Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Prayers of Children

Every day at Harbor House, we have a devotion time where we learn about something from the Bible and pray together. Our kids are from such a diverse group of religions and personal experiences, and most of our lessons revolve around how much God loves them. I also like to tell them how they can talk to God at any time and any place they want.

Today, I asked them if anyone knew what my favorite Bible story was. They did: the one where the kids flock to Jesus and the disciples rebuke them, saying that they should leave Jesus alone.  Jesus, in turn, rebukes the disciples, telling them to "let the little children come to me." I love telling children that story, especially children who haven't heard it before and are awe-struck at the fact that Jesus wanted to spend time with people just like them. It is a true honor to see children's faces as they realize the love of God for them.

Today, we took it a little farther and all prayed together.  We pray every day and bring one or two kids up front to pray for our snack and whatever concerns are on their heart.  It is an honest, beautiful process to see kids talking directly to God.  We have a bit of a wonderful problem in that too many of the kids want to pray every day, so today I decided to let them go for it. I told them that we would all pray together, and they could just close their eyes and raise their hands and when I called their name, they could ask or thank God for something.  About a third of them did it - which is a huge fraction to speak in front of the whole group, let alone in something as intimate as prayer.  They asked for rain, healing for family members, jobs and money for family members, and good things for Harbor House.  They thanked God for food, friends, family, life, Harbor House, and "everything." It was beautiful and I am so honored to have been a part of it.  

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