By Beth Pinyerd
For the Observer

Serving in activities for the elderly as a volunteer and activity assistant, one of the privileges I have had is to serve seniors in skilled care in groups or through one-on-one interactions. Adjusting to their new normal, seniors have always asked me what is something they can do that makes a difference in helping others in this season of their lives.
I have always shared with them that during this season of their lives, they can remain very busy in praying for others. This is the most powerful action and work we can do right now between the young and old. Prayer brings us all together. This is a needed intergenerational relationship between the young and old.
We are made for prayer. If we go back to the very beginning, we see that prayer and communication with God has always been central. The Bible clearly describes from God the benefits of prayer. In personal growth, young children love to bow their little heads and pray.
The process of prayer comes naturally to children. They understand that God is love and that love is unselfish. God enables young hearts to grow in understanding, wisdom and the fullness of God.
Psalm 34:4-5- “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
Young fears may seem silly at times, but they are real to their little minds. By giving our young children the resource of prayer, we provide them with strength, courage, and wisdom to face this world. As a result, we may receive this same encouragement, strength, and joy!
Matthew 7:9-11- “How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him. “
Young children seem to understand that God will grant what they need. They are so literal in their understanding of this and can serve as a model for we adults.
Children realize that all they need to do is ask for His provision. God welcomes little children. In Mark 10:14-”When Jesus saw that the disciples were keeping the children away, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as them.’”
God doesn’t shun children, nor wait until they are older, wiser, or more important. He created people to have a relationship with Him from childhood.
Psalm 57:2 – “I cry out to God the Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me.”
God has a purpose for each of us. He promises to fulfill that purpose when we ask. Young children love and have so much fun looking at themselves in the mirror. Making funny, happy, natural or sad faces.
Psalm 139:14 — “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made … marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.”
We adults and children have a purpose and God fulfills His purpose when we ask.
One prayer activity that is so very simple for children, adults, and our senior adults is the “Five Finger Prayer,” written by Tony Kummer that is used daily in Christian literature in joining the young and old in times of prayer. Each day in meeting the intercessory needs of others, we use the thumb for praying for family and friends, the pointing finger for leaders and teachers, the tall finger for government and authority, the ring finger which is the weakest finger is to remind us to pray for people who are weak and sick, and the little finger, the pinky finger is for us to pray for ourselves and our needs. This gives us a gentle reminder of who to pray for.
One thing we should remind ourselves of as well as our young children is that sometimes adults seem ever so busy to listen to them. They truly begin to understand when we come together, the young and old, to pray that our Heavenly Father always has time to listen to us. His phone line is never too busy, he doesn’t delete our e-mails or texts and God always leans in to listen to our prayers.
During this time of slowing down, of social distancing in taking care of others as well as ourselves, prayer is truly the greatest and most powerful gift we can give to our children, our families, our communities, our nation and the world.
Psalm 46:10 – “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’”
Prayer is a quiet gift from God that is action between Him and us. What a life lesson that we can teach our children during this time of prayer, hope, love and looking up to God alone!