I was about 5 yrs old when my mother made me her first convert. There is no one quite so zealous as a baby Christian. Funny, the Christians who know the least doctrine are the most active evangelists. I have memories of memories of an excited mommy who seemed to watch the 700 Club whenever it was on air. She read her Bible voraciously. She searched desperately for The Right Church.
Eventually she settled on Maranatha Praise Tabernacle with Pastor Joe Garlington. The multiculural congregation was an anomaly in the 1970’s. She gloried in exhuberant praise which mixed rousing gospel standards with classic hymns and folksy worship songs. Pastor Garlington earned a reputation as a dynamic worship leader and a humorous, articulate preacher.
My mother led others to Christ. She shared her knowledge and understnding of the Word. I soaked it all in.
When I was about 9, I heard her singing in another language. It was eery and beautiful. I could tell she was worshipping even as she did the laundry. I came down the steps and listened. Finally, I risked startling her and declared, “I want that.” Confused, she asked what I meant. I pointed to her and said, “What you were doing, I want it too.” Now understand, in kindergarten, she taught me to count in French. I knew that there was more to what she was doing than just another language.
Since no one had told her that
A). I was too young to be born again at age 5 and
B). I was too young to speak in tongues…
She shrugged, placed her hands on my head and imparted the baptism in the Holy Spirit…
I must confess my prayer language didn’t sound like hers at all. It sounded like “Mewr mewr mewr mewr”. Suddenly unsure, my mom called one of the pastors and asked if it worked. He asked her to place the phone near me so he could hear me. I wasn’t shy, “Mewr mewr mewr mewr!” The pastor told her, “It’s real.”
As a father and Sunday School teacher, I get to share salvation with many kids. I will lead any child capable of speach in the Salvation Prayer. My 9 yr old daughter speaks in tongues, it sounds adorable. When she prays (in tongues or English) for healing or blessing adults are amazed how effective it is. Many of us have had instant healing on dozens of occasions. For any skeptics uttering “Placebo effect”, it works even if we don’t know she’s praying. If Naomi and my wife Nicole pray for me without my knowledge, I still get the healing. How about that?
Nothing bonds parent and child like praying and worshipping at home on a regular basis. If you then study the Bible together it has great impact. Simply dropping your children off at church doesn’t have the same effect at all. They need to know that you value your relationship with Jesus.
How old were you when you got saved?