Not long ago I was the guest preacher at a church where the first part of the service was taken by a worship leader. Instead of simply saying a prayer with and for the good crowd of children sitting at the front he said, he said ‘and now a time of thanksgiving and praise when you can say out loud your prayers of thanksgiving to God’ – and they did. It was super. Little voices saying out loud prayers, simple and profound, and after each the whole church joined in saying a loud ‘Amen’.That’s the old Hebrew way of saying ‘Yes Lord’, ‘Here here’, ‘We mean that too’.
I might have expected such prayers as ‘Thank you for Mum and Dad’, or ‘Thank you for a nice day’ – but No! Their prayers had been thought about. Like:
‘Thank you God for Jesus, because of him I can see you’,
‘Thank you for all the trouble our teachers take over us’,
‘Thank you for answering me when I asked you about our dog’.
Jesus once said that to get into the kingdom of heaven you have to enter like a little child. He didn’t mean we are to become childish, but open-minded, full of wonder, guileless, saying exactly what we mean. Vulnerable, with no grown up play acting. I have to confess that because many of those children who prayed out loud were not able to speak near a microphone I couldn’t hear all their prayers -but I’m sure of this, God could!
This is from the First Book of Samuel Chapter 3 where Samuel was a young boy with Eli the old priest in Shiloh: I Samuel 3: 9-10
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening’.” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said “Speak, for your servant is listening”. and a new erea of world history began.
Thank you Lord for children. Thank you for our children. Thank you that they do speak to you and that you do speak to them, and sometimes they listen, and the world is changed.
Now read all of I Samuel Chapter 3.