• Pastor Cheryl Penn

Childlike Prayer

“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." And He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them before He left.” Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)

The first part of Mark 10:16 (NIV) adds understanding to this account, “And he took the children in his arms”, while Luke 18:15-17 (NIV) notes that the little children were actually very young children and babies. Furthermore, Jesus added at the end of verse 17, “…anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Jesus loved these little ones with His most extraordinary tender care, literally holding them close to His heart and giving them a prayer of blessing. Jesus’ actions were not some empty ritual but demonstrated His belief that even babies can receive a prayer of blessing. I also imagine Jesus receiving a blessing while holding them, splitting a smile, beaming wide like a father holding his newborn baby for the very first time.

Jesus wants us to be childlike, not childish. A baby illustrates humility, faith, and total reliance upon their Caretaker, thriving in trust. A baby has a sense of wonder that makes life exciting. The only way to enter God's kingdom of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (from Romans 14:17, NIV) is to become like an innocent baby: trusting without fear or doubt, yielded, open, guileless, simple, unworldly, unsophisticated, unsuspicious, unwary, spontaneous, and receptive to love and life. Let us pray together…

Father God, You, are the giver and sustainer of life. “Your covenant is trustworthy” (from 2 Samuel 7:28, NIV) and as Your children we can humbly rest in Your arms of love close to Your heart, knowing You never weary of gazing into our eyes. We draw near to You so we can hear Your heartbeat and follow You in sync with Your divine agenda and purpose. We affectionately magnify, praise worship, exalt and honor Your glorious Name, Thank You for calling us into Your Holy Presence! Forgive us for not praying a blessing over others! Help us to remain childlike in our relationship with You and with each other. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.