Child advocates are observing the tail-end of the World Weekend of Prayer for Children At Risk today. This annual event spearheaded by Viva is a global initiative held every first weekend of June across more than 40 countries.
According to Stand 4 Kids:
Around the world, there are 1.2 billion children at risk under the age of 18. In many developing countries, this age group represents 50% of the population. Children at risk lack basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter, safety, parental support, healthcare, and education needed for normal childhood development.
Children at risk include children in poverty, orphaned children, street children, child laborers, children of war, children affected by HIV/AIDS, sexually exploited children, children with disabilities, migrant children, children affected by disasters, children in contact with the law, and in most cultures, the girl-child.
I lifted the resources below from the Viva website:
First, here are Bible passages that give us reminders about children. The first three speak of the value of children, and the last three tell us of how God uses the seemingly small or weak, be it a child or a nation.
1. Children are wonderfully made.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. -PSALM 139: 13
2. Children are the greatest in the Kingdom.
And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ – MATTHEW 18: 3
3. God looks at the heart. – David anointed
But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ – 1 SAMUEL 16:7
4. Here I am. – the boy Samuel chosen
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’
Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening. ’ – 1 SAMUEL 3:10
5. The smallest, a mighty nation
The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.’ – ISAIAH 60: 22
Now here are prayer points, also from Viva, to guide us in lifting the world’s children up to God.
Pray that children who feel neglected and forgotten would experience lasting change in their lives, receiving genuine love and compassion.
Pray against the violence and abuse that is damaging children’s lives, causing pain and suffering. Pray in the name of Jesus.
Pray that God would turn around the thinking of those adults who look down on, ignore or even despise children.
Pray that God would raise up and anoint child leaders to be ambassadors for Christ, committed in prayer, selfless in action and spiritual in their decisions.
God wants caring, mutually supportive, peaceful families. This, His model, is best for children growing up. Pray for the power of the resurrection of Jesus to transform broken, dysfunctional or aggression-filled homes.
If you have a heart for children, especially those who are at risk of abuse, exploitation, starvation, disease and all other kinds of harm, do take time to pray for them right now.