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 twenty-one 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 twenty-one with an important reminder to become like a little child in order to enter God’s kingdom.
Enter God’s Kingdom
“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’“
Matthew 18:2-3 (NIV)
What is the most exclusive place or event you have been to? Were there requirements or expectations you had to follow in order to gain access? What would have happened if you had chosen not to accept the conditions of entrance? What makes humility so valuable when you approach situations that are above what you know you deserve? Do you think children are more likely than adults to freely accept gifts they know they haven’t earned? Why? In what ways do you think we must become like children in order to enter the kingdom of God? Why?
Entering an exclusive event or location usually requires at least two things — an invitation and an agreement to abide by certain expectations set forth by the host. There is good news when it comes to entering God’s kingdom; He has issued the invitation to “whosoever will” and made it possible through Christ for anyone to meet the requirements of entrance. In fact, the expectations are easy enough to grasp, that God tells us we must become like little children in order to have the humility necessary for entrance into His kingdom.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help them know how welcomed they are in His kingdom. Pray that no one would view God’s kingdom as being out of reach for them. Pray for the humility to become like a little child so that you may enter the kingdom of God. Pray that you would be welcoming in the way you interact with children so they would grow in their sense of belonging. Pray that you would always be truthful about the simplicity of God’s invitation.