“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 ESV)
My two-year-old daughter is ever changing, learning, growing, … and sometimes disobeying. It’s a tiring, but fun age because we are beginning to see the fruits of pouring God’s Word and love into her. She loves to pray. She very seriously presses her hands together right in front of her nose, furrows her brow and says, “Dear God” and ends with a loud “Amen!” It is sometimes followed by clapping.
In most of her prayers she says, “Thank you God for mommy, daddy, my carrots, and my fork”. I think it’s important to start by teaching our children to pray with a heart of gratefulness and rejoicing (Phillipians 4:4). But God clearly showed me when it was time to teach her more about prayer. A family that is dear to us recently found out that their two year old has a potentially life changing eye condition called macular degeneration. A perfectly healthy and precious little girl may experience deterioration in her sight leading to blindness. My heart ached for her parents. I began to internalize the questions and fears I would have if I was in their shoes. I wanted to be faithful in praying for miraculous healing, and then it hit me that my daughter could pray too.
I explained to her in very simple terms what was happening and told my daughter this little girl’s eyes hurt, and that we were going to pray for God to make them better. She nodded and paid attention in a way that is rare for her. God Himself had clearly put empathy in her heart. My daughter regularly, and without prompting, remembers to pray for her friend. She prays, “Thank you God for making my friend’s eyes feel better”. Oh, to pray like that – trusting fully.
I could easily dismiss her prayer as rote memorization, but I believe it is a reflection of the childlike faith Jesus asks us to have. Our prayers are not heard because they are well formed, but because we believe and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). We are not miracle workers – Jesus is. He has worked in my young daughter’s heart to make her a prayer warrior, and I believe He will perform a miracle for her young friend to protect her vision.
About the Writer:
Caroline is a wife and mom who loves Jesus. She also has a career in commercial real estate investing. God has given her a heart for encouraging other women. She and her husband, Eric, are the directors of the Fellowship Class, a young married Sunday School class, at First Baptist Dallas.