We don’t have to have children or grandchildren to pray for children. We are well aware of that as we read of the shootings in Parkland, Florida, where 15 children, along with their football coach and athletic director, died. We pray for the parents and siblings and friends of these children, but it also gives us a reminder to pray for more children. What children should we pray for?
The surviving children. All children involved in such shootings have been traumatized beyond imagination. They need our prayers for peace and joy to return to their lives—for understanding from the adults around them, for connecting with God rather than turning from him.
Children and grandchildren. Usually we have no problem praying for the children in our families. But what do we pray? For them to be kind and generous, thoughtful and caring, to have wisdom in their decisions, to decide for themselves to follow Jesus. We pray for their future spouses that will work with them in serving the Lord.
Children at our church. We see these children all around us before, during, and after our worship services, but do we pray for them and their parents? Both young parents and their children need prayers. Let’s do it.
Neighborhood children. Those little stinkers in my neighborhood—boy triplets, three boys in another house, then two, then one, plus a couple of girls—are not as careful as I’d like them to be when riding their bikes or crossing the street. Our quiet street sometimes has a speed demon streaking down it, and I want them to be aware of the dangers of riding and playing in the street. Lord, help them to be safe, to be aware, to be kind to each other. And bless their parents!
Children in poverty in the United States. Sometimes as we pray, we think of ways we can actually help these children living in poverty in our own towns and cities. We can be prompted to work at a soup kitchen or as a volunteer with Big Brothers or Big Sisters. The Spirit can guide us. But praying for them is first.
Children around the world. So many children in developing nations suffer from malnutrition and violence daily. According to an SOS Children’s Villages study, 220 million of the world’s children are at risk. 26% are living in poverty. We can choose to donate to worthy organizations that are working to help these children. Christian Relief Fund , Compassion International, and Hope Springs International are all striving to help at-risk children, especially in African countries. Sponsor a child or just donate in general, but above all—pray.
How can we not pray for children? They are our future. They will be leading, challenging, and directing our culture and our lives. (Some of them may even be caring for us in our later years!) Pray that children everywhere will have the food and shelter they need, feel compassion for others, have respect for adults, make wise choices for their lives, feel the love of others, and grow in love for God and his Word.
Confession: I don’t do this enough, but I’m getting better and I know it’s important. Let’s pray, pray, pray. For the children. Everywhere. Every day.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)