If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)This scripture is traditionally read in the broader context of prayer for governments and nations. However, I want you to think of it a bit more personally. Let's move it down to the level of your home, your street, and your neighborhood.
A couple of months ago I shared with you and encounter I had at a local grocery store. I watched two young parents be escorted from the store with their four crying children, two of them infants, tagging along behind. As I stood there, my heart breaking, I heard the Lord whisper, "Who is praying for these children?" I admit I was startled with the thought.
You see, some children do not have anyone to pray for them. I suspect those four have nothing of God in their lives. It was readily apparent to me that they had very little so far as natural substance. They were dirty and unkempt with matted hair and tattered clothing. Their mother's shopping cart was empty, and as evidenced by the store manager's escort, something else was going on as well.
But what did Jesus say?
But Jesus sent for them, saying, Let the children come to me, and do not keep them away, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Luke 18:16 BBE)Children who grow up without God become adults who live without God. And living without God leads to failure, fear, and disappointment.
In Deuteronomy 11:19, we read God's instructions to the people of Israel.
And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 11:19)Teach them to your children," He said. Why?
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children... (verse 21)And this chapter goes on to include safety and protection, success, and blessing. (verses 23-27)
The world today is quick to speak of teaching children, of bringing up a strong generation, but what the world doesn't include in their description is what is the most important part of a child's instructions, that of the truth in the Word of God. It is a child who learns to walk by faith, to listen to the wisdom of God, and to know His voice, who will grow up a into secure, world-changing adult. Only God in a child's life brings him or her true success.
Life is hard, and people are cruel, and unfortunately, bad things happen to good people. But this is why it is SO important to pray for children, and not just your own children, but maybe some like those four I saw that day, four children who have no one praying for them.
What if my prayers changed their lives? What if it brings into their situation physical blessings and especially spiritual ones? I may never know the true end of their story. Yet I am content in knowing with each prayer I pray, each day I bring them before the Lord saying, "God bless those four lives. Feed them today. Have someone show them love today. Bring someone into their lives that points them to the truth of the Gospel," I am content knowing I am doing my part to "heal the land."
Do you see it now? My prayers for those children, "heal the land" around me one life at a time. This makes the instruction of the scripture so much more personal. God said if I would pray, then He would do it. And that is marvelous!
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.