Let the Children Come to Me

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

I’ve been wrestling with this verse lately. For so long it has been one of my favorite verses, part of my calling to homeschool our children and to teach preschool Sunday school, sharing Jesus with God’s littlest ones.  Yet lately I’ve come to understand it could have other interpretations.

Two days before my granddaughter was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with cancer, we had an earnest discussion at my Bible study. Our study book shared the testimony of a mom who had lost her three-year-old daughter to a sudden illness.  One of our ladies asked if that little girl was in heaven.  Our leader replied, “Most certainly.”  

Just that morning I had been reading my daily Bible reading which included the verse above from Matthew 19:14.  I had studied the notes in my John MacArthur study Bible and felt God urging me to share them.  MacArthur explained how God’s mercy is graciously extended to the “infants” who are not yet capable of belief.  In His great mercy, He grants them entrance into heaven.  We see this example when King David’s first son with Bathsheba died.  In 2 Samuel 12:23, King David proclaimed:

…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

King David knew the hope and promise of seeing his baby again in heaven.  It reminded me of the book called Heaven is for Real, where a little boy was so sick he went to heaven and saw Jesus with many children, including his own sister! I also rejoice in knowing that the babies we lost are waiting for us in heaven, and I shared this joy with the other ladies. 

But then came the news about our granddaughter, so soon after this discussion, and I said, “NO!!!!!!!”  You can not have this little one yet!  Maybe in 80 years, but not now!”  Though I know she could be happy and dancing with Jesus and her younger siblings and aunts, and not have to endure more cancer treatments or the rough teen years or any heartache, I don’t want that for her parents.  I want them to have the joy of raising their daughter and I want to share in that joy.  

And so, as Kennedy continues to endure chemo treatments and pains, I cry out like the father in Heaven is for Real, “No!!! Is this how you treat your prayer warriors?! Please heal her, O God, I pray! (Num. 12:13) Hear my cry, O God, attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:1-2). Heal our Kennedy Grace. Amen.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read how Jesus welcomed the children in Matthew 19:13-15.  What are these verses telling you? What young children in your life can you welcome in Jesus’ Name?  

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (NKJV)

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

My Healing TEA

And as many as touched Him were made well. Mark 6:56 (NKJV)

As our world is turned upside down by coronavirus, what our world needs, what our nation needs, what our granddaughter needs, what I need…is a CUPP of Healing TEA!  Today I share with you verses you can pray as you pour out your heart to the Lord for our nation and world and your family and friends.  Prayer and Jesus are the answers to all we need.

T is for Thanksgiving

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  John 9:2-3 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Take heed in an outbreak of leprosy, that you carefully observe and do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you; just as I commanded them, so you shall be careful to do. Deuteronomy 24:8 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings… Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I’ve been needing this Healing TEA a lot lately. Perhaps you would like a CUPP, too? Pour your favorite morning mug, open your Bible and prayer journal, use these verses to pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer. What are your favorite healing verses?

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Jesus Calm the Storm, My Lazarus TEA, Tea in the Storm, and When the TEA Spills.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  Love, Jennifer Grace

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid; only believe.  Mark 5:36 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Are Ye Able?

But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 (NKJV)

“Are Ye Able, said the Master…”  This old hymn has been running through my head for over a month after I read the above scripture in my Bible in January.  I was curious as to what day I started humming this tune, and flipped back through my journal to locate the verse. I was very surprised when I found out the exact day.

I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotion booklets.  On January 31, the New Testament reading was from Matthew 20:17-34.  In this passage, the mother of Jesus’ disciples James and John came to Him to request her sons sit beside Jesus in His kingdom.  Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink…?” 

As I read this, my mind immediately went to the old hymn by Earl Marlatt (1925).  The first verse cries out:

“Are ye able,” said the Master,
“To be crucified with me?”
“Yea,” the sturdy dreamers answered,
“To the death we follow Thee.”

That morning, before the day began, I wrote Matthew 20:22 in my prayer journal along with this short prayer, “O Jesus, I want to be able. Please make me able by Your great power and Holy Spirit.” And I wrote the last verse and chorus of this great hymn:

“Are ye able?” Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

“Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.” (Marlatt, 1925)

Later that very morning, while doing home school with my son Joel, I happened to glance at my phone (which I usually ignore during home school) and noticed this text from my daughter Kallie about our granddaughter, “We are in an ambulance on our way to Milwaukee. They think Kennedy has pneumonia.” 

But it was not pneumonia, it was something much worse, cancer, T-cell Lymphoma in a little three-and-a-half-year-old girl.  And I cried out to the Lord, “No!”  And, “I’m not able!”  And, “Take me, not our precious granddaughter.”  I wanted to collapse in a puddle of tears, and sometimes I do, following Jesus’ example in John 11:35.

But I’ll tell you who has been able…little Kennedy and her parents.  Kennedy has endured more pokes and pains in a month than most people have in a lifetime.  Her mom and dad have taken this in stride and encouraged Kennedy and trusted their doctors, where I would be falling apart.  Thank you, Jesus, for making them able.

We don’t get to choose our stories or trials, this is the one we get to walk through today.  And so I pray again, “Lord, make me able. Help me be a strong grandma for Kennedy and fight this battle on my knees in prayer. Help me be a beacon to all who are going through trials. Please heal our sweet Kennedy.”  

“Please heal her, O God, I pray!” Numbers 12:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Perhaps you are not feeling able to face what is happening in your life today.  Pray to Jesus for help.  Claim all His promises.  He will make us able and see us through even this. 

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Talitha, Cumi

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Mark 5:41 (NKJV)

 

“Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi. Talitha, cumi.” Over and over I prayed for my granddaughter as I worked all day.  “Talitha, cumi. Little girl, arise.”  Just as Jesus spoke to the daughter of Jairus in Mark 5 and she got up and had something to eat.  I wanted that for Kennedy who at just short of 4 years of age has T-cell lymphoma cancer. 

Late in the afternoon on the day of praying I had a text message from my daughter saying Kennedy was re-admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in her leg.  She would need two shots a day in the stomach to prevent more blood clots during her chemo treatments.  Oh, what a thing to endure for someone so young.  Kennedy is braver than I’ll ever be.  “Talitha, Cumi.”  I keep on praying.  “Talitha, Cumi.  Little girl, arise.  Do your miracles, Jesus!”

Two days later Kennedy had a PET scan to check the mass that was pressing on her heart and lungs a month ago.  The next day her delighted parents found out the results…the tumor is gone!  Not a trace of the mass that had covered one-third of her chest cavity.  All praise be to God!  Yet we still await results of a bone marrow biopsy, and the medication Kennedy had for a month has left her with no hair or muscles, leaving her unable to move from the sofa.  And so I keep praying, “Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi, Talitha, cumi.  Little one, arise.”  And I keep trusting Jesus for more miracles.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the miraculous healing stories of Jesus in Mark 5:21-43.  Are you like the bleeding woman who needs healing?  Or do you know a child who needs your prayers for healing?  Pray, “Talitha, cumi.”

…“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.