This month our Executive Minister, Tim, began a 6 month sabbatical. You can read his thoughts on this time here. For anyone who has the opportunity to have a conversation with Tim or spend any time with him you will likely note that he almost always ends any conversation by asking, “How may I be praying for you?” Prayer is an important and consistent discipline in Tim’s life and it permeates his interactions with everyone he encounters. I believe many of us would also claim prayer as essential to both our personal journey with Christ and also as we minister and lead among those God has entrusted to us. I feel very blessed to have had been mentored and led as a young Christian by a woman of deep prayer who taught me what it means to be a person of prayer. I have both seen the power of prayer in changing lives and circumstances and also learned the discipline of persistent prayer, even when it does not seem to be changing anything. Each Wednesday morning our CBOQ staff team gathers together to pray for 10 of our churches. I see part of my work as Children and Family Ministries Associate to be praying for our ministry leaders, churches, children and families and set regular time to do so. I believe in the power of prayer because I have seen it at work but more then that I believe that God has invited us to regularly come to him in prayer, both in speaking and listening. Sometimes, though, I feel like prayer is one of those words we use but not as often follow up on with actual time in specific, intentional prayer. A couple of years ago I watched the movie, War Room. It is a movie about the power of prayer as we discover the prayer life of “Miss Clara”, which essentially is establishing a ‘prayer war room’ and ‘battle plan’ of prayer. It is a powerful movie that if you have not seen yet, I recommend checking out.
I would love to see our churches, both corporately and ministry leaders, families and individuals choosing to invest intentionally in a life of prayer. I feel compelled more then ever to invite us to take up the challenge of creating our own “battle plan” of prayer, particularly for the children and families entrusted to our leadership. There are a few ways that I invite you to consider. First, perhaps you may recall a book I recommended 2 years ago called, Pray for Me. It invites churches to embark on an intentional, intergenerational campaign of praying for kids and teens. If you missed it, you can also read the story of Stanley Park’s journey with the Pray for Me Campaign here or watch the video we created for Assembly 2018 here. Over the last several months I have given away several copies of this book for churches to consider and would be happy to send you one if you are interested in taking up this campaign! Whether you follow this or come up with another way, I would love to hear from you and how you are intentionally praying for kids! And this is such a terrific and easy way to engage your community intergeneratioally! (which is another passion of mine!)
Another opportunity for you to engage your community in corporate prayer for kids is to participate in the National Day of Prayer for Kids. This is an initiative of the Canadian Baptist Children and Family Team and our 3rd year inviting our Canadian Baptist Churches across Canada to set aside a day of prayer specifically for kids. This year the date is Sunday, November 18th, 2018. (This day always falls on the Sunday closest to Canada’s National Child Day which is Nov. 20)
Along with praying for our kids and families, I would love us to intentionally create environments for our children to learn to pray! I have so much to say on this that I will write in another post but I believe this is such an important area of discipleship that our children can and should learn as young as possible!
I would love to hear your thoughts! How do you intentionally engage in prayer? What is your ‘battle plan’?