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About the Author
Barbara Younger is the author of Purple Mountain Majesties, a children's picture book, and the coauthor of six books, including Hooray for Children's Church and Creative Ways to Offer Praise. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
She is a f ormer school librarian and together with Lisa Flinn are the author s of a number of books, including Sing It, Say It, Make It, Pray It and Other Ways to Write God's Word on Your Heart.=
Read an Excerpt
A Moment with God for Children
Prayers for Little Ones
By Barbara Younger
Dimensions for LivingCopyright © 1997 Dimensions for Living
All rights reserved.
"I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end." —Revelation 22:13
Listen to me as I say my ABC's:
W-X and Y and Z!
Thank you for letters that become words.
Thank you for words that become stories and poems and prayers.
"At God's command amazing things happen, wonderful things that we can't understand."—Job 37:5
I can't always explain
the amazing things that happen.
Why does my dog love me so much?
Why does watermelon taste delicious?
Why do I like to dance to my favorite songs?
Why do babies wiggle their toes?
Why does my grandpa make such funny jokes?
Even though I don't understand,
I thank you, God,
for the amazing things that happen
over and over again.
Don't argue with someone for no reason when he has never done you any harm.
Sometimes my sister and I
argue for no reason.
Sometimes, I think, we argue
just for something to do.
Help us find better ways
to spend our days:
homemade boats that proudly float;
mud cakes that take hours to bake;
cardboard cars for pretend movie stars;
or fairylands made of sticks and sand.
She put the baby in it and then placed it in the tall grass at the edge of the river.
If I found Baby Moses in the river grass,
I would bring him home
and rock him and sing to him
and teach him games like pat-a-cake.
I'm glad you made babies, God,
for big kids like me to entertain.
Write down for the coming generation what the LORD has done, so that people not yet born will praise him.
Adam and Eve,
Jonah and the whale,
Noah and his ark,
Mary and Martha,
Zaccheaus in the tree,
and the boy with loaves and fishes:
Hooray for stories that show
the faith of Bible people
who lived long, long ago!
He had a small scroll open in his hand.
Children in Bible times didn't have
books to read as we do today.
Thanks for big books and little books,
picture books and books with lots of words,
sad books and funny books,
pop-up books and talking books.
I bet Bible kids would have
enjoyed the books I like to read!
BUTTERFLIES AND EASTER
They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb.—Luke 24:2
As the caterpillar leaves the cocoon,
born anew as a butterfly,
Jesus came out of the tomb
as our Risen Lord.
Whenever I see a butterfly, I remember
the wonderful story of Easter morning.
Each one should give, then, as he has decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly.
—2 Corinthians 9:7
When I was in the store, picking out the present, I was happy.
When I wrapped it, I was pleased with my gift.
As I left for the birthday party,
I just knew my friend would love what I had chosen.
But at the party, when I gave the present,
I really wanted to keep it for myself.
I hated to give it up.
Please God, help me to be a cheerful giver.
"Do you know how clouds float in the sky, the work of God's amazing skill?"
I think you are clever to make clouds float in the sky.
I like to lie on my back and decide what shapes they make:
an elephant, a tree, a frog,
a bicycle, a baseball cap,
and a cupcake with
"Even the hairs of your head have all been counted."—Luke 12:7
I'm glad you made so many wonderful things for me to count.
Hooray for numbers!
"All the wild birds are mine and all living things in the field."
Every now and then I pretend to fly;
the birds make it look so easy!
Since I'm a child and don't have wings or feathers,
I guess I won't be flying without the help of a plane.
Still, God, I'm glad you made birds that fly.
They look like they're having fun, soaring above the earth,
and I have fun watching them from my spot on the ground. Amen.
Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever.
ice melts, and even
flowers don't last forever.
But the Bible tells me
that you are forever,
and that you always
will be my God.
Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
one friend pushed me, another pinched.
My brother teased me and wouldn't
let me touch any of his toys.
And to top it all off,
my mother made me clean up
my room, when it wasn't even messy!
Help me to forgive all of them.
A GENTLE ANSWER
A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
when my friend and I were playing,
she said something mean.
I was so mad that I almost shouted back.
But I didn't.
And you know what, God?
The rest of the day we got along great!
GOD MADE THE WORLD
God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased.
I'm not at all surprised that
you were pleased when
you finished creating the world.
I'd be pleased, too, if I could make
a world like ours!
[E]ncourage you and strengthen you to always do and say what is good.
—2 Thessalonians 2:17
This is going to be a week of good deeds:
Sunday, I'll write a letter to Grandma.
Monday, I'll take out the trash.
Tuesday, I'll play house with my cat.
Wednesday, I'll draw a picture for my teacher.
Thursday, I'll visit a neighbor who is lonely.
Friday, I'll sort a huge pile of socks.
Saturday, I'll help cook supper.
And when this week is through,
I might think of more good deeds to do.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity.
All my life,
may I be like
the good Samaritan,
ready to help
anyone who needs me.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
"I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me."—John 10:14
Just as good shepherds care
for all their sheep,
I know that Jesus cares
for all the people
in his flock,
Their instructions are a shining light; their correction can teach you how to live.
Sometimes I get tired of
grown-ups telling me
how to behave,
but I know that
are part of your plan
for helping us kids
"The King will reply, 'tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!'"
May I always be aware
That there are people everywhere
Who need food and clothes
And homes and medicine
And lots of extra care.
HIDE AND SEEK
"Ask, and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you."—Matthew 7:7
Hide and Seek
Is one of my favorite games.
I almost always think
of great hiding places.
But I'm glad, God, that
no matter where I hide,
you can always find me.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever."
Sometimes I'm brave.
Remember how high I went on the ferris wheel?
But other times, I'm afraid.
Remember how I cried when I got lost at the fair?
But I know that, brave or afraid,
you are always with me.
Even though I can't see you,
I know that your Holy Spirit
is always by my side.
"This is how he feeds the people and provides an abundance of food."
Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge,
whipped cream, caramel sauce,
nuts, sprinkles, and a cherry on top!
This delicious sundae reminds me
that you have blessed us
with lots of good food.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us."
—I John 1:8
I know that sometimes
I do things that you
don't want me to do.
But I am a child who is
willing to say, "I'm sorry."
And you are a God who forgives.
IN OUR HEARTS
"They look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
—1 Samuel 16:7c NRSV
When I'm having fun cutting out paper hearts,
it doesn't bother me if they are crooked.
You don't care if we look perfect either, God,
because you don't look at our outward appearance.
You look for the goodness in our hearts.
JESUS CALLED THE CHILDREN
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
I'm glad the children in the Bible
were able to visit with Jesus.
It's good to know that he thought
children are important.
LEARNING TO WRITE
See what big letters I make as I write to you now with my own hand!
I'm glad I'm learning to write.
Now I can print words:
LOVE, HELLO, THANK YOU—words
that are perfect for a letter
to my grandma or to a friend who is sick.
And when I get to the end of my letter,
I can even sign my very own name!
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
"And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." —John 13:34
You sent Jesus from above
to show the world how to love.
And now kids like me
can help other kids to see
how to love one another.
MAKE ME A PEACEMAKER
"Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!"
Even kids can work for peace
by speaking to a mean classmate,
waving to a grumpy neighbor,
helping fix a broken toy,
smiling at a frowning brother or sister,
making breakfast for a tired mother.
Kids can work for peace in lots of ways.
Make me a peacemaker every day.
She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.
With carols and cookies,
Trees and tinsel,
Pageants, lights, and presents,
We celebrate once again
the birth of your Son, Jesus.
So God made the two larger lights, the sun to rule over the day and the moon to rule over the night.
There's a Mother Goose rhyme that goes:
I see the moon and the moon sees me,
God bless the moon and God bless me.
I'm not certain that the moon sees me,
but I know that you see me, God.
Thanks for watching me as I sleep at night.
And thanks for the moon that I like to watch
from my bedroom window,
just before I go to sleep.
When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace.
My very own bed
is one of my favorite places
in the whole wide world.
It makes me sad to think
that some children don't have
warm and comfortable beds.
I pray that one day
will have beds like mine
to call their own.
I have relied on you since the day I was born, and you have always been my God.
I'm learning about the calendar
and the days and months in the year.
Watch me point to an important date,
a day for which I can hardly wait:
Thanks for giving me
a day to celebrate ME.
Israel, the LORD who created you says, "Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine."
So many people,
with all sorts of names:
Hannah, Michael, and Shane,
Joshua, Carlos, and Kate,
Yumiko, Lauren, and Tate,
Tonya, Nicholas, and Beth,
Ryan, Sarah, and Seth,
Maria, Lea, and Paul.
The Bible says you know them all.
You must have a super memory, God!
"Build a boat for yourself out of good timber; make rooms in it and cover it with tar inside and out."
I like to pretend that my bed is a boat
and that I am Noah.
I bring aboard all my animals,
and together we sail on the water.
Thanks for letting Noah
save the animals,
And thanks for all the animals
that Noah saved.
He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.
I like to follow a path.
Paths help me know the best way to go.
As I grow up and grow in faith, I pray
that you lead me down the right paths.
"I know what you have done; I know how hard you have worked and how patient you have been."
My yo-yo string is terribly tangled;
I'm having trouble learning to ride
I can't tie my shoelaces;
and my block tower just fell over.
"Patience!" my mother says.
"Take your time!" my father calls.
God, it's hard for kids to be patient.
I'm glad you understand.
So the earth produced all kinds of plants, and God was pleased with what he saw.
What a splendid artist
you must be!
The earth is decorated
of every size,
Then he went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.
I'm not sure
that my parents
will let me
jump in church,
but maybe next week
I could take a giant leap
just before I walk
through the door,
just to show everyone
how happy I am
to come to your house.
Pray at all times.—1 Thessalonians 5:17
I can pray to you
About anything at all.
Now that's cool!
PRAYING FOR OTHERS
"We always thank God for you all and always mention you in our prayers."
—1 Thessalonians 1:2
Bless all the people I love.
I will say their names now as I pray....
They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.
If I were going to visit
Baby Jesus, I might bring:
A picture I drew,
A collage I created,
A pie I helped to make,
Or a poem I wrote.
Presents don't need to be fancy
like those the wise men brought.
But I know that
presents should show
plenty of thought!
Excerpted from A Moment with God for Children by Barbara Younger. Copyright © 1997 Dimensions for Living. Excerpted by permission of Dimensions for Living.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Butterflies and Easter,
A Gentle Answer,
God Made the World,
The Good Samaritan,
The Good Shepherd,
Hide and Seek,
The Holy Spirit,
In Our Hearts,
Jesus Called the Children,
Learning to Write,
Love One Another,
Make Me a Peacemaker,
Praying for Others,
Thank You, Lord!,
The Wind and God,