Do you weep for the surviving children and families who are devastated by senseless acts of violence and murder in your community? I know I do! Every day, it seems one or several stories of tragedy are highlighted in the evening news or in the local newspaper.
This week I have been especially sorrowed, even angered, as I thought about the number of murders in our community so far this year; and the year is not over!
Brought to mind by the Holy Spirit was just some of the way these now parentless children will suffer, not just now, but in their lifetime. Their lives tremendously impacted by the absence of one or both parents. Some of the ways brought to mind were:
Ongoing Grief and Sorrow
Anger and Rage
Emotional void left by the deceased parent
Lack of Parental assistance and wisdom when they have questions in their life journey
The ongoing love and nurture of the parent
And so much more!!!
Let’s build a fence of protection around these children young and older alike by crying with them and praying for them throughout our week if not daily.
1) We can ask God to protect them in several ways as they are surely to experience thoughts and emotions too big to handle on their own!
2) We can ask God to comfort and guide them by sending others into their life who will be a source of strength to them in this hour and going forward.
3) While no one can take the place of that parent loss, just the presence of another adult who is compassionate and strong during this time will go a long way to help them in their great sorrow.
4) We can ask God to protect them from the spirit of darkness that will try to grip them and build a strong holding of depression, fear, anger, guilt, even planting thoughts of suicide in their minds!
5) We can pray God’s purpose and plans will be accomplished in their life despite their tremendous loss
6) We can pray that in due time they will also remember and experience God’s joy to replace their sorrow
7) We can pray God will send His holy angels to comfort them in the night hours and the morning as they awaken to face the day
8) We can pray God help them through the initial days where there are vigils and funeral services to attend
9) Jot down other ways you can pray as the Holy Spirit shows!
Since I am very visual in prayer, I will do several things:
1) I will look closely at the pictures of these grieving children and sense their pain
2) I will cut out teardrops from blue construction paper, write down the names of these children on each teardrop, and pin them on my prayer board. (Some of you may be led to use your daily newspaper to do the same.
3) The presence of these teardrops in a prominent place will remind me daily of the great sorrow of these children carry and to pray for them within my day.
4) I will continue to pray for each child until released by the Holy Spirit. For some it may be months, others years. I am sure, the younger the child, the longer God will lead to give a prayer covering until they are better able to cope with their great loss and grief.
Personally, the visual aid helps keep these needs in the front of my mind because it is so easy to forget to pray for others after the freshness has worn off. So, even if I do not remember ever day, at some points during the week I am stopped by these pictures and remember to say a prayer.
Making Prayer A Family Affair…
Since children are very sensitive and eager to help in prayer, enlist their help. Take down a few of the teardrops each evening after dinner to pray for these young people. Unfortunately, it’s likely that over the next days, months, even years our teardrops will increase in number.
A Prayer for the Children
Heavenly Father we know your sorrow is as great; much greater than ours with so many senseless acts of violence and loss throughout our communities and our world!
Today we pray especially for the youngest victims: the children who are left behind to grieve the sudden loss of one or both parents. While we grieve for any who suffer such tragic loss, we are especially concerned for little ones who will travel through this life without the covering of their parent. We ask your mercy on each one. We pray for their protection. While it is impossible to replace their beloved parent, we ask you to send a trusted adult into their life to help them with their grief: to be a physical fence of protection around them, to be a shoulder to cry upon and a lap to sit upon when needed.
Send the tender hearted and compassionate to console them and show great patience. May none withhold love or influence wrongly. May these children feel your love through others.
We pray for the emotional wellbeing of these children and that you will keep the enemy far away. We know his ways full well in grief as he comes to set up strongholds of depression, fear, hopelessness, rage, thoughts of suicide, and so much more. But we ask that your Spirit of peace and strength even in the midst of tragedy will cover these little ones. Keep your veil around them as they move from one phase of grief to another as every passing day the realities of their loss becomes more and more real.
Gather the community of believers to help in time of need and show us ways to perform practical acts of mercy and kindness for those experiencing any loss, in Jesus’ name. Amen