While in the Philippines this summer, I led a group of about 200 children through their first encounter with Jesus in soaking prayer. God always shows up during these times, and just because I was overseas, it made no difference to God – He’s not a respecter of persons!
Many of these children did not know Jesus previously, so we had a time of teaching on who He was, what sin was, how there was an empty place in their spirits that only He could fill, and why they really needed Him. Most of the children listened attentively, and when the opportunity was given, received Jesus with gladness, and some with tears and gratefulness! There was one young man, however, about 12, who was making fun of the others, and didn’t seem interested in the message. We just prayed that God would speak to him in His perfect timing.
After rejoicing with the kids, we talked about how they could now come to Jesus and actually hear the voice of the Creator of the universe speaking to them personally through prayer. I asked who wanted to hear God talk to them, and they all excitedly raised their hands! We got them settled, gave some brief instruction, started some music, then invited Jesus to come and waited.
Within about 15 minutes or so, this same young man who just moments before had ridiculed the others was lying on his back with tears streaming down his face, then laughing quietly, then crying silently again. We videotaped his reactions, careful not to disturb him, and marveled at the changes taking place right before our eyes. After about 30 minutes of soaking, we brought the kids back and processed with them what they had experienced. This young man was so overcome, he could not even talk. It wasn’t until the next day that we found out what had happened, but the impact on him was evident to everyone immediately.
The next day, Junel and his praying grandmother came to us with an amazing story. Junel had not wanted to pray, but one of the adults put him in an area by himself away from his other friends, so he decided to try and pray – he was not a believer at this time. As he began listening to the music, he asked God to show him a picture, like we asked all the children to do.
He told us he saw a big hole in the ground. He began walking towards the hole, and noticed it was very hot – it had fire in the hole. The fire was so intense, he could actually feel the heat and smell the smoke coming from it. It was so huge, it scared him, and he intuitively knew it was a bad place. He walked up to the edge of this hole and could feel the heat burning him.
Junel said he knew that he was supposed to go into that fiery hole – that because of all the bad things he had done in his life, it was what he was supposed to do, and he began to cry. Junel looked to his side and saw Jesus standing next to him. He said Jesus smiled at him, and Junel told Jesus he didn’t want to go in that hole. He told Jesus he was sorry for all the bad things he had done in his life and would Jesus please help him so he wouldn’t have to go in that hole. Jesus put His arms around him, and immediately Junel said he felt peace and happiness and knew he wouldn’t have to go into the fire. He began to laugh, then cry with happiness, then laugh again – all the things we witnessed as we watched him!
I believe Junel had a salvation experience through his time with the Lord. It was truly amazing watching the transformation take place – his demeanor had totally changed afterwards, and today, months later, he is a different young man! The power of God on a child through hearing God’s voice for themselves is truly life changing!
Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.
She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, Kids Can! will be released soon. For more information, contact her at [email protected] or go to www.fire4thenations.com