As parents, we are our children’s number one influential role model. While they were young and primarily in our care, things were a little easier. However, as they progress through different stages of development, we sometimes feel helpless as we realise we cannot protect them from undesirable influences. Although we cannot go everywhere with them, our prayers will go with them wherever they are.
We launched the 31-Day Prayer Challenge on January 29, 2023. This initiative was created so parents could have a valuable resource to help them pray for their children. Sign-up invitations were sent to the local churches and posted on Facebook and Instagram. We had about 49 subscribers from Singapore and 112 from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Parents were challenged to set aside time daily to dedicate their children to God and pray for them over a specific aspect. We desire to make into reality Elijah’s message in Malachi 4:6, ‘where God will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents.’ The time we spend in prayer for our children makes us more attuned to the objectional materials they are bombarded with and the issues they may struggle over. The Singapore Adventist Conference has focused on discipleship for the past three years. For parents, here is a real example of where discipleship should begin: in the home.
God has called us to be disciple-making disciples, and our responsibility is, first and foremost, our children. Our duty and obligation are to introduce them to Jesus and nurture them in a loving relationship with Him. We can start by praying intentionally for them, believing prayer is powerful. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This verse reiterates the importance of praying for our children, and this prayer becomes a protective shield around them, deflecting the attacks from evil. Our children sense the depth of our love and concern when we pray for them.
It was a blessing to join over 150 families across four countries in prayer for our children and a privilege to send them Bible verses and inspired writings from Ellen White each day. It helped me sense God’s presence more and hear Him more clearly. Participants also shared these daily messages with their friends and family members. In addition to the participants who directly subscribed to this prayer challenge, many of our local church family ministry leaders shared the daily messages to their own family ministry and bible study chats. I also received direct messages from subscribers about their struggles and prayer concerns. There were also personal stories about how this prayer challenge became a tool to help them pray daily with their children and spouses. Praise the Lord, for we can see His mighty power work in each individual. As one father shared, “I am very nourished in my connections with Jesus, and my spiritual prayer life is uplifted by the sharing and prayer for 31 days”.
I also received these encouraging messages:
“I enjoyed reading the text, watching the videos, and praying with the host ... It was so easy to understand, follow, and pray together with her. It took me just 5 mins.”
“One of my twins had seen me take notes on the prayers before. And one morning, she reminded me to take more notes. Both my daughters know that I’m taking notes from this Prayer Challenge to learn more about how to pray for them.”
“I learn how to pray for my children through many meaningful ways that GOD will protect, lead, and help them grow in Christ Jesus.”
“I’m often guilt-ridden with my shortcomings and incompetency at parenting. The prayer challenge made me more mindful of the importance of praying more frequently amidst my hectic day and being more specific with my talk with God.”
“I’ve found the prayers to be beautifully worded. Wonderfully crisp and to the point. It made me realise that you don’t need to try to cover EVERYTHING in one prayer and can focus on just one or two things each time.”
“This prayer challenge initiative is a novel idea to me. Short, to the point, thought-provoking, and inspirational. The messages give listeners a fresh, exemplary start to the day.”
“Through this 31-day prayer challenge, my family has cultivated a habit of praying together before starting the day. I’m taking up the challenge to do this 31-day prayer challenge again and perhaps invite a friend to join me.”
It is my prayer and desire that this will be the beginning of daily intentional prayers among the families as they awaken to the need for continual connection with God.
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