When a child asks you to pray for them, don’t wait. Whenever possible, pray right then and there. And if the child doesn’t mind, include some of their peers.
One of our small group leaders reported something pretty wonderful that occurred over the past few weeks:
“A few of my 4th and 5th grade girls have been sharing during prayer time about some specific bullying they have been experiencing. Some had experienced it themselves and one girl shared how she saw it happening on the playground to one particular child. We have prayed about these situations each week. When the next week comes, I always ask them if they have anything to share about how God has answered prayer. Last week, there came an amazing answer to prayer in ALL of those situations: God had taken charge of the bullying and it was stopped.”
As a group, these girls lifted up each situation, trusting that God knows all the ins-and-outs of each heart (including the bullies’) and that He could do something about it. And as He tends to do, God worked all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Not only did the girls’ situations improve, but even more importantly, their faith increased when they saw the Creator of the universe step into their personal situation and save the day. And to top it off, the wonder wasn’t confined to just the girls who had their needs met. Each girl in the group benefited. They had prayed together and now they had answers together. This calls to mind the close-knit community of the very first followers of Christ.
The believers studied what the apostles taught. They shared their lives together. They ate and prayed together. – Acts 2:42
That’s how we share our faith! Of course, we have to use discretion in knowing what can be shared aloud; we never want to embarrass a child. But with issues that are less confidential, or in the confines of a group that has grown close to one another, shared prayer time can be a huge faith-builder for all involved–including the leaders!