Today is the first day in a week of prayer here at Gospel Convergence. Each day this week we will be posting a prayer for some aspect of church life in Northern Ireland over the summer period.
We ask that you would pray with us.
Our great God, you are the perfect Father and so we, your children, lift our voices, hearts and minds to you. You are an ever-listening Father, who gives good gifts to your children and so we come again seeking your intervention in human history.
We proclaim that children are a blessing from you and so give you thanks for them.
Since the creation of the world you have tasked mankind with the command to ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen. 1:28). For those of us who have had the privilege to parent children we thank you for the blessing that they are – our children are a heritage from the LORD and a reward (Ps. 127:3). We plead that you would help us to remember this, and to cherish our children.
We give glory to you in the knowledge that those children who are abandoned or neglected by their parents are cared for by you. Through your righteous laws you protect those whose parents fail them (Ex. 22:22; Dt. 10:18; Ps. 27:10). This has been exemplified by Jesus, who while he was here on earth, loved and blessed the children he came into contact with (Mt. 19:13-15; Mk. 10:13-16; Lk. 18:15-17). We ask that you might make us protectors of vulnerable children in our world.
Our loving Father, we also give you praise for the great example of teaching our children the glorious deeds and wonders of the LORD (Ps. 78:4) given to us throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament (2 Tim. 1:5). To that end we want to ask for your working through the Children’s work across Northern Ireland this summer. We pray that through the faithful work of churches and Christians that many children would set their hope in you, not forgetting your works and obeying your commands (Ps. 78:7).
We give you praise and are thankful for the freedom and privilege we enjoy in Northern Ireland with regard to teaching the coming generation the glorious deeds of our God. We acknowledge that often we take this for granted, and so we seek your forgiveness for our assumptions and ungratefulness. We humbly ask that this freedom may long continue, and that for years to come churches and mission organisations will have freedom to gather children together to teach them your Word.
As we acknowledge this privilege we also realise the great responsibility that lies on us to be faithful witnesses and ambassadors for Christ. We are weak, frail and sinful creatures. And so as we serve you in this capacity and for all those who share this great responsibility we pray that by your Holy Spirit living in us that you would give us the strength and desire to be faithful in our tasks. For those teaching your Word give them clarity and boldness, make them passionate and winsome. For those spending time with children give them opportunity to have meaningful conversations. For those welcoming and greeting parents open up avenues for further friendships and relationships that allow circumstances to share the gospel with authority. For all working behind the scenes give them an attitude of diligence and perseverance.
Sovereign God, knowing that you possess all power, know all things and control all things, we ask that you would keep children safe. In a climate of many sexual predators being exposed we are reminded of how vulnerable children are in the hands of an adult and so we ask that those sexual predators who may have sneaked in unnoticed thus far would not be given opportunity to satisfy their sinful desires by abusing children under our care. We pray for general safety as children play together, travel to and from clubs and spend time in our supervision. For those clubs which make use of outdoor places we ask that weather would be warm and dry so as to create as little disruption as possible.
Further, we ask that children would not only enjoy safety, but would also enjoy God’s Word. We desire to see children captivated by Scripture, memorising verses and able to answer quiz questions. We long to see children listening well, behaving appropriately and eager to learn more. We do not ask these things for an easy life, but so that the children are given every opportunity to learn the truths contained in your Word and have them planted deep in their hearts. We ask that what they learn will never leave them.
With the knowledge that your arm is not too short to save we offer our ultimate request – that you would awaken many children, bringing them to life spiritually through the working of the Holy Spirit. We pray that the love displayed by Jesus, proclaimed and lived out by us his disciples, would capture many hearts and minds of little ones. God we plead for you to save many, many children through children’s ministry this summer. Not only do we pray for children’s salvation but we also pray for the salvation of their parents and families. We ask that songs, memory verses and Bible lessons that they take home would impact people at home and that you would see fit to use them to bring people into relationship with yourself.
We also pray for Christian children who already know you as their Saviour. We pray for a new generation of Christians who will grow and mature constantly in their faith so that we may hand over the baton so to speak to them. Our hope and desire is that they may continue to learn more about you and your great love for them. Great God, please strengthen those young Christians and make them eager to share their faith with others – friends and families in particular.
We ask that even with children you would continue to build your church.
Our Father, there are many things we want and have asked of you today. We know that our minds are limited, our knowledge faulty and our desires often sinful and self-centred. What we have asked for we ask for your glory, in honour of Jesus name and through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as we have prayed for children’s ministry in Northern Ireland this summer we end by humbly, and honestly praying your will be done.
In, through and for Jesus.