Last month, in our church’s weekly email, I published an excerpt from Hymns for a Kid’s Heart by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada, as a special “Kids’ Edition” of our Worship Song of the Month. This is a lovely book which I highly recommend, full of the stories behind great hymns with devotional thoughts for kids. But, as far as I know, there is no source for children’s devotionals (I could be wrong; please let me know!) about songs that have been written in recent years. So, this month, I wrote my own thoughts for kids about the song All I Have Is Christ. I hope children — and all who are young at heart — enjoy.
Have you ever been told, “God isn’t a vending machine! Don’t come to God with a list of stuff you want and expect him to give them to you — like a vending machine shooting out soda and snacks!”
Do you think that’s true? If we shouldn’t pray a list of things we need or want, how should we pray?
When Jordan Kauflin started to write our Worship Song of the Month, All I Have Is Christ, he wanted to make the chorus complicated and wordy. But his dad encouraged him to keep it simple. Finally, he ended up with the simple prayer: “Hallelujah, all I have is Christ! Hallelujah, Jesus is my life!”
This simple prayer reminds us that, of all the things we need or want, Jesus is the most important. It also tells us that we can in fact come to Jesus with our list of needs and wants because we should rely on Jesus for everything. It also seems to say that, even if God doesn’t answer our prayers in a way we see or a way we like — even if we have nothing else! — Jesus is enough.
It might be a good idea to start your prayers by thanking God for saving you and loving you, the way Jordan Kauflin starts his song. Maybe you could end your prayers by asking God to help you love and serve him better, like Jordan ends his song. But in between, go ahead and tell God whatever’s on your mind — even if it’s a list of stuff you really want.
In the Bible verses we studied last week in church — Matthew 18:1-5 and 19:13-15 — we see that Jesus loves children. He loves to welcome you. He loves to bless you. When you pray, Jesus might not “shoot out” the answers you’re hoping for. But you can know that he loves you, and he loves to hear from you.