Our newest prayer initiative, 40 Days of Prayer, is currently underway – with many of our churches spending 40 days in intentional prayer.
Narara Valley Baptist is one of these churches. They’re sharing a digital prayer journal, running weekly virtual prayer gatherings, and engaging with video testimonies. And, they’re also considering how young children can be included! Pinching an idea off Pinterest, their Children’s & Family Pastor (Carolyn Corkill) has come up with a way to engage Nursery and P–K kids this season.
Here’s how it works:
· For any families interested, ‘Prayer Bear’ is dropped off at their house on Monday.
· Throughout the week, the family is encouraged to take the opportunity to use Prayer Bear as a reminder to pray together.
· They also receive a special scrapbook and could use the prayer page to note prayers that their child would like to pass on (and decorate any way they’d like).
· Families can also take photos of their child/ren doing a lockdown activity with Prayer Bear…Maybe going on a bushwalk or playing in the yard. Printed photos can then be stuck onto the prayer page in the scrapbook.
· Prayer Bear is returned to the church office on Friday and sanitized before being delivered to the next family!
Louise Bartlett (our Children & Family Ministries Facilitator) thinks the idea is great. “What I love about this idea from Narara Valley Baptist Church is that it joins the whole church in prayer and it practically supports parents in their desire to raise their kids with faith,” she says. “Prayer is paramount for a flourishing relationship with God. It’s good for us to make it a habit – a way of being – ready to speak with and listen to God at all times. Nurturing a child’s desire to connect with God in prayer when they are young is a wonderful thing to do. Kids can pray long before they can read. There’s no such thing as starting too early when encouraging prayer and listening to God. Prayer is something we can all participate in!”
At Chester Hill Baptist, Rev David Um (Lead Pastor) and his wife Esther have also engaged kids during 40 Days of Prayer – specifically, their own three primary-school-aged children! David says, “I believe that adults and parents need to be disciple-making children organically and naturally, just like we do for adults…My family had prayer meetings every day. We prayed for nations, churches and our church family using the Baptist Association’s prayer points, our church’s prayer points, and individual prayer points. My children became prayer warriors!”. His son Joseph (who is in Year 5) has completely filled his prayer booklet, and will be opening our National Prayer Night for COVID on August 31st (doing the praise/adoration prayer on our behalf).
Carolyn Altman (our Prayer Coordinator) is heading up our prayer initiative. “I am so encouraged to see the creative ways children are being encouraged to pray with their parents during ’40 Days of Prayer’,” she says. “Right from the start of planning this prayer campaign, we wanted it be intergenerational – so that kids could be taught both the importance and simplicity of prayer, as well as develop a habit of daily prayer. I love, too, that kids have then modelled the importance, simplicity and habit of daily prayer back to their parents – something we sometimes forget! Seeing their faith grow as they receive answers to their prayers is so special, and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do through the prayers of this generation!”
WATCH this video (by the Children & Families team at Georges River Life Church) for another simple way to engage children in prayer…