Here are some ideas for each page of the book:
1. Thank you God that I can talk to you and say, ‘Please God help me’.
- If you haven’t read God hears, then tell your child that God can hear us. We can’t see him but he can hear us when we talk to him.
- From God hears online notes: Little ones are concrete thinkers. At first they learn that you see people when you talk to them, and conversely, you talk to people you can see (I realise that the phone is an exception here). But it’s different with God. We can’t see him and yet he can hear us and we can talk to him (but just remember that we don’t audibly hear God).
- It’s an amazing privilege that we can talk to God. Help your child to see that it’s a privilege to talk to our God who made us. And it’s amazing that he wants us to turn to him and ask him to help us.
- Encourage your child to approach God in an appropriate way. Coming to him in dependance on him and not demanding things of him.
- The wording “Please God help me” is intentional. Asking for his help is the emphasis, not for ‘things’.
2. Please God help me love you.
- This is the first of a number of statements beginning with the words “Please God help me…” and asking for his specific help.
- We actually need God’s help to love him, as well as loving others. And yet we can often forget to ask God to help us love him.
- To love God is a little difficult to explain to a child. We don’t love God like we love people (whether it be hugging or being kind or helping). To love God means to want to please him, to want to listen to the Bible, to want to talk to him (i.e. in adult terms it’s to have a relationship with God). But it’s not a relationship that we initiate—we can only love God because he loves us and we need his help to love him. We love God by living the way he wants us to live—to treat God as God (to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 GNT). And we learn the way God wants us to live from the Bible.
- As little ones are concrete thinkers, remember that it’s quite an abstract concept to love someone you can’t see. Remind your little one that God loves them (see God loves me in this series). Part of loving God is being thankful that he loves us and thankful for what he has done for us—saying thank you for Jesus, thank you for God’s book the Bible, etc.
- This is a prayer for a lifetime as adults are still needing God’s help in loving him.
3. Please God help me love my family.
- We begin praying for people closest to your little one. Family can refer to the immediate family or the extended family.
- Each time you read this page, you could think of a different family member. After reading this page, you could then say, “Please God help me to love…” and your child can say the name of one specific family member.
- You can also talk to your child about how they can love their family members. Be specific and concrete. “How can you love your brother?”, “How can you love your father?”, etc.
4. Please God help me be kind and share
- Here are two specific ways (“be kind and share”) that your little one can be a friend and show love to others (both family and friends). Rather than saying “Please God help me love my friends”, we’re talking about more concrete ways of loving others.
- You can help make this even more specific to your child by asking questions like, “Who can you share your … (name a specific item or toy) with?”, “How can you share your … (name a specific item or toy) with … (name a friend or sibling)?”, “How can you be kind to … (name a person your child knows well)?” etc.
- So general concepts like ‘sharing’ and ‘being kind’ can be talked about in terms of specific and concrete actions to specific people. Thus you are helping your child both understand and apply this to their lives.
- Going further, you can talk to your child about praying more specifically for God’s help in sharing and being kind. For example, saying to God, “Please God help me to be kind to …. (name a person) by … (name an action)” as outlined above.
- Being kind and sharing is something we need God’s help to do. So praying for God’s help in this is very appropriate for a little one (and a bigger one and a really big one!).
5. Please God help me say ‘sorry’ when I need to.
- See the book Sorry God for more on this.
- Here we have a reminder that we need God’s help to say “sorry”. But also that God wants us to say “sorry”. Saying sorry is important.
- I have deliberately used the words “when I need to” here. It’s a general statement that covers a vast number of times when saying sorry is appropriate. You can talk further with your child about specific times when we/they need to say sorry. You can make this general statement more specific and concrete for your child. You can talk to your child about saying sorry to people when we are unkind to them, or when we hurt them, or when we disobey them, etc.
- You can help your child understand why we need to say sorry to others. Don’t assume a little one will understand why. When explaining, speak simply and gently to them. And it’s best to do this explaining when they are not in the middle of playing, but when you are sitting quietly together at some other time in the day.
- At some point it may be possible for you to talk with your child after they have been unkind and put the question to them... “What do you need to say?” or “What do you need to say to …(name of person)?”
- Also talk to your child about saying sorry to God. God doesn’t just want us to say sorry to people when we upset them or are unkind to them, but also to God. And once again, we need God’s help here. There’s more in the book Sorry God.
6. Please God help me when I’m sick or hurt.
- Your child will probably most often think about asking God to help them when they perceive that they need help (i.e. when sick or hurt). And it’s wonderful that we can ask God for his help at these times.
- But we need to remember that God is God and it isn’t our place to tell God what to do. Part of praying when we are sick or hurt is for God to help us cope while we are sick, while we are hurting.
- Remember to model to your child the appropriate way to pray to God at these times. We are not treating God like someone who gives us whatever we ask for. We are not making demands of God. But rather, we are asking for his help.
- We as adults need to learn from Jesus when he prayed that God’s will might be done (“Yet not what I want, but what you want.” Matthew 26:39 GNT or “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 NIV), and we then need to think how we can communicate and model this to our child. God is God and we treat him as such.
- This is also a time when we can remind our little one that God loves them.
7. Please God help me when I’m sad.
- Reasons for feeling sad can be many. So this is another opportunity for you to help your child think of specific times when they feel sad and realise that we can ask for God’s help at these times. We can feel sad because he are hurt. We can feel sad because someone has been unkind to us. We can feel sad for many, many reasons.
- So at specific times when your child is feeling sad, you can remind them that they can pray to God. Help transition this generalisation to specific moments in your child’s life. You can model praying to God in such situations by praying for them, so that as they grow they learn to pray to God at such times.
- It’s really helpful for your child to learn that they can talk to God when they are sad or sick. All of our life should be lived in dependence on God. During the sad times and when we are sick, it’s a great comfort to know that we can talk to God.
8. Please God help my family.
- Now we move to praying for other people and asking God to help them. We begin with those who are closest to your child, their family. This could refer to immediate family or extended family members.
- It’s really helpful to begin a regular time to pray with your child. You could make a ‘prayer book’ of people to pray for. See ideas below.
9. Please God help my friends and everyone I know.
- We move now from family to other people your child knows. It’s a great privilege to be able to pray for others and it’s something that even little ones can do. Firstly we’re praying for friends (probably an identifiable number of other little ones) and then move to the broader term “everyone I know” which would include people of all ages and from different places.
- Each time you read this page your child could name a friend or someone they know (think of neighbours, others in the community like shopkeepers, people at church etc). You could ask, “Can you tell me someone you know we see... at church, or in the fruit shop, or in the library…”. You could then say something like: “We can pray for them. We can ask God to help them.” Here are some examples of what you might pray for them using the words in this book: “Please God help my friend Julie”, “Please God help Nick from church”, “Please God help Mrs Porter next door”, etc.
- As children get older, you can ask them to think of more specific things to pray for people they know. For instance, “Please God, help Hannah teach children about Jesus.”
10. Please God help children to know you love them.
- We’re now moving to praying for people your child doesn’t know.
- To help make this generalisation more specific and concrete, each time you read this page you can ask your child to think of a place where children are (e.g. a school, preschool, library).
- With older ones, either you or your child could think of a place where children live (depending on the age of your child, you could name a street or a suburb or a city or a region or a country).
- Then you could pray for the children in that place, city, country, etc. (When I say ‘then’ I don’t necessarily mean in the middle of reading the book!) You could maybe suggest to your child that ‘when we pray tonight’ we could pray for those children.
- At first you could pray just as it is written above: “Please God help the children in... (name the school, the street, or wherever) to know you love them.”
- For bigger ones, you could talk to your child and encourage them to think of other things that you could pray for them.
- For bigger ones, you might also like to think of children around the world who are suffering and you will need to think of a need they have and word it in such a way that your child understands. Some examples of children in need (but there are many more) include those without: enough food, safe water, medicine/hospitals nearby, warm clothes/beds, adequate shelter/homes and also orphans, those in places where there is conflict, drought (not enough rain), where Christians are persecuted (where people are mean—or some other word that sums up how they are treated—to people who love Jesus), etc. At first you might tell your child what you could pray for them. And then in time your child might be able to think of what to pray for them.
11. Please God help everyone to know you love them.
- Now we move to a big generalisation—“everyone”.
- To help your really little one understand who ‘everyone’ is, you can talk about places they are familiar with where there are a lot of people (maybe all the people in the library, at the shops, in all the houses, in all the buses/trains, etc.
- To help your bigger one understand who ‘everyone’ is, you can talk about (for example) “all the people who live in our street, and all the people who live in our town, and all the people in our country...everyone”. So you move from specifics to a generalisation. Over time, you can also talk about people in lots of different countries so that your child can better understand the concept of ‘everyone’.
- One idea is that each time you read, you could either say (with a very little one) or you could ask your child to say (if an older one) a place where people are. So before you read the line above, you could add “Please God help all the people in…(e.g. the shops, our street, your local hospital, Africa, etc.)” and then continue with “Please God help everyone to know you love them.”
12. God’s book, the Bible, says that God helps us. Thank you God.
- We know that God helps us because the Bible tells us.
- But we need to remember that the way God helps us is not in the concrete form that children are used to (and we can’t actually see God). You need to think about how to pray with your little one asking God’s help.
- In terms of talking about how God helps us, it’s worthwhile for you to spend time thinking about this with regard to your child. You know your child and his/her personality, strengths, weaknesses, fears, etc. You also know what all little children need help with as they learn social skills, develop confidence, learn to be kind, etc. What is appropriate to pray with your child and ask God for help?
- Model to your child how to ask for God’s help in different situations. And then after praying for God’s help, encourage your child afterwards to thank God. For instance, maybe one day your child was afraid (anxious) about being away from you (while you had to go to an appointment) and being minded by Aunty Rosie. And before you left to take your child to Aunty Rosie’s place you and your child prayed asking for God’s help. Afterwards you were delighted to hear that your child actually had a lovely time with Aunty Rosie. Remember to thank God together for how he helped your child. And if things didn’t go so positively and your child felt sad while with Aunty Rosie and missed you, you can both thank God that you can be together again. And maybe next time won’t be so sad.
13. “God is my helper.” Psalm 54 verse 4
- God made us. How amazing that he also wants to help us. God is our maker and God is our helper.
- God is able to help us in a way that no one else can. Because God made us and knows us and loves us, he can help us better than anyone. God knows what we need (and that’s not necessarily what we want).
- With your child, remember to say thank you to God for helping us. Thank God that he wants to help us and he is able to help us.
14. Please help me to remember you love me. Thank you God.
- God’s love is fundamental to the fact that God wants to help us. Remind your child often of God’s love. Remembering God’s love to us is important groundwork for us loving God. We want our child to keep remembering God’s love as they grow and to keep loving him.
- Thank God that he loves us.
Making your own pictorial prayer book
It would be great to make a pictorial prayer book for your child. That’s a book that has pictures or photos of people your child could pray for. You could take photos or your child (or an older sibling) could draw:
- your child and other family members (including extended family)
- friends (for instance a photo of individual friends, or a group of friends)
- people they know (e.g. a family who lives in your street)
- people they know at church (maybe children there or maybe the church building)
- a missionary family
- the local hospital for your child to pray for the sick people there, as well as for the nurses and doctors
- a fire engine or a bus, etc. (for people in the community like firefighters or bus drivers)
- for older children, you could include something to remind your child to pray for particular people in need
- a photo or drawing of a Bible to pray for those around the world who don’t have a Bible yet
You could put the photos in a mini album, or paste drawings in a book, with a caption for each photo (e.g. “Please God help my friends at Playgroup”). Or the whole book could be called “Please God help…” and just names of people written inside.
Using your pictorial prayer book:
- When praying with your child at a special time in the day, you could use your ‘prayer’ book, and turn to one photo or picture (for a really little one) or a few photos for a bigger one, and pray for that person/those people.
- Older ones could be encouraged to pray more specifically for the people in their book. If so, you could talk about a specific prayer point for each person. So you might want to pray for God to help Gran’s sore arm or Luke’s new baby sister etc.
Back to top