“Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no way enter into it.” (Luke 18:17)
I had a little lesson with my son recently. It was when his rather large (soccer sized) ball got stuck in the tree. It was resting about 20 feet in the air, teeter-tottering almost — ready to come down, but not quite. I felt one of the best things to do would be simply to throw a stick at it, so that is what I did. Before doing so, I said to my 4-year old son, “Daniel, please pray for me, that I would be able to get the ball down.” Daniel proceeded to pray, as I prepared to launch the first stick. “Dear Lord, help my daddy to get the stick down.” The wind was blowing and I didn’t hear anything else, but that was good enough for me. On with the first try! Missed! Tried again; missed! And again; missed! Eventually, however, I got it, and down came the ball, right into my hands. I looked at Daniel, who had been watching me the whole time, and he said to me, glaring and full of joy, “I prayed!” “Yes, you did!” I replied. “You prayed, and God answered! God is good!”
In that lesson, I realized that, without even trying, Daniel learned a few important lessons about prayer. First, Daniel learned that God hears our prayers and answers them. This was clearly demonstrated in Daniel’s childlike faith, which responded, “I prayed!” No questions; just a simple, childlike, believing response, “I prayed!” In other words, “It worked! God heard my prayer!” Of course, Daniel has had previous experiences praying. He knows that God answers prayer; he has been involved in the “process” of learning how to pray (and finding out who God is, etc.) since he was born. Yet this experience was unique. I have never quite seen it before displayed in this way in the life of my child. This also, I think, is a good example of how God can use an experience from everyday life to teach us lessons.
Childlike faith — what is it all about? It is more than this, but it is certainly about believing that God hears us when we pray, and giving God the credit when He answers us. Seeing the answer to his prayer certainly did strengthen my son’s faith. On the other hand, seeing my son’s faith encouraged ME and strengthened my own faith! I saw that God was “in the trial,” “working all things together for the good,” as it says in Romans 8:28. All it took was little bit of perseverance, and down the ball came! We do NOT discredit God because another human being was involved in the answer (such as I was that day, in throwing the stick). Instead, we THANK God in the mist of it, and for providing us with many wonderful opportunities to “be involved” in answering our own prayers! (What a priviledge!). Yes, in the midst of it all, we still give him the credit for what He has done — whether through human beings, or not. In fact, Jesus said that unless we would be willing to have that type of childlike faith, we would not be able to “enter into,” and fully appreciate, the kingdom of heaven.
How about you? What testimony of God’s faithfulness in answering your prayers can you think of? Write them down and send them in! We’d be glad to publish them.