People all over Northern Ireland are constantly praying that the Bible would be received and believed by more people throughout the world. But what do our prayers look like? In this latest article Leah challenges us to pray with childlike simplicity...
Children have so much they can teach us. Again and again I am inspired by their simple faith. Their prayers are short and to the point. They don’t feel the need to speak in long flowing paragraphs, repeating a point using different words. One sentence. One statement. One question. That’s enough. And they believe it. When they say that sentence they believe that God hears it and he will answer it. They don’t need to plead their case or make their prayers sound superior with flowery language and puffed up rhetoric. It’s a simple faith but it’s a powerful one.
I saw this last weekend when I spoke at a Christian Endeavour event in Lisbellaw Methodist Church.
It was a great afternoon of games, challenges and discovery. The kids got to hear all about the Bible Society NI. How the whole movement started with Mary Jones, a little girl who saved up and walked for miles to get a Bible. And how the Bible Society now works all over the world to make sure everyone has the opportunity of having their own Bible.
At the end I asked the kids if they’d like to pray about this work. I didn’t want to put words in their mouths so I gave them space. I asked them to think about what they would like to pray about. To pick a country anywhere in the world and write or draw a prayer for the people there. After looking at the big map set out on the floor the children marched off with pen and paper to find a space in the hall and pray.
Brothers and sisters decided together where they wanted to pray for. Best friends huddled in a corner chatting about how they wanted to pray that children everywhere would know Jesus. And slowly the pages filtered back to me with short sentences and pictures expressing prayers for people and places these kids have never met or been to. Some of the kids handed me sheets of paper of colourful scribbles with big smiles on their faces. I have no idea where or who they have prayed for but our Father knows their hearts and understands those scribbles.
As I chatted to the kids about these prayers we agreed that it would be really encouraging if the Bible Societies working in the different countries knew that kids in Northern Ireland were praying for them. So photos were taken with the promise that they would be sent to the specified countries.
When we look at these prayers, when we speak them out, do we believe them? Do we believe that a simple prayer of ‘please help the people in Syria get a Bible and protect them from war’ can have an impact?
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Today let your prayers be shaped by a simple faith. Speak, draw or write one sentence with the faith that God hears it and answers.
Leah McKibben is Projects Manager for the Bible Society NI. She enjoys visiting different church groups around the country, sharing about the work of the Bible Society NI and encouraging people with stories of how God's Word is impacting lives all over the world..