World Wide Day of Prayer for Children at Risk

by Emma Garrow

On the first Saturday in June every year thousands of Christians around the world join in a prayer event for ‘children at risk'. This year that Saturday is on 2 June. Prayer will focus on the wide range of issues from which children can be at risk and ways in which they can be helped. The suffering of children can just be one more overwhelming piece of information to absorb in a ‘bad news' world. Below are five reasons to focus our prayers on children's needs. Next month we will offer suggestions for prayer, and the following month, ways to organize an event which will encourage others to pray, too. Five reasons to pray for ‘children at risk': They are many If you were to take a register of all the names of today's street children, it would take more than three years to name them all. And that's only the street children. Think about all the children you know. How long would it take to say all of their names? A few minutes? Maybe half an hour? Every single one of these children is precious and made in God's image. They are strategic Carpet weavers in Pakistan. Coffee pickers in Guatemala. Ex-child soldiers in Uganda. Child refugees in Serbia. Earthquake victims in Turkey. Flood victims in Vietnam. Child prostitutes in Thailand. Abused runaways in England. Landmine victims in Angola. AIDS orphans in South Africa. They are all suffering. They are strategic Research shows that a high proportion of Christians first found faith between the ages of 4 and 14. One study shows that in the USA this figure may be 85%. Prayer partners in Sri Lanka said of suffering children: ‘If we don't pray for the children, someone else will prey on them!' The Bible says so It is not just that the numbers of suffering children are so high, or that there is so much potential for a better world if we help them, but that God commands us to reach out to them. Consider: ‘Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street.' Lamentations 2:19 Prayer works! After last year's World Wide Day of Prayer, an Argentine prayer partner said: ‘I can tell you that I am seeing God's answers following the day of prayer. In these days only four blocks from where the prayer event was held there was a bust that broke up a whole network involved in the sale of babies. In another province there was a bust on a place where child prostitution occurred. Our God is powerful!' A pack is available for all wishing to take part in the event. It contains useful information on how to run a prayer event as well as a guide to praying through some of the issues, including pages for children to use. Copies of the pack can be obtained from Viva Network, PO Box 633, Oxford, OX2 0XZ, UK or from the Viva Network website www.viva.org