Autumn is upon us, but we look back to a wonderful summer of celebration. Memories remain of glorious Glasgow sunshine and a successful Commonwealth Games. Many of us also have fantastic memories of church missions and holiday clubs. An initial 250 copies of SU Scotland's holiday club resource 'Fit for a King' quickly sold out, with over 400 copies finally being bought. Children all over the country loved hearing about this King with a difference, with power over nature; the King who issues an invitation to be part of his Kingdom. Surely further cause for us to celebrate! One mum brought her little boy to our church holiday club, saying that she didn't think he would stay. She explained he was on the autistic spectrum, and would be upset if others won prizes and he didn't. Thankfully we had set up a quiet prayer tent in the corner. He liked the enclosed space, and his leader (by no coincidence trained in working with children with special needs) sat and listened as he shared how frightened he felt. She looked up, and on the wall of the tent read these words,
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
These verses had a great impact on the little lad - especially since his name was Joshua! One other incident, however, caused us to pause and think. Two little girls wanted to go into the prayer tent and their group leader sent them off together, telling them to go in there and talk to God about anything they wanted. About five minutes later they hadn't appeared; I went to investigate, and found the two girls standing in the space, looking all around them. I asked if they were all right, and they immediately exclaimed, "Where is God?!"
How important it is to teach children about prayer, and to come with children into the Lord's presence, creating space for them to meet with God. The Pray Any Way event is designed just for this purpose, and I do hope you will come along, and encourage others to do so. Please contact me if you would like flyers or a PowerPoint slide. Meanwhile, could you invite some children to join you as you pray for schools?
This article first appeared in the Pray for Schools Scotland September 2014 Update.