United Reformed Church

Pray like Hannah

Everyone is invited to pray for children across the month of July.

We will be asking General Assembly in July to mark the launch of URC Children by resolving afresh to ensure that all structures and councils of the church (local church meeting, Synod and General Assembly) are consistently mindful of the voice of children and of the impact of their decisions on children and future generations.

Why pray like Hannah?

The question that congregations are asking is: “Why do we have so few children coming to church?”

The answer takes the form of another question: “Have you prayed for them to come?”

So the invitation is to everyone connected to the church: Pray like Hannah.

Download resources for Pray Like Hannah

Prayers

Please use this prayer in your church each week – and ask people to pray every day throughout July.

Listening God,
you hear us when we pour out our souls before you;
hear our prayer for all your children.
Give us faith like Hannah,
to pray to you for the life of our church
that we may be a place and a people
where your children are present, welcomed and valued.
Prepare us to hear you through them
and to be led by children closer to you.
Meet us in our prayers, in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Daily prayer ideas

Day 1: Sit quietly thinking about all the children in the world, those known to you and those not known. When you are ready, say the daily prayer.

Day 2: Lie in bed and think of all those children who are caring for others and need some rest.

Day 3: Make a bracelet to wear for the day. https://youtu .be/u5kn LsLjlaE. Alternatively, wear one you already have. Pray over those children you have a friendship with, ask God to strengthen them.

Day 4: Read Matthew 19: 4 and Jeremiah 1:5 and pray that all children know themselves to be valued and accepted, just as they are.

Day 5: Hold a stone in your hand as you read Isaiah 49: 15-16. Ask God to bring safety and justice to those children experiencing any type of violence in their lives.

Day 6: Place a map on your fridge with local schools and nurseries marked on it. Pray for all who attend and all who work there.

Day 7: Read the children friendly version of the UN rights for children. https://www.unic ef.or g.uk/what -we -do/un-convention -chil d-rights/ Pray that all children know their rights and that those rights always be respected.

Day 8: Many children live amongst chaos. Light a candle and sit in silence as you ask for God’s peace in their lives.

Day 9: Ask a friend/ family member who has children what they would like you to pray for.

Day 10: Plant and nurture a seed or watch a plant you see grow each day. Pray for God’s goodness for children under 5 as they grow into the people God intended.

Day 11: Walk around your neighbourhood praying for all those who live around you, that good friendships and relationships be forged for those under 18.

Day 12: Eat some bread sticks or similar and pray for all children who hunger after the knowledge of God.

Day 13: Look for a spider’s web, either outside or in the corners of your home. See how the web is linked together and overlaps. Pray for all those who are connected to a child’s life.

Day 14: Name all or some of the family ministry-based activities which take place in your church or a nearby church. Pray for church-based toddler groups/messy church/junior church.

Day 15: Meditate on this statement: “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Kay Redfield Jamison. Pray that all children have space and freedom to play, to explore life in all its glory.

Day 16: Form your empty hands into a cup shape. Pray with all who long for children, whether in their family/friendship settings or their church or community.

Day 17: Attach a padlock or a piece of ribbon or string to your bag, belt or similar. As you carry it with you through the day, pray that children are released from worry and anxiety.

Day 18: Use your camera or phone to photograph things/places that highlight ‘children and youth’ (Do not take photos of actual children). Ask God to make you more aware of the children in your community.

Day 19: Look at one or some of the local school websites – pray for all activities happening there.

Day 20: Hold an item meant for babies, or a photo of babies, to focus your prayers on those just starting life.

Day 21: Look through your food cupboards and find something to donate to a food bank. Ask God to provide for all children so their basic needs are met.

Day 22: On a sticky label or piece of paper, write the words ‘God goes with me’. Stick the label on the inside of your shoe. Each time you take off or put on your shoe, pray for those children who are unsure of what their future holds.

Day 23: Set a minute timer on a clock or set a countdown timer. As it counts down, pray for all the different challenges and transitions that a child may go through, both in their day and their life.

Day 24: Print off an exam timetable or find something that might be used in an exam. Pray for those who are waiting for results.

Day 25: It would seem that children laugh with ease - such a gift from a God. Thank God for their love and enthusiasm for life. Why not watch this video to help encourage you to laugh? https://youtu .be/ TlrBoC XN4M8

Day 26: Walk round a park or school, listening to the voices of children. Pray that all children may be given a voice and be heard in all matters that concern them.

Day 27: Blow some bubbles https://ar tfu lparent.com/how -to-make -homemad e - bubbles/. As you watch them, think of all the dreams that children have for the future. As the bubbles float, ask God to help realise those dreams. As the bubbles burst, ask God to lift up those children who feel their dreams have been squashed.

Day 28: Watch The Blessing Kids https ://youtu .be/uiWZXLsdE9 w. Thank God for all on their faith journey. Pray that the children are a blessing to others and that children may bless you too.

Day 29: Sit on the floor looking up at things higher than you. Think of the times children have been refused control or leadership because of their age. Pray that the church sees children as equals.

Day 30: https://you tu.be/xBum_vntNl g  Dance around the room while listening to this song, praying for God’s plan be shared with all children of the world.

Day 31: Read, print and stick up somewhere in your church/home a copy of the URC Charter for Children in the Church (PDF | 52kb) . Commit to praying more regularly for all children.

 

 

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United Reformed Church