“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” ‒ Matthew 19:13-15 (NIV)
When I was a little girl, my beloved and very charismatic Papaw needed a complicated heart operation. I still remember the sadness in my dad’s voice as he told my mom the news. At six years old, I didn’t quite understand the severity and the potential risks of my Papaw’s surgery, but I did feel scared and very sad. At school recess, my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Henderson, sat next to me on the parking lot curb and asked, “Blair, why are you crying?” I told her about my Papaw’s surgery and how sick he was. Mrs. Henderson gently said five life-changing words, “Blair, let’s pray for him.” And that’s exactly what she did. I felt instant peace and happiness. She shared her faith in God. Thirty years and many prayers later, Mrs. Henderson and I have reconnected. Praise God!
When a child is worried, sad, excited, and/or mad, try praying with them. The child may not fully understand it at the time, but God has a plan. He may be using you to strengthen their faith foundation, and, at the same time, he may be blessing you with an unforgettable prayer experience that will strengthen your faith as well. Have you prayed with a child lately?
- Blair Smith