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5-year-old inspires John 3:16 Christmas prayer

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Our family sat down to dinner one day several years ago, and our 5-year-old said he wanted to bless the food. We bowed our heads, turning our attention toward Heaven, and he started: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son....”

It took me a second to realize what he was doing. He continued: “That whosoever believed in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. Amen.”

“Seffie” had recently learned John 3:16 in his Awana’s Sparks class, and I guess no one ever told him not to pray it. He’d said many prayers before — beautiful prayers that were intense with the emotions of his little heart, but this one struck me as one of the most precious.

My initial thought was to explain to him that we needed to pray for the food and ask God to make it healthy for us. After all, we were about to eat. Yet, in an instant, I was reminded by the Spirit to keep quiet. Why should I tell him any differently? Why should there be a “right” way to speak to God and “wrong” way? On the contrary, it was a wonderful thing that he prayed the Word of God back to God. And more importantly, I’m sure it put a smile on the Lord’s face.

Oh, and what better prayer could there be this time of year, when all the world struggles with being focused on getting instead of giving, even in Christian circles. So, I think I’ll end this little column with my own John 3:16 “Christmastime prayer.”

Won’t you join me?

“Thank You, my God, for so loving me that You decided to give me a present that I never deserved, nor could ever earn. Thank You that at just the right time, you placed Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary, that You taught her how to teach Him, that You provided His life for mine, that You chose to allow Him to come and save me. Thank You that you didn’t just do that for me, but You did it for my family, my friends, even those who care nothing about me. You chose to bless them with Your precious Gift — if they would only choose to believe. Thank You for the eternal life You have provided for me, for the fact that this eternal life doesn’t just start when I die. My abundant life started the moment I believed and is my comfort here on this earth, until my eternal life continues with You in Heaven. Thank You for Your Gift, God. Thank You for Jesus.

“Oh, and thanks for my food, too!”

Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and