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-two 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-two with an important reminder to let nothing hinder you in your pursuit of God and to not be a hindrance to someone else.
“Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought 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.’“
Matthew 19:13-14 (NIV)
Have you accomplished every thing you had hoped to by this stage in your life? Why, or why not? What are some hindrances that either stopped you or seemed insurmountable at the time? How does the attitude of people around you influence your willingness, and even ability, to press on when things become difficult? Does the level of that influence change based on who the person is? In what ways? Are there ways your words or example may be hindering a child from approaching Jesus, or even wanting to? What will you do about it?
As a child of any age, we all have people we look up to that likely have more influence on us than they even know. Likewise, there are people looking to each of us as examples, and how we represent Jesus will either encourage or hinder them from seeking Him. Our words, both in content and tone, can either lift someone up and point them to Christ or knock them down with such discouragement they feel they have no hope. God’s desire is that we would build up and welcome one another so we would not become a hindrance to anyone’s faith.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to remove anything that would become a hindrance to true faith. Pray that you would be an encourager of children as they seek to know God. Pray that you would examine anything in your life that has been a hindrance to you having the vibrant relationship with Christ that He desires. Pray that the lies of the enemy would be defeated so that you, and children of all ages, would know the value each person has to God.