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01 May 2015

World prayer for children at risk

World prayer for children at risk

The 2015 World Weekend of Prayer is set to focus on children at risk. 

Sponsored by Alliance member Viva, the event will take place 6 to 7 June and takes Jesus’ words in Matthew’s gospel: “I am with you always,” as its theme. “When you see the world through the eyes of a vulnerable child it can be painful, frightening and lonely,” says Andrew Dubcock, Viva’s communications manager. “Globally, one billion children live in poverty, with an increased number in the developed world”. 

In addition, 6.6 million under five-year-olds die from preventable causes, 15 per cent of children are engaged in work, one in 10 girls marry before their 15 birthday and 57 million primary-aged children are not in school. 

“We believe that God is a God of protection, provision and promises,” says Andrew. “Our plea on behalf of children at risk is that God would give them strength, carry them through their desperately tough times, and ultimately change their situations for the better. 

“Our desire is to turn to God together in prayer for a change of attitude and action by all communities around the world towards their children. 

“We’re calling on Christians wherever they are that weekend to join us in praying on behalf of the hurting children in our communities, and those in far-off places – that God would give them strength and carry them through their desperately tough times.” 

Through Viva’s partner network in Cambodia a Christian programme has developed to teach children and those who work with them about the power of prayer amid widespread poverty. 

The Children’s Prayer Movement programme has developed a year-long prayer teaching curriculum, and aims to make pastors and children’s workers more aware of child spirituality. It is changing the landscape of the Church in relation to children. 

Programme director Pang Sophany says: “We believe that children’s prayer is one of the most powerful weapons to bring change to their families, communities and the nation.” 

Twelve year-old Bun Ngong Kim is cared for by his grandmother because his parents are divorced. Although life isn’t easy for him, and his education is uncertain, his faith is simple and unshaken. 

He says: “I always pray for God to help me to go to school regularly. May God bring my parents back together so that I can live with them as a family. By God’s grace, everything in my life will be taken care of by faith.” 

The World Weekend of Prayer campaign is a global initiative held over the first weekend of June every year, uniting hundreds of thousands of adults and children across more than 40 countries. 

Viva is an international Christian charity that is inspiring lasting change in children’s lives through the power of collective action in 34 community networks worldwide. 

Go to www.worldweekendofprayer.com to find resources to download.