There’s this crazy beautiful responsibility God has entrusted to each of us. Whether you are paid or volunteer, the calling is real and deep and heartfelt. And the struggle is real, too. Nothing about this responsibility is easy or simple. So this week is dedicated to you, dear reader, who loves children and serves them week after week despite the challenges and the difficulties. Despite the scars you carry because church work is hard work. This is for you who can’t escape Children’s Ministry because your heart beats for kids’ spiritual formation. This is my prayer for you. May you be encouraged and know what you do is making a difference.
Lord, I bless You and honor You as King of the Universe, Creator and lover of children. Thank you for setting an example for us of how to welcome children with open arms. Thank you for calling us your sons and daughters. Thank you for making a place for us at Your table. Thank you for this crazy beautiful responsibility. Thank you for blessing us with gifts to accomplish what You’ve set before us.
Lord, thank you for calling each of us to serve and love the children you have entrusted into our care. It’s humbling to be able to be apart of this calling. Lord, I thank you for all the men & women who put their whole hearts into serving your Church. Thank you for their sacrifices. Help them to know that even if no one else notices YOU see all the ways they serve and love and sacrifice for their ministries.
Even when there is no appreciation or acknowledgment, may we serve to serve You alone – our audience of One.
Lord, we confess that it is so hard for us to rest. We confess we are tired and worn out. We often carry our exhaustion around as a badge of honor, but that’s not how you intended for us to serve. This burden of raising children to know You is not intended to be a burden at all. Your yoke is easy and light. Open our eyes to all the ways we are trying to serve You on our own – through our own strength and will-power. Give us the courage to confess and repent. Put people into our lives to hold us accountable for finding rest in You. For making Sabbath a priority. For not feeling guilty in setting boundaries and saying “No” sometimes. We aren’t setting a godly example for those we lead and serve otherwise. Give us the courage to follow Jesus’ example of rest and prayer and time with you.
Give us rest from the flawed and broken people who make our lives more difficult. Flow your grace & love through us onto them so that we can love and serve them as You love them. Bless us with creativity, wisdom and discernment to know how to handle these people and how we can get on the same team together.
Our to-do lists often seem overwhelming and daunting, especially as summer begins, Lord. May we remember that You go before us & behind us and Your hand of blessing is on our head and is on all things we have planned for this summer. May all that we have planned to do point our children and families to You and You alone. Put to rest whatever events and plans need to not happen and open doors to all things that are of You.
Pour Your wisdom out on all who read this. Align their dreams for their ministry with Your dreams for their ministry. Make the impossible possible. Open the hearts & minds of their Leadership so that together they can accomplish Your dreams. Remove all obstacles, all negativity, all “that won’t work here” attitudes.
There are so many challenges in this crazy beautiful responsibility You have called each of us to. Challenges that discourage and steal our joy and hope. Challenges that leave us battered and bruised and our hearts scarred. Lord, please protect each reader through the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill them with joy & peace that cannot be contained, explained or extinguished. You are the God of hope. May we continually turn to You as the source of all hope, joy and peace. Strengthen each reader so that the attacks of Satan will not stand, take root in their hearts or have any effect.
Surround them with community – people they can be real with regarding the challenges of ministry and serving. People who will love them through all the ups and downs. Bless them with a safe place to let their guards down to be transparent with others. Ministry is a lonely place. Lord, please give them glimpses of all the many ways You are with them always.
Renew their love for their church and their families. And if and when it’s time to close the chapter and move on, may it be done with grace & humility in Your timing and not out of frustration and defeat.
And finally Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ I pray all of these things.
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.”
2 Corinthians 4:1