God answers children too when they pray – Part 4
In our previous editions, we made the point that God has appointed prayer as a means of salvation and to build us up in the faith. Also, through prayer, God works out His purpose on the earth and we, His creatures receive His life and blessings.
Many people find it difficult to pray; others wrestle with doubt if God will answer their prayers. Everyone can pray; including children and God will answer. The basic rule of prayer is summarised in the words of Don Chapman, “Pray as you can; don’t pray as you can’t.” Again, James Montgomery (1771-1854) teaches us about the rudiments, simplicity, power, and effects of prayer in his classic hymn:
“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed, the motion of a hidden fire That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, the upward glancing of an eye When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try; Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach, The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air, His watchword at the gates of death; He enters heaven with prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice, Returning from his ways, While angels in their songs rejoice And cry, “Behold, he prays!”… No prayer is made on earth alone: The Holy Spirit pleads, and Jesus at the Father’s throne For sinners intercedes.”
This means that God answers those who call upon Him in the sincerity of heart. God does not discriminate; He not only answers the so-called prayer experts, but also those who are in the kindergarten School of Prayer. Do you find it difficult to pray? Don’t be discouraged? If you can utter a simple speech then you can pray.
The Bible teaches that God answered the prayers made by infants. If God does answer the prayers of infants then He will answer yours. Moses’ cry as a baby drew the attention of Pharaoh’s daughter (Ex.2:6-10). God heard the voice of Ishmael when he and Hagar were in dire need in the wilderness (Gen. 21:17). God spoke to Samuel as a teenager when he served in the temple, and I am sure He heard him when he prayed. Jesus showed a great disposition towards children during His ministry (Matt.18:2-3; 19:13-14).
Jesus answered the prayers of unusual people. If He answered them, then He will answer you. Jesus answered the Syrophoenician woman who petitioned Him for her daughter (Matt.15:21-28). Jesus answered the sinful woman, some believed she was a prostitute when He was invited to the house of Simon (Lk.7:36-50). While Simon shunned the woman and criticised Jesus for tolerating her presence, Jesus simply forgave her sins, which were many. He answered a robber and criminal at the cross when He was about to be crucified. He answered the wicked King Ahab when he repented (1 Kgs 21:25-29). He answered King Manasseh who led Israel into terrible sins after he repented (2 Chro.33:10-17).
Jesus valued men above their sins. He is quick to forgive our sins when we repent. When the Pharisees criticised Him that He was eating with tax collectors, His response to them was, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13 NKJV). Jesus relates with us in prayer in this same forgiving manner. He is willing to answer our prayers but also wants us to repent of our sins.
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