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-four 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-four with an important reminder to respond appropriately to God’s call.
Respond to God’s Call
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.’“
John 1:12-13 (NIV)
Are there certain invitations that you are more likely to accept than others? Why? What makes an invitation “acceptance worthy” to you? Have you ever been invited to an event that you knew was way above what you deserved? How did the invitation make you feel? Did you accept it? When you have an open invitation to bring others with you, do you? Why? How much do you want others to enjoy the best things you have been able to experience in life? How has responding to God’s calling impacted your desire for others to know Him?
I have had opportunity to do ministry with people that I felt were way ahead of me in just about every way possible. Being invited to join them was both a great privilege and very humbling. Many times when we share God’s calling of people to Himself, the initial response may be one of unworthiness. Yet God makes it clear that His invitation and promises are for everyone, the “whosoever” part of John 3:16! As we work and interact with children of all ages, our presentation of the gospel with our words and life ought to lead them to respond to God’s call.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to help them recognize, and respond to, His calling. Pray that you would understand the wonder of God calling people to Himself. Pray for the humility needed to respond to a calling you don’t deserve. Pray about how you will be involved in helping children know that God’s calling is for them. Pray that your response to God’s calling would be shared with the children around you, even as the child within you accepts it.