Though I was raised in a small city, we still had enough country in us that our family always planted a garden each Spring. From those days, I learned that long before the seed is planted into the soil, the size of the crop is being established. How? The smart gardener knows not to throw the seed upon a dry, crusty ground. He knows the value of tilling the soil, removing the weeds, fertilizing, etc.
Sadly, many children’s ministry leaders and workers haven’t learned this valuable principle. They haven’t learned that the success of their ministry time is determined long before they walk into the classroom. They haven’t learned the importance of preparing the ground in which the seed will be planted. Consequently, teachers are facing what appears to be cold, indifferent settings where those in the class seem unresponsive to the message. The hearts are hard thus making it difficult for the Word to penetrate and take root.
How do we till the soil? How do we prepare our students for the ministry of the Word? By praying in the Spirit. The receptivity of our class will change as we begin to pray in the Holy Spirit BEFORE teaching the class. By praying in our heavenly language, we are asking the Holy Spirit to pray through us for our students so that hearts will be tilled, hard and apathetic hearts will be broken up and prepared for the planting of the seed of God’s Word. By praying and interceding in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit intervenes through us touching on issues within children’s lives, coming against principalities and powers that would hinder the proclamation and reception of God’s Word.
Why should we pray in other tongues? We really don’t have a clue about how to pray for our children and upcoming ministry. We don’t see the complete picture of what is needed. Thank God for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 tells us that He partners together with us as we pray and helps us surpass our restrictions as He makes intercession through us. “The Spirit also helps us in our present limitations. For example, we do not know how to pray worthily, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which cannot find words.” (The New Testament in Modern English, J.B. Phillips)