Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it—Mark 10:15
Have you ever noticed how quickly God answers the prayers of children? It might be for something as simple as a desired toy, help passing an exam in school, or healing a good friend or relatives, nasty cold or sickness. Not because God wants little ones to think of him as Santa or a genie in a bottle, but so they will know from an early age that God is listening, that He cares about their lives, that He is truly is (All) Powerful. Answered prayers give children as well as adults strength and encouragement to pray all the more!
Not long ago I heard about a young child who, after seeing her father stumble up the front steps to their home under the influence of alcohol on numerous occasions, hearing her parents quarrel and the mother promising she would take herself and the children far away of he did not stop drinking, sought God in her tiny prayer closet. The next morning when her mother told her they would be moving to grandma’s the child said, “Don’t worry you won’t have to do that, we don’t have to go away. I prayed and asked God to make daddy hate drinking. I asked him to make daddy sad every time he thought we would go away because of his drinking.”
Her mother smiled, hugged her and explained that while it was a thoughtful prayer God didn’t really work that way. He did not make people do what they did not want to do. Daddy had to want to stop drinking before God could help him…
Later that day, the man awakened from his sleep and went to the cabinet where he kept his liquor. He gathered and began pouring every bottle down the kitchen sink. For hours he went between his hiding places and the sink, pouring bottle after bottle down the drain. Afterward he began to weep uncontrollably at the thought of losing his wife and children over drinking. Over the next weeks and months he recoiled at the thought of drinking or the smell of liquor. Fifteen years later that man has not had a drink or thought about returning to his old ways. He has found a new joy in his sobriety and family. He testifies freely to others who are slaves to alcohol or drugs what God is able to do in our lives whether we want it or not!
All of this sprang from the sincere and trusting prayer of his seven year old daughter who believed in her heart God was big enough to do the impossible. Both parents learned a huge lesson from their child and their own faith and prayers have gotten more childlike and bigger over time.
Children can teach us much about prayer and God. Their prayers are made in innocence. They prove our teaching has stuck and taken root in their little hearts concerning the greatness of God. Through them we see the saying come true;
“Train a child in the way they should go (live) and when they are old (er) they will not depart from these ways (Proverbs 22:6)
In our own prayers and when we look at our prayer lists we must ask ourselves if we are coming to prayer with this wonderful innocence and trust a child has, knowing it is true that except we come as a child in/to prayer we will not see the marvelous ways of God being performed!
As an intercessor (pray-er) are you applying child-like faith to your prayers? Or, has the skepticism, cynicism, doubt, hesitancy learned from the world and the devil crept in and taken control, even during prayer time? Do you still believe God will heal the sick, cure the addiction, bring joy to the depressed and sorrowed, give food to the hungry, put crumbling marriages back together? Or, do you pray with the devil’s saying; “We’ll see what happens now, if God wills…”
To our disadvantage and those we pray for, we are so much like the father who brought his son to Jesus for healing when he said; “Lord I do believe, only help me in my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). But God will forgive and cleanse us from unbelief when we receive his words in our heart and lives that He can indeed do all things (Mk. 9:23), and that nothing is too hard for God (Gen. 18:14; Luke 1:37). And we will be restored in childlike faith and in prayer and the people we pray for will see great miracles of God performed in their lives!
A Prayer to Retain and be Restored to Childlike Trust in Prayer
Jesus, it has been a long time since I have approached prayer like a child. Not to offer childish prayer; but to offer prayer that stands on your promises! I want perfect trust in you and I want to pray from the position of perfect trust! As I bring the sick, the depressed, the poor and needy, the heavy laden, the abused, the neglected, the addicted, the dying, the lost, the hopeless, in prayer, I want to be standing and praying in the strength of Your promises, in the place of trust and not doubt. I want to be standing on the Rock that does not crack or move! I realize it is not a ton of faith that I need, but a renewed faith: the faith a little child has in his or her great God. Give me that faith today Jesus! Grant me a new heart and a new outlook on answered prayer and on what my God will do when we ask in faith. As You have said whatever we ask the Father He will do because we trust in You. Grant me a spirit that adopts the saying; if my God said it, He will do it and that it that! As quickly as today I receive the spirit of a little child in my prayer life and in my faith life. Amen and amen!