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-six 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-six with an important reminder to live a life which imitates your Father in heaven.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.“
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
Have you ever visited the reenactment of an event or seen a replica of a historical item? Why would a person do that? Have you ever tried to imitate someone? Why? Were you successful? What makes you want to imitate someone? Does the level of someone’s love for you influence how much you want to be like them? Why? Do the people closest to you ever say you look, act, and/or sound just like your parents? Are they right? If you could choose one characteristic of your life that you would want others to imitate, what would it be? Why?
The value of the reenactment of an event, or replica of an item, in learning about the real thing is dependent on the accuracy of the imitation. As His children, God calls us to imitate Him because not only is it good for us, doing so is what allows the people around us to see Him in us. When we encourage the children around us, and the child within us, to imitate God, we show the world whose child we really are. It is God’s immense love, demonstrated through His Son, Jesus, that ought to motivate us to be filled with a great desire to imitate Him.
As you pray for a child of any age, ask God to fill them with a desire to imitate Him. Pray that you would be a student of God’s Word where He reveals Himself through its pages, as well as through His Son and His Spirit. Pray that you would live a life worth imitating as those watching you see Jesus represented well. Pray for a spirit of discernment that leads you to imitate the things of God you see in a person rather than simply imitating that person.