April 22, 2017
When my children were toddlers I taught them a really simple prayer… Head peace. Sleep all night. Jesus in my heart.
My children aren’t much older than toddlers right now, but I’ve been extremely blessed to see how their prayer life has grown. My son, Andrew, invited Jesus into his heart about a month ago. Since then his prayer life has improved dramatically. No longer is he repeating the same thing every night without really thinking about it. Now he takes the time to think about his payers. Most of the time He thanks God for creating things. Recently, one such prayer recently went like this…
Thank You, God, for the sun and the stars. Thank You for the planets, Earth, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Pluto. And thank You for not making Pluto a planet anymore. And thank You for making him a dog.
At the end of each prayer, Andrew, looks up with an amazing expression of delight, “I said a new prayer!” I imagine that God is delighted with Andrew’s prayers, too.
Allison has had a little more experience with praying. Sometimes she will include a prayer for one of her friends at school. Often her payers include thanking God for what we just read about in the Bible. Thank You for parting the Red Sea. Thank You for sending an angel to Mary. Thank You for making Ruth kind to Naomi. Sometimes her prayers include the complete plan of salvation. Almost in one breath she prays, “Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and rising again from the dead and being our Our Father in heaven forever and sending the Holy Spirit to live inside us.”
Their prayers fill my heart with joy and delight, much like I’m sure they fill up the heart of our God.
Jesus had time for children in His earthly ministry. In fact, He used children to teach His disciples several times.
Matthew 18:1-5 – At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in My name welcomes Me. (HCSB)
Mark 10:13-16 – People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, 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 these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
In these instances Jesus taught that the key to getting into the kingdom of heaven is being humble like a child, to receive the kingdom of God just like a child would. I wonder what it is about the heart of a child that God says is so wonderful. Perhaps it is the way that they believe so quickly and completely. They have full trust that God is who He says He is. They see God as big and amazing.
I need to take a lesson from the prayers of my children and thank God more often for creating the World and the planets just the way that He did. I should thank Him for the stories in the Bible, that He closed the mouths of the lions, that He helped David throw a stone, that He sent His Son to die in my place and then caused Him to rise again three days later. Then perhaps after I thank God for all this, He will loom large in my mind like He does in my children’s minds. Then I will be able to see God as He really is…awe-inspiring, huge, awesome, good. Then my heart, humbled and pure, will be able to fully embrace God and His kingdom.