To pray like a child

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At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~Matt. 18:1-5 (CEB)

I loved to listen to my children’s prayers when they were small…. Thank You God for my bed, my toys, my mom and dad… my house, my friends. It was always a great reminder of what all I take for granted. Jesus often referred to children when he wanted to remind us on how we should live. The trust of a child. The love of a child. The thankfulness of a child.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life together, explains the importance of thankfulness.  “In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?”

Almighty Father, Help me to remember this day to look at life through the eyes of a child. May I have the trust, the love and the thankfulness of a child. Amen.

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