One of my favorite things to do to bless children happens at the start of each new school year. For us, school begins next week. We’ll gather together with our network of friends from nearby neighborhoods and simply pray. It’s really no big deal but has HUGE impact.
It works like this . . .
Sunday night at 6:00 we’ll meet at a home in a nearby neighborhood. We’ll gather around with any parents and kids that want to participate. We’ll be outside. I’ll simply ask the kids, “With school starting this week is there anything we could ask God to help us with?” The responses are amazing. ”Pray that no bullies will bother me.” ”Maybe God could help me get my locker open?” ”Can we pray for my teacher?” We take just a few minutes to let the children respond.
Next, we stand in a circle and I explain that we’re going to pray. Anyone can pray . . . but you can only pray a sentence or two. Typically, the prayer time will last about five minutes (both children and adults pray). And then I close. I pray for the teachers, for the kids, for the parents, for safety and God’s blessing. 20 minutes together and then everyone goes home to get ready for the first day of school.
How do we get the group together? A couple of days before we gather we simply start texting people we know who have kids or grandkids heading back to school. They, in turn, text their friends. We tell them when and where we’re meeting. We assure them that we’re just praying for our kids to have a great year at school–very non-threatening.
Last year (our second year of gathering) we had 60 people show up! Some were people I knew from church, others were new to the neighborhood, and some weren’t sure about this whole “God-thing” but it certainly couldn’t hurt to pray for our kids!