by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
While some may see our country’s annual day for national prayer as a humanly contrived effort spent on politically correct action, we can take this focus to develop family oriented activity that wields powerful influence on our growing children to regularly pray for our nation –more than once a year.
Of course, we do well to participate in community efforts. Hopefully the church to which we are faithful will be among those who join others beseeching God for his mercy, repenting of sin and asking for blessing upon our efforts to share the Gospel with those within our borders who have never heard this Good News. Then we can consider some family activity flowing out of this national observance.
- We can attend our local event, sitting together as a family, and join in the prayer activities.
- We can call a family meeting afterwards to share with one another how this impacted each one’s understanding of prayer and how God is calling us to more earnestly pray for our nation. We can keep track of the decisions we make so we can follow through on what God shows us.
We can follow up on good ideas to incorporate into our family prayer times. Some may require research, a good opportunity for children who are old enough for this, to participate.
- We can repent of attitudes that reveal we do not always respect governmental authority. Note the overall call to repentance in Dan. 9:4-6 for one example. Quote it together.
- We can pray for our city’s mayor and other top officials, by name, frequently.
- Who are our state congressmen and/or women? Whether we are in favor of their political persuasions or not, we can pray for them by name Whereas I’m not a fan of those who urge me to ‘demand such and such from congress,’ I wonder how these government leaders would respond to a note from a family member (especially if it were a school-aged child) assuring them of our family’s prayers.
- How often do we, in group prayer, remember the president of our nation? Can anyone name even one justice on the Supreme Court and tell why this powerful group of men and women is so important? We parents can do much to create an atmosphere that is non-judgmental and refuse to allow bi-partisan debate, at this prayer time, on issues that are dividing our nation, unless these issues are clearly related to God’s biblical ordinances.
- We can spend time discovering what God says in the 2017 Day of Prayer observance Bible passage in Daniel 9:17-20. Daniel 9:17, speaks specifically of a ‘desolate sanctuary.’ We can take time to praise God that he still blesses us (unlike many other nations) with freedom to worship him. We can pray for those instances in our country where violence erupts even in houses of worship and intercede for the people involved. (Here’s an opportunity for older kids to do a bit of research to find examples of this.)
- It would prove beneficial to spend time investigating what the Bible says we should do to show respect for those who have spiritual authority in our lives. How common is it that children hear us speak disparagingly of our pastor or some other leader in our church fellowship? How prevalent is gossip? Does the rumor mill grind up people’s reputations, thus giving children the message that they don’t deserve our respect?
- Can we make a covenant with the Lord that we and our family will diligently seek his face on behalf of leaders at every level of government in our great land many more days beyond this annual day of prayer for our nation?
May we observe this year’s National Day of Prayer with humble, penitent hearts and actions that clearly point to our belief in God’s sovereignty and his willingness to bless those who trust and obey him.
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray…2 Chronicles 7:14
KidZ at Heart values the family’s part in enabling children to fulfill their role in God’s plan.