If you’ve heard a child pray, you know that God must smile. A little girl prayed, “Dear God, I need You to make my mom not allergic to cats. I really want a cat and I really don’t want to ask my mom to move out.”

A 5-year-old prayed, “Dear God, I hope my dog is in heaven with You. Please take good care of him, and I’m sorry if he chews on Your sandals.”

My mother taught me to pray. Most often it was an informal prayer of thanks. Sometimes it was:

“Now I lay me down to sleep.”

Before long, my brother taught me alternate words:

“Now I lay me down to sleep a bag of candy at my feet. If I should die before I wake, you’ll know it’s from my bellyache.”

My mom did not appreciate this. She wanted us kids to understand that prayer is an awesome privilege. She was right. Prayer is a direct line to the Creator of the universe, there’s no voicemail, we’re live-streaming when we talk with God.

I was just reading a study about prayer which claims that saying bedtime prayers helps reduce stress and angry outbursts and boosts self-control. According to science from recent studies, kids who pray for the needs of others become more empathetic, more kind, more compassionate. Praying with a child or grandchild can strengthen the bond between us. But a friend said to me, “My son and his wife are atheists. They won’t let us pray with our grandkids.” That’s heartbreaking. But still, we can love them, live our faith before them, and when we can’t pray with them, we can pray for them.

But how? I have ADHDDDD when I pray. Well, a transformation took place in my prayer life when I began praying the Psalms for my family. Simply start with Psalm 1 in the Bible. Put names into it. “Lord, help Sophie to never walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand around with sinners, or hang out with mockers. May Seth delight in Your Word and meditate on it day and night. Make Judah like a tree firmly planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Keep Jeff on the path that leads to life.

Our prayer time becomes more meaningful.

And my wife and I pray for listeners to Laugh Again. That God would remind you today of His everlasting love for you. That He would cultivate in you a grateful heart and fill you with joy amid all the challenges you face. God bless you.