A Little Child Will Lead Them

June 20, 2019 | Education | Darla John

Anchorage Junior Academy pre-K and kindergarten students made a point this school year to connect with God through prayer. So it was no surprise for me to hear the small voice at my desk, “But I don’t know how to pray!”

The first week of school was coming to a close, and the little face looking into mine was earnest and concerned. “Prayer is just a way to talk to Jesus, Johnathan," I said. "We will learn together!” And over the weeks, we did!

Soon Johnathan was joining our class prayer meetings with prayers of his own. When a classmate was hurt, he lifted them up to the Lord. When his dog was sick, God heard about it. When Notre Dame was burning, he requested God send a big wind to blow it out or at least remind the firemen to bring the biggest fire truck to “blast that fire out, OH LORD!”

My prayer life and spiritual understanding grew from listening to God’s little ones learn to talk to their friend, Jesus. The faith, the honesty of sharing what mattered to them, the sweetness of their trust … it changed me. When one of our students moved to a remote village in Alaska, her friends at Anchorage Junior Academy faithfully brought her needs to Jesus. Although my pre-K/kindergarten students are young, they know that life isn’t always easy — it’s a battle.

Perhaps that is why the song “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” hit a chord with them as they practiced for our spring program. I have never heard such heartfelt singing out of little bodies. Their enthusiasm knew no bounds, and it would break out at surprising times of day: lunch time, recess, free-choice time.

One day, I heard the song coming from the bathroom. After a lengthy handwashing session, Johnathan came to me and said, "Ms. Darla, do you know something? Did you know that ALL the battles belong to God?”

It was as though time slowed in that busy moment for me to see the little face, once again peering earnestly into mine. My battles, his battles … they all came in to focus. We stood there for a heaven-blessed, full-circle moment, soaking in the truth that Jesus has us firmly in hand. We talk to Him, and He fights our battles! Amen, Johnathan!