I have been the Director of Family and Children’s Ministries for close to 6 years. During this time, I have sensed a lack of connection between our generations. As a ‘Church Family’ we ought to be reaching out to one another, however, many of us still tend to stick within the comfort of our own circles. As I pondered and questioned how we build relationships, I tried to envision the church like a true family, filled with surrogate grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. To this end, I began asking the Lord to show me how to better foster these types of relationships within our church family, in order to encourage, support and connect with each other more intentionally. Like many churches, we have hosted prayer partners but programs in the past often lacked structure and content and tended to fizzle out rather quickly. Early last summer I was reading an article that Tanya Yuen posted about some books she had read. One of them was the “Pray For Me Campaign”. As I looked into this campaign, I found the answer to prayer I was looking for! Pray for Me encourages the entire church family to pray for all the children and teens within the church. The neat part of this campaign is that each child and teen receives a person to pray for them (called a ‘prayer champion’) from 3 different generations, thereby giving them a spiritual Older brother/sister, Aunt/Uncle and Grandparent. How awesome is that?! Each prayer champion then uses a prayer guide that leads them very specifically through topics such as purity, wisdom and favour, to name a few. These guided daily prayers all begin with scripture which also serves as the basis for the prayer that day. I love the fact that these guides are using God’s word to pray for our children and teen’s lives! So powerful!
We implemented the Pray For Me Campaign on Family Day 2017. We have over 100 people praying for our children and teens! As a result we are seeing true relationships being built; prayer champions are sending the verses they pray for their children and teens through email, text etc. and they are are also praying for the other prayer champions in their group! The feedback has been amazing! Some within our congregation voiced that though they were initially afraid to commit due to a weak or non-existent prayer life, since they have committed, their prayer life is growing again. In fact, some people are even taking their lunch break to pray. Many have said that they love the guides and praying scripture as it gives them a very clear and intentional way to pray for their child/teen. New, deep and meaningful relationships are starting to develop and many are feeling like they truly are a part of a large family. As a whole, there has begun a slow, but consistent change in the atmosphere of the church. There is excitement, an awakening! We have been seeing stronger attendance, growing membership, more baptisms, greater willingness to serve within the different ministries of the church, expanding outreach and a true desire for discipleship. We are so thrilled that this has been such a huge win for our church family and are excited to see how God will continue to answer our prayers as we seek after Him.