Praying for children has been heavy on my heart during this current season of school and church buildings being closed with the need for social distancing, self isolation, and stay at home orders. I pray often that families will be able to shield children to some extent from the negative emotions that cling to this COVID-19 pandemic. This is day eight of the devotions from my “The Heart of a Child” book to help each of us pray for a child of any age, including our age. Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you understand, and live, some important traits of living and praying with the heart of a child.
Here is day eight with an important reminder to live a life that praises God.
Live a Life of Praise
“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.“
Psalm 8:2 (NIV)
How do you feel when people praise you? Is that feeling different based on why they are praising you or what you perceive their motives to be? Why? How often do you praise others? Why do you praise them? Do you think they appreciate it? Why? What would it look like if your praise of God would come from a child-like heart? Would it sound different? Would its source be from a different reason? How does your giving, and accepting, of praise help children learn to offer praise to God?
Praise is an interesting thing because we tend to use it in our interactions with one another in ways that aren’t always pure. One of the big differences between praise and flattery is the motive behind what we say. True praise, and particularly our praise of God, should always be about Him because making it about what we want isn’t really praise. When we live a life of honest praise, we teach our children that we value God, and them, simply for who they are. The praise that comes from children, and from the child within us, is a praise of innocence that exalts God and silences those opposed to Him.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help each of you offer praise which is genuine. Pray that your example of praise would lead others to honor God with their words and their life. Pray for honesty in examining the motives behind the praise that is expressed. Pray that the heart of a child would always be turned toward God in praise. Pray that each person would learn to offer praise to God simply because they value His presence in their life.