by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Launching a family prayer time and joining the worldwide prayer initiative for children-at-risk this weekend may be a new experience for your family. Rather than being overwhelmed, you could find it a great way to create a new family tradition. You may want to begin very simply.
Imagine what would happen if some Saturday morning you announced that you were going to continue your lifelong love for tennis by developing a program for everyone together to get fit, and get going. You involve everyone in a long session in a gym, building muscles and stamina. Then, you meet at a public tennis court for a few hours introducing some rudiments of tennis and practicing the skills needed to be proficient. After this, you’ll rest in the shade while your nutritionist friend shares how your diet is being revamped to give everyone the most effective boost to your well-being and strength. I wonder how many enthusiastic tennis players you’d have at the end of the day.
Of course, we know this is probably not the best way to introduce people to something for which they have no previous experience. It might be tempting to forget the invitation to call your family to prayer. Rather than completely disregarding a family prayer time this weekend, why not start something small, prepare creatively, planning for interaction. Pray down God’s blessing on your family.
We’ve already given you internet links to Viva where you’ll find very easy ideas to get you started. I’ve just finished writing a story based in Ukraine that highlight’s the forgotten children (Adults, click to watch the video). You can research on your own to bring prayer items to your family, and set aside a little time for an uninterrupted time with a loving Heavenly Father.
Here’s an idea to get things going. Using sticky notes or tape, post brightly colored prayer points in appropriate places around the house. Let these prompt a person to say a prayer, out loud or silently, when he sees the sticky note. (I’ll give you a list of ideas at the end of this entry. You’ll no doubt think of others.) Perhaps, towards the end of the day, Saturday or Sunday, you might instruct family members to choose one sticky note and bring it to a family meeting. He can share the prayer item and anything else he might know about the situation and then pray simply…or ask for a brief time of silence so everyone can pray. Let everyone have a turn and then say or read the Lord’s prayer together.
This is a very simple prayer plan that takes little time for preparation. You might watch a portion of a documentary like the one on Ukraine’s Forgotten Children – or even part of another documentary and pray about what you see. Be sure to point out that you’re joining with possibly thousands around the world to pray for children-at-risk.
Here are some possible locations for the sticky notes:
- On the frig door and entrance to a pantry, post, “Children who go hungry.”
- On the bathroom sink mirror, “Children who don’t have clean drinking water.”
- On a closet door, “Children, who have little to wear, even in cold weather.”
- At the head of the bed, “Children who sleep on cardboard boxes on the street.”
- On the front door, “Children who have no homes.”
- At a place where you study for school, “Children who can’t attend school.”
- On the TV screen, “Children who live without electricity.”
- On the medicine cabinet, “Children sick with preventable illnesses.”
- On a toy gun or something representing the military, “Child soldiers.”
- Cut out pictures in magazines that portray some need or threat a child might have and attach a sticky note to each with a prayer prompt.
Consider near the end of Sunday inviting family members to collect all the sticky notes and placing them on a piece of poster board to display somewhere frequented often during the week. Use the poster from time to time to spark discussion and encourage personal research. Don’t forget to thank God for what he is doing in response to prayer, as well.
Pray continually. I Thessalonians 5:17