Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Importance of the Family Altar

Ever since Anna was a baby, we have gone through the Bible chronologically a number of times.  As we read through, we talked not only about the Bible account we were reading that day, but also how everything in the Bible points to our sin, our need of a Saviour and how Jesus died for our sins and only he can take away our sins.  When she disobeyed, we told her that the Bible says that Anna needs to obey mama and papa.  That it is sin to disobey and that she needs Jesus to help her obey.

Many times my heart would break as she would say "Anna doesn't have Jesus."  I would weep when I heard her asking Jesus to come into her heart and clean her, then say "Jesus, where are you?"  She'd begin looking under the bed saying, "I don't see Jesus, Mama."  Then she raised her voice louder and said "Jesus, please come.  Please, Please!" 

Today, we read about Jesus dying on the cross for us and while we were doing devotions, Anna said, "Papa, Anna wants to pray."  We continued with devotions...Anna a little more urgently, "Papa, Anna needs to pray."  A little while later, with her head bowed, hands covering her eyes and with even more urgency, "Please, Papa.  Anna needs to pray."  Eric, "Okay, Anna.  You can pray."  

"Dear Jesus, Thank you for my sins.  Thank you for Jesus dying for my sins.  Please clean my sins.  Help me to obey Mama and Papa.  Amen."  She then went to the picture we had of Jesus on the cross, kissed it and said, "Thank you, Jesus, for dying for my sins."

We never taught her a 'prayer' to say, just the Bible.  We were shocked and didn't know what to think.  We wondered, "Was she truly accepting Christ as her Saviour?  Did she really know what she was doing?"  Our first thought was, "She didn't have repentance."  Then we remembered that as soon as she had asked Jesus to cleanse her heart and acknowledged her sin of disobedience, she asked Jesus to help her to obey her Mama and Papa. 

Later, when we asked her what she prayed, she said she prayed for Jesus to come into her heart.  When we asked what Jesus did, she just smiled and rubbed her hands over her heart in a cleaning motion.

In our eyes she seemed too young, but Anna was very sincere and Jesus says to come unto Him as a child with child-like faith.  She recognized her need and of her own will, came and asked Jesus to save her from her sins.  Our prayer for our children has always been that they will accept Jesus as soon as they come to understand the Gospel.  We will continue to train our children up in the Bible, chronologically each morning and Psalms or Proverbs in the evenings, and ask that you pray that each of our children come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.     


  1. What a wonderful blessing!! I so enjoy reading your blogs and keeping up with your precious family. I hope one day to be able to meet you. Sincerely, Lori Hutchins from Lighthouse Baptist Church Rolesville NC

  2. Praise the Lord! How precious it is to see a young soul come to know Christ as their personal Saviour.

  3. So happy for you, Jessica! Keep up the great work, Mommy!

  4. Oh how my heart jumps for joy as did the angels when Anna asked Jesus to clean her sins! I was 4 years old when I asked Jeus to be my Saviour, don't doubt her repentance, help her to grow in her new found faith! Praise His name!
    Brenda from Maine

  5. Lori, I look forward to meeting you too! Your church has been such a blessing to us.

    Brenda, Anna seems to have grown leaps and bounds since she trusted in Jesus! It has been amazing to see the difference that has taken place in her heart...even though she is only 3 1/2.

  6. Very sweet story. I love your blog even though I hardly have time to check it.

    May I just give a little caution. I would encourage you to be careful about making this prayer her certainiy that she is in Christ. Go slowly with this. It is very likely that she will have many, many more prayers like this in the future.

    I am not saying that a toddler can NEVER accept Jesus, but far to often parents give an unwarrented "assurance" and then the child struggles all of their life. Was I really saved at three? Was it at 14?...As you read the Bible more I would let concepts like baptism fall upon her heart instead of urging her to that.
    I am hoping my comment doe not create a debate. This is justmy thought from having devoted many years of my like to children's ministry. I have seen the fruit of early so-called salvation produce confussion.

    What I think happens is that often a toddler knows they have sinned but does not understand that they are a sinner.
    Blessings to your family.

  7. I agree, we as parents need to be very careful in our approach to our children as to not promote a false sense of security or push them into a lifetime of doubting. I have seen, even in my own family, those who have ‘professed’ to be saved at an early age living their lives in total rebellion to God claiming salvation. With Anna, she came of her own will and seems to have a very clear understanding, which is growing each day. She talks about it freely. We do not tell her that she is saved (for how can we? I cannot honestly tell my husband that he is saved, just that I believe he is), but when she talks about it we question her and she answers for herself. As far as baptism, we will continue to do our family devotions and I am sure that it will come out sometime. But again with that, God will have to work upon her heart and give her the understanding and desire. The Bible says to come as a child. Adults often complicate salvation, when God has made it simple enough for a child to understand and come.



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