My wife and I were teaching the second grade Sunday school class at our church a couple of years back. It never ceased to amaze me how those children could catch on so quickly to the Word and its meaning. One day in particular we were teaching on Jesus explaining to His disciples that with faith and without doubting, they could do the things He was doing and more if only they had enough faith. The verse was out of Matthew and chapter 21. In verse 22, Jesus tells the disciples, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Ok, being second graders, I really wanted to stress what this verse was saying, in a way that they could truly understand. They were pretty smart kids, but prayer is our instant connection with God, and I really wanted them to get it. After explaining the situations about winning the lottery, or getting a new Ferrari, we talked about God knowing what we need before we even ask. If He wanted to bless us with winning the lottery, or a brand new sports car, of course He could, but if we know God’s plans for us, He will give us whatever we need, whenever we need it. We need only to ask.
I explained to the kids that God knew what we were going to ask for, but that He wanted us to truly believe without any doubt that He would provide, and that’s why we still asked. Faith like that is not easy, so I really wanted to focus on believing without doubting. We went over and over it. I used several examples of situations in which they could find themselves, and honestly, I probably overdid it a little. The kids began to lose interest after the first couple of times we explained this verse. I was pained by this because I truly wanted them to understand. Eventually I lost them completely due to my over zealousness to reach them.
After class I was telling my wife how I just didn’t think the kids got what it truly means to believe without doubting. My wife knows how strongly I feel about prayer, and did her best to console me with things like how young they were, or how they were just having on off day. We went on and listened to the sermon and after church I still couldn’t shake the feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was beating myself up over the lesson with the kids because I felt I didn’t do a good enough job communicating what I wanted to say, in order for them to get it.
We got in the truck and headed for home. Not long after pulling out of the parking lot of the church, I felt as if the Holy Spirit hit me in the side of the head with a bible. I began to get an understanding that truly made me weep as I drove along. God was showing me that it wasn’t the kids that didn’t understand it. It wasn’t them that needed to hear it so many times. They got it right away. It was me! The Holy Spirit was convicting me over the same verse! I began to ask myself if my faith was as strong as I explained to the kids. It was a real eye-opener for me that morning.
God was telling me that because I’d let the world influence my thinking, I didn’t have the same kind of faith that those children did. I will never forget it as long as I live. I’ve been humbled by God many times, but this particular morning truly changed my way of thinking!