TEXT: Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 138 messages in this series.
This is message #139 titled, Bringing Our Children to Jesus (Part 1)
Perhaps one of the most pressing questions of our day is, What do we do about our children? Parents want their children to be obedient. Teachers want children to be attentive to their studies. The government wants children to grow up to be productive and successful citizens. Whitney Houston sang, “Children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Unfortunately, it seems as though children are not being taught that well today. Just recently, this was brought to national attention due to the rioting in Baltimore. Many of the rioters were students from a nearby high school. One mother, who pulled her son out of the rioting, has been praised as “mom of the year” and other parents have been encouraged to follow her example. The question remains: What do we do about our children?
In Matthew 19, we find that Jesus is dealing with some domestic issues; He was not just concerned about spiritual matters, but about people’s families and their lives in general. Prompted by a question from the Pharisees, Jesus addresses the topics of marriage, divorce, and adultery. After this discussion, or perhaps as this discussion was going on, the Bible tells us that people begin bringing their children to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray for them. From this simple story, we see three things: (1) An example for parents in particular, (2) A rebuke for Christians in general, and (3) A mission for the church today.
Right now, let’s look at the example of the parents who brought their children to Jesus Christ. Matthew Henry notes that, by the parents bringing their children to Jesus Christ, they showed that they had great regard for Him and love for their children. Even if they did not know for sure that He was the Messiah, they at least believed that He was a righteous teacher sent by God, and they wanted Him to pray for and bless their children. As the Bible says, ‘the prayer of a righteous man availeth much [or accomplishes much].’
These parents had the mind to bring their children to Christ. Can that be said of parents today? Have we taken our children before the Lord in prayer and asked Him to bless them and use them. I have always seen my children as belonging to the Lord; He has just given them to me for a time to train and raise for His glory. By the grace of God, I have prayed for my children every day since they were born. While we cannot physically bring our children to Jesus today, we can bring them before the throne of God each and every day in prayer.
In her book, “The Power of a Praying Parent,” Stormie Omartian talked about her concerns after the birth of her son. She said, “I didn’t have peace when my first child was born because I was concerned about everything. I was afraid that someone might drop him, that he might drown in the bathtub, that he might get deathly ill, that I would forget to feed him, that he would be bitten by a dog, injured in a car accident, kidnapped, or lost. In an act more of desperation than obedience, I cried out to God concerning this. He immediately reminded me that my son was a gift to us from Him and that He cared even more about our son than we did. I was reminded of the biblical instruction to cast ‘all your care upon Him’, and so I did. I prayed, ‘Lord, my son is the biggest ‘care’ I have, and I release him into Your hands. Only You can raise him right and truly keep him safe. I will no longer strive to do it all by myself but will enter into full partnership with You.’ From that point on, whenever I had fear about anything, I immediately took it as a sign to pray until I felt peace. Daily I released my son to God and asked Him to be in charge of his life. This took the pressure off me and parenting became much more enjoyable.”
Have you taken the step of putting your children in God’s hands through prayer?
Like the parents in our passage, we show respect for Christ by asking His guidance in the lives of our children. Today, there are numerous sources — books, magazines, psychologists, and television shows — that attempt to tell us the best way to raise children. However, if we look at how children are turning out today, we will quickly realize that much of what the world says to do does not work. But, the Bible — God’s book — contains eternal principles that always work. Instead of getting caught up in the worldly way of raising children, we must act on the way that God has provided in His word.
The Bible points out that these parents brought “little children” to Jesus. The parallel passage in Luke reveals that many brought “infants” to Him. We ought to ensure that our children are introduced to God at a young age. A child is never too young to begin learning of the things and ways of God. In fact, Jesus tells His disciples that those who are truly a part of the kingdom of God are those who are as little children — trusting, believing, and sincere. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your children are too young to understand spiritual things. Because their hearts and minds have not been tainted by worldly philosophy, you might find that they grasp and accept the things of God better than you would expect.
Finally, we see in this story that the parents brought their children to Jesus of their own will. Normally, in the Gospels, we see parents bringing their children to Jesus because they are sick, or because they are demon-possessed, or because they are dead or about to die. However, here, these children are brought to Jesus without any precipitating cause. The parents just want the hands of Jesus on their children. Somehow, they perceive that such a touch will be a blessing for their children.
As parents today, we must not wait until some tragedy occurs and forces us to present our children to the Savior and ask Him to do what only He can do. Matthew Henry said, ” It is a good thing when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring our children to Him, before we are driven to Him by woe or need; not only to visit Him when we are in trouble, but to address ourselves to Him in a sense of our general dependence on Him, and of the benefit we expect by Him, this is pleasing to Him.”
Bringing our children to God through prayer and inviting Him to take control of their lives is a responsibility that every Christian parent should take seriously.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.