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NATIONAL PASTORS’

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#035    PERMIT THE CHILDREN TO COME

The Role Of Children In the Prayer Movement

by Alice Patterson, Pray Texas:  PRAYTX@aol.com

 

The topic of children is what the Lord is highlighting in my quiet time lately.  Those who know me personally would be amazed that I’m interested in children.  You see, my Dad (Travis Jaquess) and my brother are the ones in the family who have always loved children and have had a call on their lives to minister to them.  I remember Dad telling us about the vow he made to God in a foxhole in Germany, “If you let me get back home alive, I promise to win as many boys as possible to You before they are faced with a situation like this.”  Dad, a new Christian, was a Medic during World War II.  When he got home, he kept his promise by working with Royal Ambassadors, teaching 9-year-olds in Sunday School, and serving as the Boy Scout Master.  His experiences in World War II, where he saw men shoot off the end of their foot to keep from going to the front line, where he saw men die cursing God, and where he saw others die with a prayer on their lips became the tools that God used from my Dad’s lips to share the love and power of Christ and to draw young boys to Him.  My brother, David, has a degree in Christian education which he now uses at New Life Ranch, a Christian family camp in northeastern Oklahoma.  His programs not only introduce kids to Jesus, but they train them in discipleship and ministry.  Although I love our two sons very much, my heart has always been for leaders.  So what is all this about children, Lord?

While in Argentina in the fall of 1996, I first saw “children intercessors.”  We were taken in buses to an old YMCA-type gymnasium where about 50 children, ranging in age from 4 or 5 to their teens, led worship, shared testimonies, and ministered to their international guests.  Cathe Halford, Gay Rowe, and I were a part of Ed Silvoso’s International Institute on Prayer Evangelism.  Receiving translation through our headphones for the Spanish service, we experienced passionate worship, heard powerful testimonies, and received ministry from the children, who went out in teams to pray for those in the audience.  I remember the testimony of a six-year-old boy who told about a girl stealing his lunch money at school.  He did a very mature thing - he prayed for her!  The next day she brought his money back and apologized for taking it.  Then he led her to Jesus!  It was unbelievable!

At ministry time the children turned toward the audience seated in the bleachers.  They didn’t just go systematically down the row.  They looked, waited to hear instructions from the Lord, then went to specific people to pray for them.  The prayers were not sophisticated—just simple, yet powerful.  They were mostly praising God and saying “Recibelo, recibelo!” “Receive it, receive it.”  When I got back to Texas, I guess I did the North American thing.  I don’t think I ever said it, but somehow I thought, “That only happens in Argentina,” and didn’t really store it in my “Reaching a City” file.”

However, when I was at the ROAR’99 Conference at Bammel Baptist in Houston last fall, I learned that Esther Ilinsky, founder of the Children’s Global Prayer Movement based in West Palm Beach, Florida, had actually trained the children intercessors in Buenos Aires.  A family from that ministry taught the children (and the adults in the audience) at the Houston conference how to listen to God, how to pray in agreement, and how to minister to people.  As those who were in full-time ministry were invited to come to the front and receive ministry from the children, it was a wonderful experience to have tiny hands laid on my shoulder and to hear Kayla quietly pray for me.  It was exciting to see children dressed in “I’m a House of Prayer” T-shirts singing and doing motions to the song, “I’m a house, a mighty house, a mighty house of prayer!”

Some of the comments from children printed in the Children’s Global Prayer Movement brochure are:

“I’m a world-class intercessor now.”—Aaron, 11.

“My awesome prayer power works!”—Tom, 6

“I’m not just cute, I’m a mighty prayer warrior.  Thank you.” Breanna, 4.

“My desire to pray isn’t strange.  It’s from God!”  --Jenna, 8.

“Praying is more fun than toys.”  --Jesse, 5.

“It’s time to pray not play, weep not sleep.”  --Kelly, 9.

Esther Ilinsky describes what is happening with children this way, “A new breed of children—righteous seed—has emerged on the world scene.  These are world class intercessors—World Shapers I call them.  They are praying for the two billion children 12 and under who live on earth.  The Children’s Global Prayer Movement began in 1991 at a meeting with Dr. C.  Peter Wagner of the AD2000 United Prayer Track.  ‘What about the children?’ I asked.  ‘Who’s mobilizing them to pray?’  It was a God moment which has brought us to this place.  Children must not be forgotten in this end-time revival and harvest.

Their ‘houses’ are to be ‘houses of prayer for all nations.’ (Isaiah 56:7)

What about your children?  Who’s mobilizing them to pray?”

When the Lord begins to bring something to our attention, it seems that almost every time we open our Bible, there it is in another Scripture or in a different context.  When I began to read passage after passage about children, I thought, “You know, I haven’t heard anyone talk about these since I was a child in Sunday School.”  In Sunday School we heard about the little boy bringing his lunch of 5 loaves and two fishes to the Lord.  As we grow older, the miracle of multiplication becomes more important and the child less important.  I think the disciples had the same problem that we have.  All four Gospel writers describe the event of “feeding the 5,000,” but only John mentions that the person who shared his lunch was a little boy (John 6:9).  Matthew records that 5,000 were fed, “aside from women and children.” (Matthew 14:21)

When some children were brought to Jesus to have Him lay His hands on them and bless them, the disciples rebuked them.  It was Jesus Himself who said, “Suffer the little children to come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)  That’s a Scripture we memorized when we were children, but it is rarely a sermon topic for adults.

Have you ever thought that there were probably children following Jesus in the multitudes?  Have you ever wondered what happened to the children who were taken in His arms, hugged, and blessed?  Could they be the ones who were welcoming Him to Jerusalem and crying out in the temple?  Matthew 21:15-16 says, “But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and THE CHILDREN who were crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they became indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’  And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast prepared praise for Thyself?’”

On the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, Peter explains to those listening what is happening in their midst.  In a culture where men were the ones who spoke in public, seeing the women and the children doing the same thing, needed the foundation of Holy Scripture to justify what was taking place.  Peter quoted from the book of Joel in his explanation in Acts 2:16-18:  “’And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind.  And your SONS AND DAUGHTERS shall prophesy, and your YOUNG MEN shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.  Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’”  In verse 39 of the same chapter Peter says, “’For the promise is for you and YOUR CHILDREN and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.”  It looks like the Lord is calling the same ones to Himself that He did when the disciples tried to stop the children as they approached Him.  Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me.”  He closed both the gender and the generational gaps.

This idea of children mobilized for prayer could be another paradigm that is shifting today.  How many of us have considered CHILDREN when we talk about reaching our city?  How many of us invite CHILDREN to pray or even consider that they can do anything besides memorize Scripture or cut and paste?

“Dear Lord, forgive us for not noticing the children, for pushing them aside and keeping them occupied instead of seeing their value, their faith, and their humility.  Teach us to become like little children, and show us how to teach them and release them into intercession, ministry, and the harvest.  Forgive us for not understanding that CORPORATE PRAYER means intergenerational prayer.  Bless the children around us and show us how to nurture them and emulate them—in Jesus’ Name.”

Children’s Global Prayer Movement has prayer tools, training, and people available to train children in your congregation or city.  You can reach them at:

Esther S. Ilinsky, Founder

David Schnorr, CGPM International Director

854 Conniston Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405

561-832-6490  /  561-832-8043 fax

Icci-eni@flinet.com  /  www.cgpmeni@mindspring.com

 

Recently we received an email from Karen Moran, who got her training at Children’s Global Prayer Movement.  She has recently started “The Light Club” for taking the gospel into public elementary schools.  Six clubs were started since last school year with over 165 reported salvations!  Please pray for both of these organizations.  Here’s how you may contact Karen Moran:

The Light Club

PO Box 210384, West Palm Beach, FL 33421

561-478-8361, phone and fax

Pray Texas is uniting hearts and hands with leaders to reach their communities for Christ.  Pray Texas is a servant ministry connecting, encouraging, and equipping leaders to launch cooperative, strategic prayer initiatives.  Please share reports of what is happening in your city with us so that we may encourage others.  Feel to call us.  We want to serve you and connect you to others who can help you in your vision to reach your city. WE APPRECIATE YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR SUPPORT!

Pray Texas, 808 Tower Drive, Suite 8, Odessa, Texas 79761

915-580-4888  /  915-332-0779 fax

PrayTX@aol.com  /  www.praytexas.com

 

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