What do kids understand about God?
Jean Piaget – the Swiss early pioneer of child development – concluded that children were incapable of having a true concept of God; they just thought of Him as a supersized, magical version of their parents. But more recent research is suggesting that Piaget was underestimating kids.
Children as young as four understand that a prayer is qualitatively different than a wish – that it's a special kind of conversation between them and God.
It's around that same age that kids show some appreciation of divine omnipotence and omniscience. They can explain to you that a person made a car or a pizza, but it was God who made the mountains.
By five or six, they understand that, even though Mommies are very smart, God knows things that Mommies can't know. And they have a fluent enough mastery of that principle, that they can predict God's superior knowledge in novel circumstances.
School-age children believe that God is in direct control of their lives – much more so than adolescents or adults.