Children Of God
Do your children know for sure that they are in your regular, earnest, loving, intercessory prayers?
And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? Thank God we can be in the world but not of it. You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. You can be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed the last day. Kept, clean, pure, blessed, shining for Jesus. Thank God that’s a possibility for every one of us today. Well, I’m glad to be back with you.
This your good friend, Dr. Cook, and we’re opening the Word of God in the book of Mark and we’re considering that passage where Lord Jesus said, “Let the little children come for such is the kingdom of heaven”. If you don’t receive the kingdom of God like a little child does, you won’t get in at all. We talked about that for a while and then when, the last time we got together we were just talking about the, the way to make sure that your little children and grandchildren are touched by the Lord Jesus Christ, and I was telling you that your own personal walk with God is a tremendous influence at that point.
I recall reading in the autobiography of John G. Payton, missionary to the Hebrides Islands many years ago, in the story of his life, he’d says that he was brought up in a humble Scottish home, where there were just three rooms really. There was a large kitchen workshop where the meals were prepared and served and where his father, who was a manual worker of some sort, he didn’t say what his father did, his father had his shop in one corner of that large room, and then there was another huge room in this Scotch cottage, thatched cottage, which was a bedroom and there were different beds in different areas for the children, and then mother and father. In between those two, said he, “There was a small closet-like room”. And this room was reserved for times when the elder Payton would talk with his Lord. Three times a day after each meal, John G. Payton’s father would go into that little room and get down and pray, and missionary Payton says in his life story, he’s says, “We children learned to creep quietly past that door even when we were playing because we knew that inside, our father was praying for us”. He said, “There were 11 children born of the union of James and Janet Payton, and in the resurrection every last one of them will rise up and call them blessed”. Isn’t that a beautiful tribute to godly parentage?
Your life and mine dear friend, has to be real. Now, I don’t mean that you should pray with a loud voice so as to impress your kids. But, I have to ask myself and ask you, do your children and do my children know for sure, that at certain times we are indeed praying for them?
A father came to me many years ago concerning his wayward boy is it, he said, “Can’t you do something for my Charlie”? Well, I talked with him and found out that he was a combination of disciplinarian, at sometimes, and easy-going pop at other times, so that he and complicated the problem of parental discipline by his own inconsistency. And then I asked him this question probing a little, I said, “Tell me, do you pray every day for your boy, before you go to work”? Oh he says, “I’ve to get up so early to get to work downtown”, in that this particular city where he lived, “I have to get up so early”, he says, “I have to get going”. Well I said, “Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you ought to commit your boy to the Lord before you go to work? Might it not be a good idea if you’re Charlie knew that his father was praying for him, before you went to work”?
Now, I got that idea from my own father, my pop as I called him, would very frequently awaken me by the sound of his voice softly, so softly praying for his motherless boy at 5:30 in the morning, before he went to work. I never got away from that memory, I assure you. So, that’s where I got the idea of asking this father, and he began to do that and we begin to see a change in his boy. Well, that’s 50 years ago nearly and I don’t know if whatever happened to that young man but I do know that while I was around I saw a change, and I’m sure that it was not due to my preaching, but it was due primarily, to the fact that his father began to pray earnestly for him. Do your children know for sure that they are in your regular, earnest, loving, intercessory prayers? That’s where you start. Then, if you have a, if you have charge of, of, of a small child we train people to be comfortable with the things we are comfortable with. You take a simple matter of, of table manners. Now, here’s a little child and when, when he learns enough to sit at table, he’s out of the highchair in other words, he’s sitting at the table, we begin to teach him table manners, and you use fork and spoon and knife and you eat properly, and in some homes, there’s always a table napkin and it’s placed in a napkin ring and it’s your napkin for a day or two or three until it gets soiled. A table napkin, and so that child learns to be comfortable with the idea that you sit at the table, you don’t slouch, you sit up, you use the right implements, and you do use your napkin and so as to keep your mouth and chin from being covered with gravy and he’s comfortable with that. It’s not strange to him, in other words. He’s done it often enough so he knows that this is the right thing to do. To be comfortable with the routines of home is part of bringing a child up, isn’t that true?
Now, has it ever occurred to you that in many a home, prayer is a most uncomfortable thing? First of all, for most of the adults. You come into that home say, let’s have some prayer. I’ll lead off and then you follow and you may leadoff but the others are mum, they don’t follow, they’re uncomfortable about praying. Isn’t it true? So, this is something we need to think about. If you want Jesus to touch your youngster, you better make it so that that child, with you, is comfortable in His presence. So, that means prayer with the little child, prayer with little child. Oh, what a wonderful heritage that is for any child to be brought up in a home situation where prayer is as natural as breathing, and where there’s a problem the natural response is, let’s pray about this. Oh, what a heritage that is. Develop that, will you, in your own home? Don’t wait another day. Start. Don’t make a federal case of it. Don’t be officious about it. You turn people off that way. Just naturally and without any pretense, just involve some people in praying about things that matter. You’d be amazed at the result.
Then if you want the child to be touched by the Savior, not only prayer for the child and with the child, but involve the child in prayer for others. “Let’s pray for John Smith, let’s pray for this or that, you and I, I’ll start and maybe you can add a little word of prayer too, sweetheart”, and so you involve the child with prayer for others. Here again, this is a great primary lesson that that, the children need to learn that, that not only do you say, “Now, I lay me down to sleep and God bless Mommy and Daddy and, and Rover”, and so on, the, the, the little simple praying that involves most of all myself, but to teach that child that you can pray for others and get an answer. That you can pray about the needs of others and see God supplying their needs. That you can pray about a tough situation and see God resolving it. Teach your child that, if you want Jesus to touch his life.
Our Savior said to some people who were crying for help, He said, “What you want Me to do for you”? Now, they were blind and He could see that. He knew what they needed, but He wanted them to say so. “What do you want”? Oh, they said, “Lord, that we might receive our sight”. Then He healed them. Teach your child to ask. The Bible says, “Ye have not because ye ask not”. The Savior said, ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. “For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”.
The Savior wants you to come to Him. He wants you to ask. He wants you to be definite. He wants you to share your life with Him. It’s one thing to say, “Lord, bless me and my family and the missionaries and the Pastor, Amen”. It’s another thing to say, “Oh God you know, I’m having a tough time in school with math, please help me on this”. Or, “Lord you know, I’m having a tough time at the job. I’m the only Christian there and people pick on me in the, the boss seems to think everything I do is wrong, oh God help me to do a better job. Take hold of my job”. You see it’s different, isn’t it, when you pray about different definite matters. Involve the child in praying for others.
How to, how to make sure the Jesus touches you child? What have we said so far? Your own personal walk. Prayer for the child. Prayer with the child. Involve the child and prayer for others, and then show your precious child how to wait on God. It’s not just a matter of running into God’s throne room with a laundry list and saying, God do this and that, but it’s waiting on God, waiting in His presence. The quietness of the Spirit allows God to speak. Teach your child to wait on God. Now, this may be an awkward thing for you. I don’t know because you’ve never done it yourself. Try it for yourself. After you’re through praying, wait a while, be quiet, have a notebook and a pencil to write down the things that the Holy Spirit of God whispers to your heart, and when you’ve learned to be comfortable with it yourself, then introduce your child to this process.
After we pray, let’s just wait a while and see what God says to us, just for a moment. Don’t make it too long because little muscles get tired being still. Some Christian educator said years ago, “God says, ‘Wiggle’, and we say, ‘Be still’, and you know they’re going to obey God”. So don’t make it too long because little muscles need to move maybe a little more frequently than big ones. So, but teach your child to wait on God and to listen for what He has to say. You’d be surprised what it will do, and then teach the child to refer his or her needs and troubles to the Word of God, “Wherewithal shall a young man change his way by taking heed thereto according to the Word of God”. God touches us by His Spirit through His Word. Well, there’s some ideas that you and I may apply in this area.
Dear Father today, as we deal with those precious lives under our care, may they be blessed with the presence of God, and led in their own delightful relationship with the Savior, I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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