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When a young child is sick or in pain, and they say something like, "I prayed to HaShem to make it better but he didn't do anything" what's a good way to answer that kind of question?

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How you phrase things will depend on the age of the child, but here are some points you can cover. I'm not a parent, but I've seen parents and teachers offer all of these and remember being told some of them when I was a child.

  • Just because you didn't see something happen doesn't mean Hashem didn't do anything. Most of what Hashem does we don't see directly. (Depending on the situation: maybe you're healing faster than you would have because of your prayers.)

  • When praying it's best if you say how you feel but don't ask for specific outcomes. Hashem isn't a giant order-fulfillment service.

  • "He didn't do anything... yet." Be patient. (This doesn't apply to all situations.)

  • Hashem hears all prayers. Sometimes the answer is "no". It's hard to understand why, but he has his reasons. (I would use this one only for an older child; I don't think a 5-year-old is likely to understand this, but a 10-year-old could.)

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