We can’t make them Christians, nor ought we to cajole them into saying the words that will please us without a care as to whether it reflects a true change of heart.
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matt. 13:44-46)
A savvy and successful merchant or land-dealer needs to possess the ability to see and apprehend the true value of a commodity, a value which may otherwise be hidden. In this same way, in order for us to be able to obtain the kingdom of heaven, we need to have eyes to see it and apprehend its value. How do we get such eyes? Only from the Lord.
So we pray for the children to have spiritual eyes to see God’s kingdom for the great value that it has.
A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell . . .
In this passage in Luke 8 we hear Jesus tell the story of the sower whose seed fell on the path, on rocky ground and amongst the thorns. But where the seed fell on good soil, the crop grew and yielded a hundredfold. “As he said these things, [Jesus] called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’” The disciples followed Jesus and asked what the parable meant, and as you know (if you don’t, look it up here: Luke 8:5-15), our Lord explained that the fault was not in the seed, but in the ground on which it fell, and proceeded to describe hearts that represent a hard path, rocky ground or thorny soil.
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
So, secondly, we pray that the Lord would give the children hearts of fertile ground, and that we would be good stewards of those hearts by faithfully tilling and correctly preparing the ground for His good seed.
Ask your 4th-6th graders what they should value most and what they would do to obtain that thing of great value, and whether their hearts are fertile ground for the Word of God to take root and yield fruit a hundredfold.