Saturday, April 22, 2017
It has been a long time now, but I still remember. Some thing just linger in the old gray matter in the "too important to forget" file. I can remember where I was standing the first time I saw each one of our children. I also remember the first time I held each one of them and looked closely in their faces. It was also the moment I offered my first prayer for them. I prayed in those first moments that they would grow up and know what it is to know and love Jesus. It is surely a prayer I have been blessed to see answered. But, there is nothing special about my prayer. It is the prayer of many parents.
I wish I could write that it is the prayer of every parent, but, of course, such is not the case. Some children grow up without parents praying for them. While it may be hard for us to imagine, such is surely the way it is. The other day as I was watching some children being children, I wondered how it was with them. I wondered if a parent had prayed for them, or was praying for them. When young children are baptized in my United Methodist tradition, the whole congregation makes a commitment to live before the child in such a way that the child will grow up to love Jesus. Unfortunately, a lot of us never give that commitment much thought when we see that same child running around in our midst.
When was the last time we prayed for the children who race around us on their way toward adulthood? We may not know them as well as we could, but could it not be that God might have put them in front of us so that someone will pray for them? Is it not possible that our prayers could be like the prayers of Elijah and have great affect on the lives of the very young around us? We could pray for the children who hang out with our children, or we could pray in a random way for those we see running around in the places where we go, but will we? Do we? Maybe it is time for us to ask God how we should be praying for the children around us who are moving toward the rest of their lives.