to be cautious) – we call that an “advertising campaign” – in the meantime we do you a favor, we will increase the prices of cigarettes.
    Who introduced the cigarettes in the first place?

    Is not it about time an education program be started about that.

  13. ishita says:

    hi again.
    very true.
    children are directly connected with the god.
    for they are his creation. the one who are not yet spoiled by the trials and tribulations of the world.
    their pure soul and innocent heart won even the god forever.

    lovely thought.

    1. Montse says:

      Siento lo mismo… Cada vez que los miro.

  14. kathy ahearn says:

    prayer needs to come from the heart not the mind..i think he was trying too hard. when his childrens noise, laughter, and shouts came back..he could not think so clearly. the heart does not have to think only feel. my prayer is that my heart gets so filled with the love of God that it breaks open!

  15. Deixai vir a mim as criancinhas porque taes é o reino de DEUS

  16. cez says:

    My five-year-old comes with me to church to hear mass. Once in a while, our parish priest reprimands him for inappropriate behavior in church. He has learned to obey and be more disciplined. There is a balance between our natural behavior, and controlling that behavior to please God. It is not a bad lesson for children (and adults) to learn.

    I know that’s not the lesson in the story. I just wanted to share it because I think it’s important.

  17. katie says:

    a little despot, this priest.
    & god knows how to best get a piece of chocolate into the mouth.

  18. dominique wiche says:

    The way we act is the true prayer that is heard in Heaven…

  19. Kirsty says:

    Laughter makes God happy and the more he hears, the more peaceful this world will be.

  20. aksh says:

    We are all children of God !

    Prayer is laughter, prayer is tears, prayer is joy, prayer is sadness,

    that is prayer which does not leave you, no matter what.

    Lovingly raising children is the most complete completion of wisdom there can be !


    1. kathy ahearn says:

      amen..we are CHILDREN of God. when he silenced the children he silenced himself as well.

  21. l.near says:

    i don’t understand why we need to have different forms of prayer when we are praying to only one God? if he knows our intensions then it is needless to ask him for if it is not good for us hewon’t grant our wishes.

  22. Julian Bates says:

    Also, I suppose, it is the notion that it is through and in ‘discomfort’ and ‘noise’, that we have to find Inner Peace and Stillness, for this is the way Life is meant to be…

  23. Julian Bates says:

    Not one of my favourites because the man’s attitude is not changed: he just responds mechanically…

    But this darkness/hardship in Life/the Universe to be able to co-exist with the Benevolence is something I am working on. For I know the latter is real (spiritual, lovely), and am trying to acknowledge how much the former is.
    i.e. e.g. Is God Harsh, and sharp as well? …as Aspects of the universe are?…

  24. MARIA says:

    Los niños son la gran bendicion de la tierra, en ellos la inocencia es un don, su alegria, su amor es puro, nada se compara con su tierna sonrisa y sus inocentes palabras… nosotros dejamos de ser niños cuando ellos son las puertas al cielo

  25. Alfredo Fernando Sanchez Ycaza says:

    Let me tell you something, y think there is right this message, y´ll try to explain to you why. On Weekends when y go to the park with my little boy, and we start to play together; usually he becomes to laugh while he go running away frome me, in this moments y clearly feel the presence of God with us in the air at the park; y feel God is watching us and smiling. And y feel this moments are sacred blessing me in my heart in a good way. Y would never change this moments because there are three persons playing together and laughing, one of them is God.

  26. Prithul Sengupta says:

    The note bears some similarities with “The Selfish Giant”. And I always get inspirations out of that.

  27. R. Whitt says:

    What I am reminded of is that God wants us to worship Him without forgetting to enjoy life to the fullest.

  28. kealan says:

    I think that many people have children and do not appreciate them and then there are those who want children but are unable to have them for some reason.

    1. aksh says:

      funny when u say this kealan !

      i have two sons, now aged about 10 and 2. I never wanted a child, in fact i was mortally afraid of the whole mess that first child birth appeared to me. But once i could not wriggle out of the ‘trap’, i tried to be a good father, someone who devotes himself to what he does. too early to say, anything about how good or bad i have been. But because of the first child, which was a period of lot of turbulance in my life, i could not quite understand how can one become so caring, i chnaged but was not with awareness. then many things including this site happned, and i wanted to bring up another child, things fell in place and now akki is 2 years old.

      awareness going for a toss is the norm when i have to flow with the flow, looking at rest of my life, i sometimes feel if i appreciate them enough. where is teh line.

    2. THELMA says:

      I am sure you are a perfect father, dear Aditya.
      You know the ‘power’ of the children lies in their ..’weakness and beautiful naive eyes, smile and ..smell’! What a sweetest feeling than that of a baby in your arms?
      Yes, dear Kealan, sometimes, we people are ‘blind’ to the big gift given to us: children. But, I think, sometimes we parents, being also very young and with many problems we cannot appreciate the joy a baby gives. I say it because when I had my first daughter I was very young and I was thinking that by staying at home with her & caring for her I was not really enjoying life.. But then with my second daughter, after nine years, maternity was a real happiness for me and I was enjoying every minute with them. Life and maturity gives us ‘lessons’ and we are able to ‘see’ the real values and ..real life. I feel blessed and grateful to have been .. a mother and … grand-mother.;-))
      Thelma xxx

    3. kealan says:

      Haha yes I know you are both wonderful parents! The joy of parenthood is something I will have to look forward to in the future.

    4. aksh says:

      Thanks Thelma & kealan


  29. Jenny says:

    Thanks Paulo! I love you!!!

  30. audrey says:

    To Ken Crane: good picture (as always^^) Maybe God really watch us through a television. No one knows. hehehehe

    To Paulo: good reminder! Thanks.

  31. Marilyn says:

    amen. God invented joy and laughter and who but children use this gift the most? The sounds are delightful.

  32. Ulli says:

    If one is attentive he can see the countenance of God in our children’s laughing eyes. Reflecting His constitutional wisdom and unconditional love.

  33. Paulo, um pouco de alegria, para estes dias tí£o tristes aqui no nosso paí­s.
    Sorrindo aqui…
    Quando trabalho em casa, ouí§o as crianí§as de uma escola da rua de trás… é uma grande alegria.
    Quando vou buscar minha filha na saí­da da escola, sempre chego uns minutos antes, para ver as crianí§as pequenas indo embora com seus pais, umas me reconhecem e me abraí§am e me beijam… outras apenas acenam com a maior inocíªncia.
    “Ao sentar no banco da pracinha:
    Quando entristeí§o um bocadinho, percebo que crianí§as veem e me rodeiam. Na sexta-feira, tres princesinhas, uma de 7 e duas de 5 aninhos, me rodiavam no banco da praí§a enquanto eu aguardava a última aula de minha filha.

    Elas gargalhavam com minhas brincadeiras… por instantes olhavam no fundo dos meus olhos e por vezes me questionavam sobre coisas de minha vida…

    Por outras vezes, enquanto eu as respondia, elas delicadamente passavam as mí£ozinha acariciando meus cabelos e me olhavam… ní£o prestavam atení§í£o as minhas respostas…

    Isto é inocíªncia… pura obra de Deus que envia anjos em todos os momentos que necessitamos… elas sentem que precisam dar amor na sua forma mais plena, ní£o fazendo absolutamente nada… só estar junto.”
    Adorei ler seu post!
    Alexandra Dias

    1. Liza Elliott says:

      Oh, my… maybe it just had something to do with his shouting at his wife – to obey his command.

      Quizá gritar órdenes a su esposa era una parte del problema del sacerdote…

  34. homer says:

    be child like not childish…God loves us…His children…u

  35. Bob says:

    natural noise is part of our existence…nice story!

  36. annika says:

    when my children laugh together i get tears in my eyes. Yes. I do. I love them, and i love that they love each other!!

  37. intimo desconocido..... says:

    hey.. me quede desorientado para que engañarnos…
    como siempre tambien le contare una historia….
    havia una vez dos alquimistas separados en cada punto del mundo…. uno vivia en un isla desierta… y el otro vivia en el desierto… curiosamente los dos hablavan con el viento a la misma hora… y uno escuchava el eco del otro y a la inversa…. los dos aprendian ya que tenian enseñanzas distintas.. hasta que un dia el alquimista del desierto.. envio a su amigo atravesar el oceano para enviar un mensaje cifrado al alquimista exiliado… el amigo tras pasar unas ciertas dificultades… llego a esa isla…. y le entrego el mensaje al exiliado alquimista.. despues de entregar el mensaje al amigo.. espero que le diera una respuesta .. pero ese hombre no entendio el mensaje y no iva poner mas tiempo en descifrar el mensaje… de su amigo alquimista pq creia …que la investigacion que tenia en curso era mas importante.. el amigo del desierto volvio a ver a su camarada en ese oasis…
    el pensador le pregunto a su amigo …
    y entonces? que ta dado ese exiliado para mi ..y su amigo le dijo nada.. me dijo que seria mas facil que se lo gritaras al viento y el se lo haria saber….

    la reflexion: es que haveces lo mas facil lo volvemos dificil…

  38. Mateja says:

    Being a parent is much more than becoming one! Surely it doesn’t come with an instruction manual for all the problems and things you will have to face, but if you are always there for your child, you’ve done a lot. Lead them and give them a place of belonging even if that somethimes requires sacrifice and giving up on your dreams..

    1. ging says:

      amen! but later you will realize that you may have their bodies but not their souls…

    2. lisa says:

      thks mateja..u spoke my mind n heart. being a parent is the toughest job in the world. thks again..luv lisa

  39. Lo que hacemos es un complemento de la vida de las personas que nos rodean, así­ como lo de ellos hace un todo de nuestra vida misma.
    Si ponemos atención a todo lo que hacemos nada ni nadie nos distraerá.
    Si yo soy fuerte necesito del amor de mi esposa, de mis hijos de mis padres para que esa fortaleza nunca se desvanezca, todo lo creado por dios, por la vida o por la tierra, es un complemento de un algo, que al final se convierte en un todo.

  40. Milena says:

    I just wanted to say something and suddenly I do not …. not necessary, it is beautiful, everything is beautiful …

  41. Tina Halevi says:

    I believe that God knows our intentions. He knows when our prayer is pure or not. Exclusion of others is not the way to worship Him, just as seeing someone who needs a helping hand and not lending one, is not being compassionate and humane. We transcend ourselves when we include others in our love for Him. If we can only feel uplifted and holy when we are by ourselves in complete silence, then we are surely misreading what he wishes of us. I believe that religion should be all-encompassing, loving and totally inclusive. It should also be light….a little laughter goes a very long way.

  42. ali says:

    God accepts life whatever it is
    he wants us to have our own lives not to pretend living a special life – a false life just to make him satisfy
    god’s satisfaction comes when we make our own ways with all what they are full of and old peoples laughts and cries are exactly the same with children
    That what i think is the deep meaning of this story