Nothing warms my heart more than watching our youth pastor gathering his flock at the front of our church, for prayer and storytime. The platform comes to life with the flutter of waving hands signaling their parents until they have made eye contact. Then, for the next 15 minutes, those same parents pray fervently that the Good Lord will filter whatever passes through their child's lips! The Good Shepherd gathering his children for prayers, is a tradition that began with Christ.
"Then, children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." – Matthew 19:13-14 (ESV)
Children are the most precious resource of the church. They keep it alive and vibrant — all of them contributing their God-given-gifts to benefit the entire congregation. Their most endearing attribute is their ability to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Such was the case one unforgettable Sunday when our pastor asked his growing brood, "Boys and girls, where can we pray?" One by one, little hands raised replying, in bed or at mealtime, etc. then ever so slowly, a puggy wee hand rose high from the back row and, with a sheepish smile, answered, "Why Pastor, you can even pray on the toilet!" A hush fell over a stunned congregation as our good-natured leader smiled and agreed, "Yes, Johnny, you are right.".
Our Lord desires that we continue to come to him with the same eagerness, trust, and vulnerability that Johnny exhibited. To pray wearing our hearts on our sleeves, with nothing hidden.
“One of the things that attracted people to Jesus is that He was “childlike.”
Does this mean He lacked wisdom and understanding? Far from it. Jesus was “childlike” because He was full of the wonder of life, the hope for humanity, and the beauty of creation. Jesus lived in awe of life, awe of God, and awe of humanity. And this awe was contagious. People who saw how Jesus lived began to see how life should be lived. Jesus revealed how God intended life to be lived. In other words, those who begin to live life like Jesus are those who begin to see heaven come down to earth.
They begin to see the rule and reign of God unfold in their own life with all its beauty, majesty, glory, and creativity. This is what Jesus Himself lived, and this is what Jesus invited others to live also. He taught that if you want to experience God’s life in this life (the kingdom of heaven), then you need to become like a little child once again.”- author J. D. Myers.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Our prayer is that, deep inside our hearts and minds,
you will work to renew and refresh them every day.
Thank you for watching over our precious ones and for your love, faithfulness, and grace.
Father, may we never grow too old or, in our own eyes, too wise to be taught. Amen