Each Sunday after our service, we receive the prayer requests of children who attended that Sunday. They faithfully write their prayer requests on the flap of the envelope and they hand it to their teacher. Noel and I pray for these and we are amazed of how they ask of God, their faith never ceases to amaze us.
One child wrote: “I pray that Uncle Charlie and Mommy would be able to fix their fight and be friends again.” Another honestly wrote: “Lord, I hope I can find my class funds at home because if I can’t they will call me a money robber! :O ” A concerned child wrote: “Lord, sana po hindi na po maglasing si Tatay at sana po magkaroon po kami ng pagkain (I pray that Tatay won’t get drunk anymore and I pray that we will have food).” A little girl wrote: “Sana po makakuha po si Mommy ng trabaho para hindi na po kami aalis po o kaya ibigay na ni Daddy yung ATM (I pray that Mommy will get a job so that we won’t have to leave or [make] Daddy give us the ATM). Another one is simply grateful for something we take for granted: “Lord, maraming salamat po sa araw na ito dahil po nakapagsimba po ako ngayon (Thank you for this day because I was able to go to church today).”
The past few days God is telling me through His Word to have faith like a child, to quit overthinking some things and simply trust Him. I believe there are a lot of reasons why God wants us to have faith like a little child’s (Matthew 18:4).
1. Children are humble. When they need help, they ask for help. They don’t try to fix their problems by themselves. When something’s wrong, they call you ASAP. Some children, you might contend, do not ask but hide when something’s wrong. Fear drives them to do so and fear is the opposite of faith, they are afraid to come and just be themselves. Most adults are more fear-filled than faith-filled. We think that we have to hide from God when we did something wrong but faith makes us humble to admit our shortcomings and ask God’s help.
Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the graveovertook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “Please, LORD, save me!” How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Psalm 116: 3-6
2. Children are sharp. My American-Chinese missionary friend David noticed something quite uncanny with children: Children recognize sounds very well. He noticed that the child who rode with them in a tricycle recognized the conversation of the women chatting in the other tricycle. His theory: Children are sharp listeners because their minds are not crowded with other things when listening. I agree with that. Children and adults listen well when they are undistracted. The difference is, children do not overthink things. Not like adults who spend a lot of time thinking about things that they only need to trust God with. This led me to ask myself if I am like this when drawing near to God.
“O, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves as wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way!” Matthew 11:25-26
3. Children are trusting. I remember as a child and as I was growing that when my Tatay, Nanay and I go to malls, I do not bring anything but myself. I do not have to bring this and that because I know my parents will provide for me. I trust my parents with my safety, provision and guidance in and out of our house. When you promise something to a child, they will trust your promise and always ask you for it. Do we look the same way at God’s promises? Do we have the same trust in God? When we’re going to a strange place, do we trust God to guide us? When storms come, do we pray that God will keep us safe? When things simply don’t go well, do we hold God’s hand?
Some things we can learn from the most unlikely people group in the world – children. So take time to study them and ask God to make you have faith like a child.