Children’s Ministry Prayer Challenge Week 10: Children Affected by Civil Conflict

January 14, 2021

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the US Congress while in session to receive and certify the Electoral College Votes for President-Elect Joe Biden, the Capitol was stormed by violence from people who have been led and believed to undermine the democratic process in our country. This act of violence has been identified as insurrection and caused the deaths of five people.
There are ongoing investigations to this act of insurrection.
Some of our young people ministry directors were moved immediately by the Holy Spirit to invite young people and older friends to come together and pray. A prayer vigil was called for in collaboration with our Conference Lay Leader, Micheal Pope. Our Office of Camping and Retreat Ministries and Young People’s Ministry sent an email blast to invite people in our conference connection to come together and pray. Rebecca Bernstein, a member of the Conference Committee on Young People’s Ministry wrote, “Today, we faced fear, sorrow, and uncertainty, as violence in the form of a coup overtook our nation's Capitol. Tonight, let us take 30 minutes to feel together, to gather together, to pray together, and to lay in wait together.
That same day in the afternoon, Bishop Minerva G.  Carcaño sent a pastoral message to all of us in the California-Nevada Conference and we quote, "Let us pray for our broken society and recommit to being followers of Christ who is the Light of the World. pastoral message to us to pray."
We invite you to continue pray for our nation and the world especially children[1] who are affected by civil conflicts and as we all face these uncertain times in our lives.
WORD             My eyes are worn out from weeping; my stomach is churning.
My insides are poured on the ground because the daughter of my people is shattered, because children and babies are fainting in the city streets.
                        They say to their mothers, “Where are grain and wine?”
                        while fainting like the wounded in the city streets,
                        while their lives are draining away at their own mothers’ breast.[2]
WISDOM         Modern warfare does not take place in isolated or remote battlefields and is not
fought between opposing countries. The vast majority of contemporary conflicts take place within a specific country, not between countries. In this new form of warfare, civilians are often caught in the midst of the fighting and routinely targeted.
Children account for the majority of civilian casualties.
War affects children in many of the same ways that it affects adults. There are, nonetheless, specific effects on children. Firstly, children’s access to the care, empathy, and attention of adults who love them is restricted or non-existent. In times of war, the loss of parents, the separation from parents, the parents’ extreme preoccupation with protecting and finding subsistence for the family, and the emotional unavailability of depressed or distracted parents lead to significant and frequent disruption in their attachments.[3]
Pray for:

  • Prayers for safety and protection for children kept indoors during shootings and bombings  
  • Peace and hope for children who are affected by war conflicts 
  • Healing for children and families who are suffering from mental health issues because of the anxiety of fear, sadness, and uncertainty.
  • Refuge for children who lost their homes and families
[1] Please see and read this reflection written by Nicole Hark of Lutheran World Relief found in the Sojourners website: You, too, are my son: A mother’s reflection on the children of the Syrian civil war | Sojourners
[2]Lamentations 2:11-12 (Contemporary English Bible)
[3] The Impact and Effects of War on Children