Today at my church’s community event in a local park, there was face painting, crafts, popcorn and snow cones, bouncing castles, helium-filled balloons, corn-hole games, and prayer. I helped man the prayer tent.
Free Bibles and other materials were available but the main thing was prayer. I had created a simple badge, saying May I pray for you?
From the very first a steady stream of people came by. Whenever anyone approached the tent, I didn’t wait for them to speak. I simply asked, May I pray with you about anything?
The entire day, only one person said No, I’m fine, so I just responded, Be blessed and have a blessed day!
But what was amazing to me was the children. By a margin of four or five children to one adult, mostly children came requesting prayer. Their ages ranged from kindergarten to 10 or 12; they came as individuals or in pairs.
And they didn’t request prayer for themselves, they wanted to pray for their parents, their grandparents, their siblings or their friends.
I held out my hand, took theirs in mine, and together we prayed. Then we both said Amen, and they matter-of-factly went on their way. Here is a sample:
- Please pray for my mom and dad, they don’t know the Lord.
- My grandmother died several weeks ago and my whole family is sad. Please pray for them.
- My grandma died yesterday and the funeral is next week, please pray that the preacher really preaches good and my family will get saved.
- My brother used to smoke real bad and now he’s in a hospital out in California, please pray for him to get well.
- My little brother is sick, pray that he gets well soon.
Some took one of the free Bibles. One looked hesitant, and then asked if he could take another one for his family. Sure, of course you can, I answered. I tried not to let the tears in my eyes drip out.
The adults who requested prayer needed a variety of things such as healing, jobs, family dynamics, or other miscellaneous needs for themselves. Not unusual at all.
But that was the difference: those requests were for themselves. Not so with the children. Their concern was for others. All day, child after child. For others.
What a humbling privilege it was to pray with these children, agreeing with them for their heart’s desire, a desire I know without a doubt came from the Holy Spirit.