Childlike Praying – April 2
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.’” (Matthew 11:25-26)
My grandchildren eagerly watch for my arrival, and I can scarcely exit my vehicle before I’m surrounded. All the little faces vying for attention are looking directly at me and talking simultaneously. I hug every one of them and pick up the smallest to carry inside. What a joy to hear each of their stories as they express what’s on their hearts. Eventually one of them will ask, “Ema (that’s what they call me), do you have any butterscotch?” My husband laughs, because I anticipate this request. I always have mints or gum or candy ready before we arrive. It is a grandma’s pleasure to make the little ones feel special and reward them with a small treat.
Jesus told us that Kingdom secrets were hidden from the wise and revealed to small children. He said this after He spoke about the details of His ministry.
“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:5-6)
Why would Jesus reveal such mysteries to children?
The childlike heart holds no hidden agenda. Children are genuine and simply present what’s on their minds. It doesn’t matter how foolish the child’s request, he will not hesitate to express his ignorance or his desire. Children take joy in simple pleasures, they don’t hold back expression of their hurts or disappointments, and they never hesitate to verbalize what they really want.
- Ema, I need help tying my shoe.
- Ema!, (Meaning: “I fell down and I need comforting.”)
- Ema, can I have a glass of water?
- Ema, will you push me on the swing?
- Ema, can we go with you?
- Ema, can I spend the night with you?
Grandparents would not turn away from any genuine request their child makes of them. Of course, we may not grant every request as the child wants, but we still acknowledge each request and answer the child appropriately. Would our good God do any less?
When we approach the throne of God and call on our Father, we are encouraged to come in that same childlike manner. We are not trying to manipulate God and bend His will to our own. We are simply presenting to Him what’s on our mind… our joys and triumphs, as well as our grief and pain. More than anything, I think we come to Him like a child just because we enjoy being with Him and the special attention that comes from time alone with our heavenly Father.
by Lisa Fulghum