A Child-like Heart
“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Luke 18:17 NKJV
Stop for a moment and think over the verse above.
A little child is not wise in their own eyes. Unfortunately, there have been too many occasions when I think too highly of my “wisdom,” even in my prayers. I’d catch myself trying to help God know how to handle a certain matter. I don’t think God has ever said, “Gee, Amy, thanks for that great idea! I hadn’t thought of that.”
Instead of trying to be so clever and spiritually sophisticated, we need to wait on the Holy Spirit and receive His promptings. God’s Spirit will guide us in how to pray.
All the promises of God and His Kingdom must be received like a little child. Becoming like a little child doesn’t mean that God wants us to become immature and ignorant. On the contrary, we know that God would have us grow in spiritual maturity and in wisdom and knowledge. So what are the child-like qualities that God desires for us to have?
Faith, humility, and sincerity are certainly some good characteristics of a child-like attitude. But sadly, the world pulls us towards self-reliance, pride and pretension.
We must resist the world’s system! As Christians, Christ calls us to be made new in the attitude of our minds (Eph. 4:23). One way to beat the traps of the world and its spiritual darkness is to have the attitude of a little child.
I believe that our prayers to God should have a child-like disposition. Dependence is the child-like quality I will focus on for this post.
A Child-like Dependence
About five years ago, I was asking God to give me a greater revelation of what it means to live by His Spirit.
“Depend on Me” was His answer.
“And how am I to depend on You, Father?” I asked.
“Like a helpless infant depends on their caregiver,” was His gentle revelation to the eyes of my heart.
Gasp! I was dazed as I reflected on His clear message.
“Really, Lord? This is complete and utter dependence… Yes. Yes! This is Your word, ‘Apart from me you can do nothing.’”
My children are still ridiculously dependent on me at times. They seem to think that I’m a nurse, wastebasket, water fountain, snack bar and entertainment center. “My tummy hurts. Here’s my empty wrapper. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. I’m bored.” It’s a little annoying. But hey, at least these are honest, humble and very dependent statements! They need me! They cling to me. Literally!
And God knows we desperately need Him.
Oh, oh, oh, how I need my Father God! I’m so terribly needy, weak and unable. Only in God do I live and move and have my being. Apart from Him, I can’t do anything. And the same is true for you.
This is how I now come to God in prayer, clinging to His wisdom and strength!
Proverbs 3:5-6 explains in perfect clarity the child-like dependence we should strive to maintain.
Read it carefully and as if for the very first time… like a little child.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5,6 NKJV