Karen Barnes's picture

The story of one of the little girls in our kid’s ministry is a good example of how children can learn to trust in God. Samantha’s family was “babysitting” a pet iguana for some friends while they were away. They would feed it, play with it, and care for it everyday. I’m not a lizard fan, but am quite sure the kids loved having it around! One day, when Samantha went in to feed the iguana, she found it lifeless and cold, its head in the water bowl. Of course, it scared her, but her poor little heart just ached for this pet. Her mother came in and tried to console her, but Samantha just wouldn’t accept that it was gone.

This was a time in our ministry we had been teaching the kids about trusting in God, especially in prayer. We had told them that whatever you asked God for, trusting in Him and believing, He would do for you, regardless what it was (Matt 21:21-22) – just believe. There had been many opportunities during our Children’s Church to “practice the Presence” and believe. Samantha took this to heart and began praying life into that lizard. She cried and asked God to bring the creature back to life because the family would miss their pet and it shouldn’t have died. What happened next took them both by surprise.

The iguana took a breath. Now, Samantha’s mom wasn’t sure if that was just the “finale” of his life, or if something was happening, so she watched more intently. He took another breath, and Samantha, not noticing this, kept on praying and interceding compassionately for its life. Then they both saw his tail move, and then a leg, and finally, he opened his eyes and started moving around. Samantha was overjoyed, and when her mom was able to breathe, checked out the creature from stem to stern, finding everything in good working order. 

Samantha completely trusted in God to do what she asked, because she knew from experience and practice that God loved her and would hear her prayer. To this day I still find it incredible that in that moment of despair and pain, she cried out to God for help rather than give in to what seemed like the inevitable. Oh, that we all would learn from her example!  

These are concepts that need to be passed on to our children today, along with the confidence and encouragement that, yes, they CAN do these things! As we equip them, pray over them, then take them out and allow them to “do the stuff”, we give them room to be who God means for them to be NOW – not waiting for them to be 20 or 21 years old!

When we teach our kids that Jesus is more than a coloring book page, that relationship with Him is REAL, tangible and so much fun, they are drawn to Him and He is released to work incredible things in and through them! God is no “respector of persons”, so what we receive as adults, the children can receive also.

Intimacy with Christ is what brings results such as raising the dead! Intimacy breeds trust and a peaceful faith in the others person’s abilities and character. Bringing kids into the presence of Jesus, giving them the tools to draw near to Him and hear His voice are vital to building that intimacy with Him. But we can’t take the children down a road we haven’t already traveled ourselves! Ask the Lord to draw you and to teach YOU to come closer to Him than ever before, and watch what happens. It’s time to raise the dead parts of your life!


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 is now available in both the CWG and Fire For the Nations bookstores. For more information on the book or to schedule dates, check out the website (, or email her at [email protected].

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Anonymous's picture

Very good word, Karen. This message needs to be in every children's Sunday school class and home. "A little child shall lead us". The children can be our models a lot of times if we watch and listen.

Anonymous's picture

Awesome faith builder - especially for our young generation. Keep up the good work!

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