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Kimberly Novak gives us a glimpse into prayer through the eyes of a child waiting for Santa.

As a mom of three, I am all too familiar with the phrase, out of the mouths of babes. The meaning seems simple and clear-cut. Children, though inexperienced, are capable of saying insightful and wise things. Many of the utterances of little children are funny or in some way memorable. I am not the only mother who can recall instances that would embarrass our children today, and I’ll spare them that. However, an excellent example occurred only a few weeks ago.  

I received an interesting question via text message. The text came from the mom of a 7-year-old who had a significant concern about prayer and Santa. The child was inquiring how to talk to Santa, with an understanding that we pray to God, but how can we talk to Santa? The child also asked if a prayer offered to Saint Nicholas would be the way to go.   

I was glad this question reached me via text, as it gave me ample time to pray for my response and provide a proper answer. The first insight I offered was to have the child pray to God and ask God to relay the wishes directly to Santa. After all, I always pray to God, asking Him to turn the hearts of unbelievers and so forth. I felt my response was spot on and confident in the ability of the child to understand that God fields all prayer requests. 

Second, due to the child's knowledge of Saint Nicholas and that Saint Nicholas was known for his generosity and kindness, a prayer to Saint Nicholas would align with this particular request. Still, God needed to be included in the prayer as well. I reiterated that God and Jesus are always included in prayer because only God can answer our prayers. Careful to keep my suggestions related to prayer, I also recommended the child construct a letter directly to Santa, while praying for its safe journey to the North Pole.  




I’ll admit I was thrilled that I was the person this family reached out to for sound spiritual advice regarding prayer.  I was also pleased that a child of this age had so much knowledge about prayer, even considering it a way of getting the message to Santa, who, in the child’s mind, is technically Saint Nicholas. 

Situations of this sort are when my efforts in spiritual direction are put to the test. I have been trained on how to respond when someone is grieving or has had difficulty in prayer. I have never before been asked if we can reach Santa through prayer. This request was my first; I am hopeful my responses came directly from the Holy Spirit. I enjoyed the excitement and determination of the child. It was also refreshing to envision myself praying with God, asking for some Christmas miracles of my own.  


“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)


Imagine turning and becoming like a child by going to God with requests as energetically and fearlessly as the child’s encounter with Santa.  Using imaginative prayer and contemplation, we can envision waiting in long lines, anticipating what we want to ask God for, and then sitting alongside God, sharing the wishes and concerns of our hearts.  


Click to tweet:
Imagine turning and becoming like a child by going to God with requests as energetically and fearlessly as the child’s encounter with Santa.  #CatholicMom

Oh, what a vision it must be for God to see His children flock toward him with the spirit of a little child on Christmas morning.  This Christmas, treat yourself to the inner glee of a child's anticipatory prayer and seek to entrust that God will deliver all He has promised to you.  



Copyright 2023 Kimberly Novak
Images: Canva