Wednesday, January 04, 2012

God loves children

I've written this post for anyone who pops by here because of what I posted on a public forum offering to pray for anyone who wanted someone to do that for them following the "One Born Every Minute" programme on TV tonight.

God loves children, very much. He cares about their entrance into this world, that moment of birth, the first breath they take and the path they follow in life.

He didn't intend that it should be a difficult time, a lonely time or a tragic time. This world has got pretty messed up through the actions of humans and not because God wanted it to happen or meant it to happen.

But he knows when we need him, and the great news is that when we look for him or call out to him, he's there.

I'm a minister, a pastor, who specialises in working with and supporting parents, children and families. Although I'm on a break from my job just now because I am finishing a writing project, I love what I do. It's not about forcing what I believe on anyone, I always, always respect other people's beliefs - my job has always been more about standing alongside you when things are tough or celebrating with you when your family brings you joy and happiness. Being a parent and working together as a family is genuinely hard work at times!

Christians believe that prayer works. God always listens when we pray, so post in the comments below if you would like me, and some of my friends who I trust hugely, to pray for your family and your children. You can keep it anonymous and not even give much details except please pray for XX and XX.

I used to work alongside a carers and toddler group that met twice a week and the carers got a break while their children were looked after by "aunties", older people from our church who were fully trained and Disclosure-checked. We had a prayer tin where people could write out things they or the family were worried about and some of us met to pray for these little requests. Every week there was things in that tin and it was a great privilege to be trusted with them so that we could pray.

If I can answer any questions you have about Christianity and what Christians believe and especially how this fits in with children, do post here too or perhaps you might think about attending an Alpha course, again all of the details on these (you put your postcode in and you can find out where one is near you) by clicking here

Alpha is great, it's a no-pressure course introducing Christianity, often over a meal if its an evening course, or at the very least (if its during the day) with coffee and cake! You can ask anything at all, be totally honest about what you think and no-one will try to make you change your mind. The course just puts some information before you (usually by watching a short DVD) and then has a discussion time. What I have always found to be great about alpha is that people make really good friends and the group forms a strong bond - which is an added bonus!

Finally, here's an ancient prayer of blessing that any of us can pray over our babies and children, friends or older relatives. I often pray it while the other person sleeps. You're praying it to the God who suggested it
to us as a way of blessing each other and it is now used by many churches as a prayer said over babies and children. A blessing is simply praying the best from God for someone.

Its from the book of Numbers, chapter 6, in the Bible. An online bible is available here.

The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’


  1. Craig1:57 PM

    My wife and I have 3 children, 2 daughters aged 4 and 2 and a son who is just 3 months old. We have a family prayer time every night which involes singing a song to Jesus of their choice and a time of prayer before bed. Our 2 year old loves this time and has prayed some lovely prayers (including laying hands on each person when she prays) however our oldest daughter just doesn't want to pray anymore. We don't want to force her to pray but it is beginning to concern us. She has very bad eczema and used to ask God for her skin to get better but now just says she is to tired when ever we ask her if she wants to talk to God. To you have any advice?

    Our children are Rebecca, Emily & Evan. Carol & I used to go mbc with you. Hope you and the family are well, Looking forward to the new book.

    God bless


  2. Lovely to hear from you Craig and thank you for posting this question here. I have had other prayer requests too which came by email, which is great! As I come to the end of the writing and into an editing process I have some more time :-)

    You make a really, really important point - should you forcer her to pray herself? The answer is "no". I would however step up praying for her. Keep doing exactly what you are doing - modelling something very, very positive to your daughter. I would gently re-iterate your belief in prayer such as "that's ok, honey, mum and dad love to pray for you guys as our children because we love you, so we will keep doing that, and when you are asleep too". With the age she is at it is very common to desist from doing things that she used to do, to exert her independence, to wind you up (no, really!) but also because, as you say, she may have disappointments that things she has asked for in prayer before haven't happened in an "x" plus "y" must mean that "z" will happen" way.

    Order "the power of the praying kid" (by Stormie Omartian)book for you as adults to read. It has very helpful advice in simple language on what happens when it *seems* like our prayers aren't answered. As you process the way the author explains a complex theological issue so helpfully to children, you can talk to her about as and when you have opportunity.

    But the other REALLY important thing I wanted to suggest was this. We too hit a time when our son was about 4 when we grew very concerned about some aspects of his behaviour. We knew that going on at him and expressing our disappointment at the way he was (rebellious and cheeky) wasn't going to solve anything but instead reinforce how he was feeling about himself. I was desperately worried about what to do. I prayed and asked God what I should do. I think God said (so I did it!!) - go into his room every night for 28 days and pray for him, somewhere between 11pm and midnight every single night.

    So I did. I didn't pray for the whole hour but I did go into his room, while he was sleeping, and prayed for him.

    I can still remember the kinds of things I prayed. I prayed for his character and personality, that he would be free to develop to be his own person. I prayed that he would be someone who would recognise and appreciate the gifts in others and get on well with them. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill him, I prayed that he would know God deeply and intimately. I engaged in real intercession over his little life.

    At at the end of the 28 days.......there was a tangible change in him, like "what happened!?"

    Sometimes as parents I think we have times where we have to "contend" over our children's calling and destiny. There is one who doesn't want us to do so, so I'd encourage you to press in for a season of intercession for R while she is sleeping, using your God-given authority to speak out blessing upon her (the blessing of a father is a very powerful symbol in Scripture).

    Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as you pray - what else might he want you guys as parents to intercede for over your children? Expect him to lead you into ways of praying that aren't just "good intention" prayers but are incisive, powerful and effective.

    Hope this helps!
    I will pray too.


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