So my oldest child and I (she's 30) were talking tonight. We were talking about prayer and she said she remembers our saying (or me mumbling) little prayers when we heard a siren or when we saw the Mercy Flight Helicopter. Understand that we live between two hospitals and a fire station all less than a mile away.
We'll never really know how God answers most of our prayers but it doesn't mean we shouldn't pray or that He doesn't hear. If I'm not as disciplined about the length of time I spend in prayer but more faithful to pray whenever I think of something something for God - the praying without ceasing part...who's to say that all those seemingly tiny prayers aren't accumulating in God's presence somewhere like loose change in the jar by your bed. Who's to say that when it's time to empty the jar you won't be amazed to find a hundred dollars or two or three hundred dollars worth of change. Who's to say? The incense of our prayers is worth more.
So you have two images you can use with children - even little children. Talking to Jesus, any time any place, asking Him to help someone. And the image that God collects all those little prayers and who knows how many that will be. Who's counting! What if you put a piece of paper in a jar for every time someone remembers you or says something nice to you or asks what you think about something?
Where's that scripture about not despising the day of small beginnings . . . Zechariah 4:8-10 (the Message). Here it is in the NIV too.
(There are certain scriptures that I remember but I don't remember which version they were in so they're hard to find.)