Engaging Your Church
This will be the 15th year of Viva’s prayer initiative for children at risk and we are delighted to welcome you to participate in whatever way you are able.
Today the Christian community is a significant provider of care for the estimated 1.2 billion children at risk worldwide. Tens of thousands of individuals and projects are reaching out to them and speaking up for them. Yet, due to the sheer scale of the situation, these workers often find themselves isolated and under-trained, with some
projects existing on the brink of closure. God’s church has the potential to make a profound difference. Working together, we can revolutionise the quality and quantity of care available to the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we can influence governments and change policies that work against children. Together, our solutions are better and our responses faster.
Viva is a global community of childcare practitioners and churches totally committed to working together to give over 1 million children the support they need to be all that God intends especially for girl child
Evangelical Fellowship of India Children at Risk (EFICAR) is a ministry engaged in restoring marginalized children for a better living that will lead to a transformed life.
Your church service
Praying for children at risk in your church service
Praying during a church service is a great way to involve the whole church and to raise awareness of the issues facing children around the world. Try making it a family service, with children playing an active part.
How about inviting all the children under 18 up to the front of the church? Consider how precious each one is to the church family and God. Maybe a couple of parents could explain why their child is so special to them.
Prayer time during the service
Encourage children and adults in your church to lead a prayer time, choosing the themes that catch their attention. You might like to focus on a certain issue or region from the prayer booklet.
Read out a story from the booklet along with some background information on that theme, or maybe act out the story if there are any budding dramatists among your group.
Pray through the prayer points from the sections you have chosen, either from the front or in small groups.
Ask one of the children to write out a prayer for children at risk. They might like to read it or you could print them out on a service sheet or project them for everyone to follow.
You may want to include a talk on Mark 10:16 to introduce the themes of the service and encourage people to reflect on Jesus’ words and actions.
Use the booklet for information on different issues affecting children and try to make the talk child-friendly by using some of the prayer activities suggested in the booklet or involving children through role-play or visual demonstrations.
If you are sharing Communion in your service, you could reflect on how Jesus came and put the child in the midst, challenging some of the thinking of that day - that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Praying in small groups
How about sharing these resources amongst your weekly groups so that they can make a focus of children at risk when they meet? Perhaps each group could take a different topic or work through some of the prayer activities.
Holding a prayer event
The PowerPoint resource makes a good introduction for an event. You might like to ask a few people to read out some of the stories or present a section using role-play.
Try displaying the information, images and prayer activities in different corners of the room based on the themes. People can move between the different areas and respond to it in their own time.
Choose prayer activities suitable for your group and intersperse them with quiet prayer times and worship.
You might like to sing worship songs that remind you of God’s love for the vulnerable and his power to change lives.
Perhaps advertise your event and invite others in the community to join you.
Try to make your events as child-friendly as possible. Why not ask some children to help you in the planning?
Try to involve a mix of different people in the organising and leading.
Pray for the event ahead of time, that people will be enthused to come and God will bless the time together.
You’ll be joining with millions of others around the world, as together
we call on God to transform children’s lives.
Your feedback will help us to improve our prayer resources in future years and encourage others with stories of prayer events all around the world. So please register your participation in advance on the website. On the day please keep a count of the numbers of people (adults and children) who take part and go to www.viva.org/pray.aspx to fill out the Feedback Form.
Ordering Further Resources
Further prayer booklets (at a suggested donation of £5.00 per 10 copies, plus postage) can be obtained by contacting the Viva office on 01865 811660. All resources are downloadable from our website at www.viva.org/pray.aspx
Viva’s range of prayer resources can help you pray in your own daily devotions or keep your church up to date with children’s prayer needs throughout the year. See page 38 of the prayer booklet for further prayer resources.