There are a lot of things we can learn from children.
Often, we can become so busy with the hustle and bustle of life, that we forget to take time for what matters most. For Christians, spending time in prayer and reading Scripture can too quickly become an afterthought.
I was reminded of this recently when I came across a video of an adorable schoolboy leading his fellow classmates in prayer before breakfast.
The boy folded his hands, bowed his head, closed his eyes and, with furrowed eyebrows, devoutly prayed:
“Father God, we thank you for this food. We ask you to bless it. Make it nourishment to our bodies. Bless all the boys and girls all over the world, to receive food. In Jesus name, Amen.”
His classmates followed his lead and respectfully repeated after him.
Since the video had 460,000 views, I’m guessing I’m not the only one whose heart was stirred by this little boy’s act of sincere devotion.
Matthew 18:2-3 tells us that, “Jesus called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
As adults, we can make the mistake of assuming that we have everything figured out. Yet, Jesus reminds us that it’s us adults who have something to learn from children, not the other way around.
There are two things that stick out in my mind when I consider what Jesus may have meant. First, I think adults need to recall the importance of emulating the innocence of children. And second, we must try to match the sincere love that kids so freely give away. Indeed, the schoolboy spent half of his prayer asking for God to bless other children around the world.
I once heard the story of a man who told his pastor that he was just too busy to pray. If we’re honest, we’ve all probably thought something along those lines at one point in time.
The pastor responded by telling him, “In reality, you’re too busy not to pray.”
Indeed, the busier we are, the more important it is to cultivate a habit of prayer. Without it, our spiritual life can quickly wither away.
If you have children, or even if you don’t, I’d encourage you to make prayer before meals a family habit. It’s a simple, short action that can help instill faith and thankfulness into your child’s life. And into your own.
In a culture that increasingly tells us that raising our children in the faith is “indoctrination,” it can be difficult to cut against the grain. But teaching our children to love the Lord and acknowledge his gifts is too important to miss. It’s worth making time for, and as the cute schoolboy showed us, it may stick with them more than you’d expect.