Last fall I received an email from a church member with this prayer list, written by Chuck Lawless, attached. It has stuck with me for the past few months, and I even printed it and put it above my desk so I would see it and use it as a prayer guide weekly. I feel the advice is worth sharing and wanted to pass it along to hopefully encourage each of you to pray for our church leaders. Yes, this list was originally written for children’s leaders, but I am sure that if you change a couple words here and there, it can easily be applicable to leaders (and volunteers!) of all ages and groups.
We are commanded in Scripture to pray for our leaders (I Timothy 2) and to commit each other to the Lord (Acts 14:23), so here are a few ideas of specific things to pray for.
1. Pray they will be walking with the Lord themselves. Even if children don’t always understand how important one’s walk is, we adults do. Workers cannot assume their commitment matters less since they’re “only teaching children.”
2. Pray they will see the significance of what they do. For some children, these adults are the most consistent adults they ever see—including in their own homes. They may also be the most loving adults some children know.
3. Pray they will see themselves as more than childcare workers [or greeters, or safety team members]. That’s not what they’re to be doing: they’re teaching and laying the foundation for children to serve the Lord for the rest of their lives.
4. Pray all will show up-or will take appropriate steps to notify leaders. It’s burdensome-and can even be dangerous-when too few adults are present to take care of children.
5. Pray they will be wise in dealing with children [and visitors, and church members]. So many things are important to consider: safety issues, health issues, allergy issues, discipline issues, teaching issues, etc. Children’s workers need much wisdom.
6. Pray they will make sure children hear the gospel. It’s tempting to do a lot of fun things and teach too little for children. Pray the teachers will plan fun stuff while also teaching the good news of Jesus.
7. Pray they will teach at a child’s level without compromising the gospel. Some workers make one of two mistakes when teaching children: they either teach at an adult comprehension level, or they weaken the gospel to get to a child’s level. It takes skill to communicate the gospel well to children.
8. Pray they will wisely follow established policies and procedures. Churches have these policies in place to protect the workers and the children – and to maintain the strong testimony and witness of the church. Workers need to pay attention to the accepted standards.
9. Pray they will remember that children seem to hear everything they say-and often repeat it. Workers shouldn’t be saying unrepeatable things anyway, but this reminder is still a wise one to follow. If children repeat something workers tell them, let it be the gospel and Bible stories.
10. Pray they will be wisely alert to their surroundings. I wish I didn’t need to add this prayer, but our world is dangerous. All of us need to be alert without being paranoid.
Too often we take prayer for granted, and if we are honest, it can probably be easy to minimize the importance of what each volunteer in our church really does. As a leader over many volunteers, I understand the importance of what each of these men and women do. I appreciate the time and attention they give to serve the families of Swift Creek week after week and recognize what they are giving up by stepping out and serving others.
To those of you who serve on Sunday morning in some capacity at Swift Creek, thank you. You are noticed, you are appreciated and the people of our church are benefitting from the time you give. I am praying this list over each of you and I hope others will do the same.