Welcome to the July 2017 Prayer Vigil!
It is never too early or too frequent to be in prayer for children. How we love, teach and bring up our children, whether they follow Jesus Christ and how we pray for them, will affect and shape the future of our families, church, community and perhaps nations and the world.
As the body of Christ and as a church family we have, on many occasions, made covenants with parents of children at “child dedication ceremonies” to support and help them bring up their children in Christ. We need to pray not only for the children and the parents but also for ourselves that we will be true to our commitment. Although the responsibility of passing on the Word of God to children begins with their parents in the home (Deut. 6:4 – 7, Eph. 6:4), we have all been entrusted with God’s word, the Truth, and God wants us to pass it on to future generations. As we pray -
Know your concerns for your child and bring them all to the Lord.
“…Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children…” (Lamentations 2:19, NKJV)
Release your child into God’s hands.
Your child is a gift to you from God and He cares even more about him than you do! “Behold,
children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3, NKJV)
“ When we pray for our children, we are asking God to make His presence a part of their lives and work powerfully in their behalf….That doesn’t mean there will always be an immediate response. Sometimes it takes days, months or years. But our prayers are not lost or meaningless. If we are praying, something is happening, whether we can see it or not.”
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16, NIV)
Pray with God’s word
“When we employ God’s word in prayer, we are laying hold of the promises He gives us and
appropriating them into the lives of our children”.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7, NKJV)
“We can resist Satan more effectively if we pray to God according to His directions found in the
Scriptures. Resisting Satan on behalf of our children can free them to make godly choices.”
(James 4:7, Matthew 12:29).
Stand in the gap
You can pray for children who do not have believing or praying parents. Ask God to reveal to you how to pray for him/ her.
“God, show me how to pray in a way that will make a difference in this child’s life.”
“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him” (Psalm 25:14, NKJV)
Pray together with other parents
“Again, I (Jesus) tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19, NIV)
Pray for two things of the foremost importance:
• That our children come to know and love Jesus and become Christ followers
• That our children grow up with a right and secure identity and a healthy self-image
Pray that the following are or will be realities in each child’s life -
• I know that God is creator of all things and has authority over me
• I know that God loves me unconditionally and his love is unchanging
• I know that I am created in God’s image and I have inherent value
• I know my parents love me and they show me they do
• I can trust in my parents and they are dependable
• I feel accepted in the family and have a sense of belonging
• My parents show me that I am important to them
• My parents believe in me and have confidence in me and I feel encouraged by them
• My parents have authority over me but they are not authoritarian
• My parents listen to me and we spend time talking to each other
• My parents model the values that they believe in – the Word of God can be seen in their lives
• My parents will give me guidance that I can rely on
Pray that the Lord will show you any wounds and pains that are in the heart of the child and, if there are, how to deal with them to bring healing. Ask the Lord that they will learn the Truth that can set them free (John 8:31, 32; 14:6). Pray that the children will learn to forgive, receive forgiveness and forgive themselves. Pray that they will receive the affirmation that they need so they will grow up into healthy men and women in the Lord. Pray that they will follow the Truth and be able to distinguish between good and evil (Heb. 5:14).
Pray also that –
• Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming (Matt. 19: 13 – 15).
• They will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful persistent call (2 Peter 3: 9).
• They will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and will desire to fulfill the greatest commandments (Matt. 22: 37 – 39).
• They will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage (2 Cor. 6: 14 – 16).
• Their thoughts will be pure (Phil. 4: 8).
• Their hearts will be moved to give generously to the Lord (Ex. 35: 29).
• When the time is right, they will GO (Matt. 28: 18 – 20)!
Vacation Bible School (VBS) at IBC is a very important event because children are important to Jesus (Matt. 19:14), and ministry to children and their parents is important at IBC. This year the VBS will be August 7 – 11 and 13. Please pray for all the children who will be attending the Vacation Bible School and the parents/adults who will be accompanying them. Pray that all that will happen at the VBS will draw them to our Lord Jesus. Please pray also –
- For God’s presence, love and guidance throughout the preparation and during the VBS, and that the whole event will have a positive and lasting impact on the hearts of the children.
- That the Lord will prepare the children’s hearts for the activities and learning, especially the children who do not attend church.
- For the Lord’s spiritual protection, and protection from germs, illness and allergies.
- For the children’s quick adjustment to the environment and the program.
- For good weather conditions so that attendance will not be affected.
- “No fears and no tears” for the children in the preschool program.
- For strength, energy, patience, wisdom and understanding for the teachers, organizers and care providers in meeting all the needs of the children.
In closing, let us pray for ourselves and for each other, for the Lord to teach us the skills or the right perspective in parenting. Pray that spouses will love each other and show it, because children can be profoundly affected by it. Ask the Lord to reveal to us our own wounds and sins and pray for healing of those wounds and for cleansing from those sins (1John 1:9). Ask the Lord that we may be suitably prepared by the power of His Spirit to care for children in the way that He wants us to do (Gal. 5:22, 23; 1Thess. 5:23, 24).
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!
[This prayer guide was prepared by Charles Ip]