Childlike Praise and Prayers
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise. Matthew 21:15-16
My wife Rita has a simple prayer routine when she tucks in our grandchildren at bedtime. She places her hands over their ears and prays for them to hear the truth of God’s love and not be deceived by the devil’s lies. Bibi (Swahili for grandmother) places her fingers over their eyes and asks the Lord to protect their sight from evil and to focus their vision on what’s pure and pleasing to their heavenly Father. Lastly, she cups her hand over their chest and prays for peace to guard their heart and mind in Christ Jesus. One night Harrison—the three year old said, “Bibi, you forgot to pray for my nose!” Yes, childlike prayers invite the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.
Matthew gives an eyewitness account of King Jesus’ humble entrance into town on a lowly donkey. The children from the temple courts shouted in praise to God, “Hosanna to the Son of David”—meaning the King is here, the King is here. The religious establishment was indignant when Jesus received the praise of the people—while illustrating the occasion by quoting Psalm 8—which describes little children praising the Lord! Childlike praise and prayers glorify God.
“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:1-2).
The mark of a mature follower of Jesus is their prayer to become more childlike—helplessly dependent on their heavenly Father. A faith without desperate dependence on God is a faith that is fallow—void of any real fruit. There is an emotional backdrop to prayer and praise that a childlike attitude embraces and celebrates. Yes, we can be emotional and not be spiritual, but we can’t be spiritual without being emotional. Childlike faith is emotionally honest in its expression.
Are your prayers dry and predictable or are they rich and robust in anticipation of the Lord’s peace, trust in His goodness and joy over His generosity? Avoid the childish temptation to remain self focused in your petitions of heaven. Instead, look outward to the needs around you and ask your heavenly Father to meet those needs and to use you as an answer to your prayers. Special needs children blessed with loving parents—are loved and secure in the care of their mom and dad. Similarly, we are our heavenly Father’s child—very needy of prayer and praise.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my childlike faith in my praise of You and prayers to You.
Application: Consider writing out your prayers once or twice a week and review what the Lord does in and through you.
Related Readings: Isaiah 38:19; Matthew 19:13; Luke 10:21; Acts 21:5; Colossians 1:10
Post/Tweet this today: We can be emotional and not be spiritual, but we can’t be spiritual without being emotional. #WisdomHunters #childlikefaith
Worship Video: 9 minutes – Bethel: Good, Good Father
Thank you Papa God for showing us your agape love that while we were still sinners you sent your Son to take our rightfully deserving place on the cross.
Thank you Jesus for showing your agape love for God and us. Your agape love motivated You to stay obedient to His request that You who were sinless took on the sins of the world.
Jesus yours and God's example of agape love is still hard to completely comprehend because you both sacrificed so much knowing only a few would partake the gift of salvation.
The realization of what you did for me brings me to my knees and there could never be the right amount of words that could describe how thankful I am.
My pray is that all disciples of Christ because of the gift of the Holy Spirit exhibit that kind of love in everything we think, say and do.