“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44).
On December 1, I received an amazing phone call from my son and daughter-in-law. Through the miracle of FaceTime and iPhones, I was able to see the 3-D photograph of a very special baby…my granddaughter, due in April. Right now she weighs only about 12 ounces and is only 6 ½ inches long, but her senses are developing to the point where she can already hear noises outside the womb. Our God is an amazing Creator!
I pondered the miracle that such a tiny baby can hear voices and sounds halfway through her development in the womb, and it occurred to me that perhapsthe Father is already whispering His heart to hers. Scripture says that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt at the sound of Mary’s voice (Luke 1:44). We, whom God created in His likeness, were formed for fellowship with Him. All of life in the womb is prayer, as Creator forms and then speaks to His beloved new child…His creation.
We are predisposed to hear God’s voice from the earliest possible moment. Unfortunately, from the moment we are born, somehow the holy voice that fueled our souls is easily lost in a myriad of other voices and stimuli. Even in the womb there are many new sounds to begin listening to…the voices of our parents and siblings, television, traffic, music… much of it loud and frightening. What if our prayers provide the incubator that sustains our precious children from the moment we learn of their existence? What if we read and speak out the Word of God to them so that they always know and feel the security of the love and mercy of the Father through us? Perhaps our own prayerful lives have a greater impact upon our little ones than we have ever realized!
For most of us, prayer no longer seems as simple as breathing in and out and we have found ways to confine our prayers into segments of time rather than incorporate it into our everyday moment by moment living. Yet, there are some who find a way to give life to prayer in the midst of every moment. Brother Lawrence was just such a soul. He said, “I gave up all devotions and prayers that were not required and I devote myself exclusively to remaining always in his holy presence. I keep myself in his presence by simple attentiveness and a general loving awareness of God that I call ‘actual presence of God’ or better, a quiet and secret conversation of the soul with God that is lasting.” (Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God: Critical Edition, 53)
I believe that children understand this Presence better than most…even before they can clearly articulate it. Yet, most of us do not have a clear awareness that the God of the Universe used to speak to us. We were born into a life that either nurtured our relationship with the Father, or allowed it to fall into neglect until we were judged to be “mature enough” to comprehend how to have a relationship with the very One our hearts have always known.
As parents and grandparents, perhaps we can learn how to reassess the prayer lives of the youngest in our midst, understanding that they may actually be more in tune with the voice of God and the rhythms of life within the kingdom than we have previously suspected. Perhaps Brother Lawrence has articulated exactly how Jesus came to His Father in and for all things… as a little child – simply living in His Presence and having soul conversations continually. I have no theological proof, but I am willing to assert that Jesus lived in such communion with God from His earliest moments. He knew the voice that fueled His passion and His ministry…the voice that had spoken life to Him. Are we not created in the image of this loving Father?
My prayer for my yet unborn granddaughter is that she will hear and cherish the voice of God all the days of her life…that no external noise will quench the still small voice of her Heavenly Father! Perhaps if all of us prayed this way for our children, grandchildren and the children in our spheres of influence who are yet unborn, the upcoming generation will be so spiritually in tune that the world will once again be turned upside down. As their young lives reflect the life of Jesus with every breath, His kingdom will be present to us all! Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel – God with us!
“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50).
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle with God as we align our hearts with His plans and purposes for His glory and for the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website). Kim is a member of America's National Prayer Committee, VP of Gospel Revivals, Inc. and on the Advisory Board for America Prays.
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.