All Night Prayer Meeting for Kids
By Eugenia George
Three years ago Angie Clark expressed an idea to Christ Tabernacle’s children’s pastor, Chris Anderson. “There’s something I’ve always wanted to try with my Shekinah Kids, but haven’t had the opportunity . . . an overnight camp-out where my kids go to another church and teach another group to pray, and then we just pray all night long.” Soon thereafter, in the fall of 2006, New Life’s band of pint-size prayer warriors made the trek from Bridgeton, Missouri, to the tiny, corn-bordered town of Herrick, Illinois, for what would become tradition.
On Friday, August 1, 2008, Angie’s successor at WNOP’s Kids’ Prayer, Lyn St. John, revisited this concept. Thirty-three children between the ages of five and twelve (and eight chaperones) gathered at Christ Tabernacle in Herrick, Illinois, for the 3rd Annual Overnight Prayer Campout. Sleeping bags were welcome, but not encouraged. While every participant tried to make it through the night, in the end 50 percent (seventeen kids!) would make it without sleeping.
The night was filled with worship, games, snacks, and most importantly with praise and prayer to God for the community of Herrick and the world. They made prayer spinners and THUMBO key chains. They tossed beanbags and Nerf darts at their burdens. They praised Jesus in sidewalk-chalk murals across the front of the sanctuary. They prayed for the world’s missionaries, leaders, economies, and starving children. For eight straight hours, through a series of prayer stations and activities, these children interceded with all of their heart, soul, and strength.
A chief prayer focus was a backpack giveaway scheduled for the following Saturday. One hundred and fifty backpacks had been purchased (with matching school supplies) to help poor families of the community prepare for the coming school year. At 4:00 AM, these bags were gathered and prayed over. Then the children made 150 personalized greeting cards, which were prayed over and placed in the backpacks to serve as Christ-magnets like Paul’s anointed handkerchiefs in Acts 19:11-12. On Saturday, August 8, over 120 of these backpacks were distributed to needy families at a community park.
All in all it was an awesome night of prayer! Children learned to praise and pray, and felt the wonderful touch of God’s presence. The community of Herrick and the world at large will long be feeling the impact of this night of children’s intercession.
Prayer Walking in Beijing
“Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I hen the LORD said have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets’ ” (Joshua 6:2-4, NIV).
How many times have we allowed our minds to wander while we were praying? For some of us, thinking about our to-do list is perhaps one of the most common distractions. It is no surprise that the Lord commanded the Israelites to surround Jericho and march around the city so many times before the walls tumbled down! The marching kept the warriors intensely focused on God’s plan for an entire week before the battle began. Similarly, for months before our trip to communist China, we prepared with prayer and fasting. This kept the team members focused on the mission.
Going to China was an experience like no other! Apostolic Youth Corps provided this fabulous opportunity of a lifetime. However, this was not the typical mission trip where you distribute tracts to individuals in the streets or attend massive conventions; going into a communist country requires a different kind of approach. Our mission in Beijing was to intercede intensely for the souls of the Chinese people and pave the way for the underground church to witness and minister in Jesus’ name. As intense as we were, we could not shout a battle cry like the Israelites did at Jericho. But we carried the presence of God with us just as the Israelites carried the ark of the covenant.
While prayer-walking on Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world, Jesus prompted us to see beyond our material surroundings; thus we became sensitized to see into people’s hearts. We realized that even in a booming city like Beijing in all its Olympic glory, people are still searching for purpose for their lives. We sensed the oppression and lack of religious freedom as soldiers eyed us. We pleaded the blood of Jesus over Tiananmen Square, which means “Gate of Heavenly Peace.” We remembered the blood of students and workers that was spilled there by the hands of a government that crushed a protest to its totalitarianism. We felt compassion for the precious children and their families and prayed for the opportunity to talk to them about Jesus. Even though the underground church is experiencing great revival, the shocking reality is that many people in China have not yet heard the Acts 2:38 message.
Praying at the park near our hotel one day, I felt prompted to chat with an elderly lady who was sitting on a bench with a wheelchair waiting by her side. She was eighty-six years old. She opened up to me so sweetly and honestly, revealing that someone had told her about Jesus when she was a little girl. She asked me, “Is Jesus God?” How amazing! We assured her that Jesus is God and we prayed for healing in her body. Soon after that, someone whom we believed to be an undercover policeman approached our group and we quickly left the area. Praying for this woman was quite a covert operation, yet it was the result of prayer walking and being sensitive to God’s direction.
The next time you feel as if you need to focus on prayer, go on a prayer walk around your neighborhood, school, or wherever God leads you. You will be more observant and able to hear the souls of people crying out. The Lord will help you become aware of the strongholds that need to be destroyed in Jesus’ name. So put on the whole armor of God and go on a prayer walk. Perhaps the Lord will lead you to a new city or even another country!
This article “All Night Prayer Meeting for Kids” by Eugenia George is excerpted from World Network of Prayer, Oct. 2008.