Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).
Invitation to Prayer, TOMORROW
Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, followed by by a special lunch together. Faces Intercessor and local pastor Dennis Hodge is bringing a homemade fried turkey.
Next week there will be no prayer email and we will not meet together on Wednesday, December 28. We will resume on January 4. Merry Christmas!
Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook ! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.
All the best,
"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." Luke 1:76-79
The stories coming out of Aleppo this week contain unimaginable horrors. As the last rebel-held areas fall to the Syrian army, stories of brutality, deprivation, and unending bombing trickle out. The news changes every day, and undoubtedly between the time I write this and you receive it, there will be new developments. But what we do know is that while evacuations of civilians and surrendering rebel fighters have begun, there have also been stories of brutality towards civilians; including women and children being shot and killed on sight and according to UNICEF, a building sheltering over 100 unaccompanied children being directly attacked.
Last night during our advent service, we together read this passage from Luke that I quoted above. It's Zechariah's song of praise upon the birth of his son, John the Baptist. Prophesying about the coming savior, Zechariah looks forward to the day when the "rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." As we read those words together, my mind filled with the picture of the people of Aleppo, walking single-file through rubble-strewn streets and beside bombed out buildings. I pictured bright rays of sunlight cutting through the clouds and driving out the darkness. I pictured those people who have been living in the shadow of death walking what they hope is a path towards peace. And I prayed that His Kingdom would come right here and right now to the people of Aleppo and all the other people around the world living in the midst of violent conflict.
But more than that, as we wait with hopeful expectation for the arrival of our savior and king, I pray that those very same people can know the One who wipes away their tears and holds them when they are afraid. There have lived through such catastrophe and no one yet knows how many more will die before there is peace. We can ache and long and hope for an end to the violence, but as we ache and long and hope and pray, we can also trust that the Prince of Peace is stronger than the prince of darkness. His light is rising and his sun is shining and he is driving out the darkness of the shadow of death. Let's pray that the people who have suffered so much can personally encounter the coming Christ.
This week, will you join me in praying for Aleppo:
• Civilians: Pray for God to protect their lives. Pray for them to have the food, medicine and shelter they need to survive the coming weeks and months and to be able to rebuild their lives in the years ahead.
• Rebels and Syrian Government, and all international players: Pray for God to give them hearts that desire peace. Pray for them to value human life over power and for God to raise up new leaders who believe in the power of reconciliation over retribution.
• Children: The children of Aleppo have known only lifetimes of war. So many of them have lost parents, friends, and homes, and many have been injured or maimed from the violence. Pray for God to begin healing their hearts and minds and bodies and for them to look forward to the future with joy and hope.
• Relief Groups: Groups like Preemptive Love Coalition, Partners Relief and Development, the Red Cross, World Relief, World Vision and Syria's own volunteer-led White Helmets are running towards the violence, not away from it, armed with clean water, medicine, food, sleeping bags and hope. Pray for their protection and adequate provisions.
• Learn more about how you can reject apathy and respond to what's happening in Aleppo and the surrounding area right now.
Praying with you,
Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153
If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org