My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world (1 John 2:1-2 NLT)

Kids are wonderful for their insights into God, faith, and spiritual life. These insights can lead us as adults to take another look at what we say or believe. I have observed that their insights can often stem from misunderstanding something — such as singing the song: "Up from the grave He arose," substituting the words "gravy a rose" for the phrase "grave He arose."

I enjoyed the insight from the following story from one father.

When my daughter said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, "And all girls." This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.

My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, "Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?"

Her response, "Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying 'All Men'!"

To a child, I can understand where the misunderstanding might arise. Perhaps "Amen" might sound like "all men" to her, as if only a certain segment of our society can be saved.

Paul, in writing to Timothy, recommends prayer for their leaders so that peace would be sustained. The reason he gives is because God would "have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV). Just in case you are wondering, the Greek word Paul uses is "anthropos — meaning "human beings" or "mankind" — and not "anaer" — meaning "male" or gender specifically, "man."*

Sometimes we have the tendency to focus on people "just like us"! These folks "just like us" become our sharing the Gospel focus. In a way that is understandable, it is human nature to gravitate to people with whom you have a common bond or share similar backgrounds. However, God doesn't give us the luxury of picking and choosing folks "we like" for salvation.

Amen anyway!
Paul deals with this very problem when he writes:
Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So, we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! (2 Corinthians 5:14-16 NLT)

Ending a prayer with "In Jesus' name, all men!" or "In Jesus' name, all girls!" may not be strictly according to the pattern we have learned, but I say, "Amen anyway!" — which basically means, "let it be so, anyway!"

* That's why the NLT uses the term "everyone" and the NIV "all people" instead of the gender specific "all men."