“Lord, teach us to pray”….so implored the disciples of Jesus…so implores this pastor of Trailhead Church. I just completed a week of Vacation Bible School with over 70 kids from the church and community, ranging in ages four to twelve. Actually, I believe it covered the ages of one to at least forty-eight, but I doubt I was the oldest there, and there were over 100 crazy individuals involved in the shenanigans. Anyway, it was no vacation for sure, even though I discovered that many saints take vacation to help lead it! There was sure lots of fun with the Bible, and as far as school….well, it was the kids who schooled me. Wow, do they know how to pray! It sure impacted my faith. Maybe it was the five year old praying, “Dear Jeesus, tank oo forrforgivinging forfor our sinsanddying on da cross for mee.” It could have been the preteen who almost started weeping as she prayed for folks in the hospital, “Jesus, they need you, they really need you now, come Jesus and give them what they need. Please, Jesus, Come!” I heard from one of the moms of the church that her almost two year old prayed one of his nightly prayers last week something to the effect of, “GOD, tanks, pador mik, tooth pate, messsy, amen.” The Sunday leading into VBS, the little bugger had seen me do a children’s sermon and try to put toothpaste back in the tube after squirting it out. I was talking about our words and how its hard to take them back without making a mess of things. Well, that night, this little guy is praying for me cuz he thinks I’m a mess! 🙂 Amen Amen
In all seriousness, Jesus said that unless we become like the children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t mean we should be childish, insisting on our way and throwing fits when it doesn’t work out. He meant we should be like children….full of faith, wonder and belief…always expecting the impossible, trusting beyond doubt. Those are the keys to the Kingdom. Well, I learned from these little ones this week in that regard. They pray from pure hearts, and they pray with pure love. Both of those things are kind of hard for adults, and we are the ones that often insist on our way in prayer, and throw fits when it doesn’t work out. Hmm, starting to see? We are often childish. I guess that is why Jesus said that we need to become like children. Maybe like the little one, whose family life is torn apart…and yet there she is praying with joy and excitement, “Father GOD, let the whole world come to know Jesus and praise His Name!” Maybe we should be like the four year old that wanted to lead everyone in John 3:16. He was kind of nervous, so he took my hand. He looked at everyone, then looked at me. Beckoning me to his level, he whispered in my ear, “Will you start me?” So, I did. “For GOD so loved”….and he was off with the rest of it. Tears well in my eyes as I type. He just needed his cue. And so do we…so here it is again…BECOME LIKE CHILDREN!