BY EMMA STONEHOUSE
“Talking to God with friends gives us hope.” This is what a group of teenage mothers in Brazil said about the value of being part of Viva’s movement of prayer for children in early June. They were among more than one million people from across the globe who joined together in the World Weekend of Prayer.
Around 9,770 churches, local organisations and communities organised events – from dedicated church services, prayer events and city-wide outreach – with the aim of praying with and for children. In the events, children play a central role, often leading prayer, worship, performing skits, plays and dances based on Bible stories; giving children a platform to talk about, and raise awareness of, their experiences.
This year’s theme was ‘Filled with Hope’, focusing on the hope which Jesus brings into the suffering, hurt and poverty facing children and a God who is not only ever-present in the suffering but is working through it.
Throughout the weekend we saw God move in such exciting and powerful ways.
During the prayer events in Harare, Zimbabwe, one child who had been suffering from substance abuse was rescued from his suffering. A group of children were praying for one another, and afterwards they confessed their new faith in God and a boy vowed to stop substance abuse. Due to this he is now able to be further supported by the network through his transition.
During a World Weekend of Prayer event in Paraguay, a lady asked for support for a case of sexual abuse of three girls. The judicial process had stalled and options to push the case forward were unclear. Thanks to the continual prayer and support of the volunteers, during the weekend and after; an effective intervention route was able to be identified and was taken. The offender is currently in house detention until the prosecution finishes investigating and finalising the case.
We are also so thankful for the testimonies we have heard from Kampala, Uganda, of God’s faithful healing, protection and provision. One child shared about how unsafe they felt going to school alone and that every day as they walk to school, they say a prayer and give thanks for God’s protection. Some told of God’s provision for their school fees and other school requirements. These testimonies touched many others in their groups and taught them the power of prayer.
Not only have we seen a move of God through prayer, but also in attitudes towards children and the issues that they face.
A pastor in Nepal expressed how he had “never heard about such a prayer day”, and after attending the event he was “very blessed and realised how important it is to pray for the children together in one spirit”, and is committed to pray for vulnerable children in his personal prayer and with his church family in the weekly service.
After a prayer event in Bangalore, India, one pastor expressed how the event was an “eye-opener of how they shouldn’t be counting children as small but see them as children of God and raise them up with the hope that they can do mighty things for the Lord”.
Four things you can do:
Please continue to pray for the children in our partner networks, and the follow-up from these events – that God would continue to bless this work and bring hope into the lives of children.
Read more information on this year’s events by downloading the full report of the weekend. Click here to do that.
Request emails about the World Weekend of Prayer 2020 news and resources. Click here to do that.
Sign up to receive our Prayer Community email to pray for Viva each month. Click here to do that.