Our children are vulnerable and are being exploited in many ways in our society and sometimes there is no protection for them. Cherish All Children is a national Lutheran ministry of prayer, education, relationship-building, and action to prevent child sexual exploitation. The prayer component of this ministry focuses on reconnecting with the youth in our congregations specifically by lifting them up in prayer. The beauty of this is that as we surround our children with prayer, we too deepen our relationship not only with the children but with our God as well.

Professor Rollie Martinson form Luther Seminary wrote “Every child is a reflection of the heart of God. At the core, at the heart of youth and family ministry, will not be programs, will not be new structures, will not be new technology. At the core will be entering deeply into these relationships with God and each other. It will mean looking into young people’s faces as though they are actually there. This ministry is going to be counter-cultural; it will take time in a world that doesn’t have enough time.” (From an article entitled, Getting to All God’s Kids,” found at luthersem.edu/rmartins/)

Amy Harman, National Director of Cherish All Children continues, “This sums up praying for the children in our lives beautifully. As we pray for a child, we enter more deeply into a relationship with God, the one who loves us greatly as God’s own children. As we pray for a child, we see the beauty of a child AND the reality of a child’s life, what he or she is facing, and can bring those concerns to God. As we pray for a child, we enter into God’s time and Spirit, Knowing that God is with us, with that child, for ‘the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” (Luke 18:16)

One of the ways we have for telling our kids we care deeply about them is through intentional prayer. Consider what it would be like if every young person (birth to age 25) in our congregation was prayed for daily, intentionally, and by name by an adult member of our congregation? What transformation might be possible? What would the children think? Of what value would this be to the adults? How might it impact leadership?

Over the next month, you are going to be hearing more in worship about the Cherish All Children ministry and how you can become an important part in connecting with a child in our congregation, lifting them up in prayer, asking God to be with them to protect them, and helping them to feel loved and supported.

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