Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TODAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they 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 ... TODAY

Hi Friends,

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 - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

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,


For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Dear Intercessors,

I'm not sure I'll ever forget her radiant face. About 16 years old, she has dark hair cut in a bowl cut. She wore her purple and black sequined costume proudly, and every few minutes during her enthusiastic dance at the recital, she'd stop and wave at her family in the audience. I pictured a day about 16 years ago, when her mama and daddy held her for the first time. Did they cry when they found out she had Down's Syndrome? Did they grieve all the ways she may not experience their dreams and goals and hopes? Did they worry that she'd miss out on the richness of life? I picture the long, hard days that they must have pushed through when she was 3, 7, or 10, teaching her the things of childhood like how to take her first wobbly steps, tie her shoes or which bathroom to go into at the store... I'm certain each lesson felt more monumental and challenging than it does for most kids.

I'm sure they cried and grieved... there's a time for that, after all, and I think any parent would go through that process when first faced with a drastically different reality concerning a child's future than what was imagined.

But as I watched her dance - face joyfully shining, laughter on her lips, uninhibited, confidant, and beautiful - all I could think is: "Oh, but there is a time to dance."

And dance, she did. She danced as I've always dreamed of dancing - without shame or concern or worry about how she looked or what others thought. And it wasn't just her. Each dancer in the Midland Children's Rehabilitation Center's dance program has some sort of developmental, cognitive, or physical special need. Some girls danced in wheelchairs, coaxing their stiff limbs to move. Some girls did their best to twirl on legs that didn't move with a dancer's traditional fluidity. Each child faced different challenges, and I'm sure child has a history thick of worried parents, arduous therapies, and constant reminders that they are just a little bit different than "the other kids." But on this night, we watched them shine. And it was holy and sacred. For in those moments, they saw themselves as the Father sees them - beautiful, graceful, talented daughters and sons created in the imago dei. They are complete and perfect and enough, just as they are.

This week, I'm remembering that the very things I cry over today might lead me to places of great joy tomorrow... may we each walk in hope.

This week, I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for the following matters:

USA // Students wrapping up academic year
Please pray for students who are finishing up the academic year. Many students are in the middle of final exams, state achievement tests, and graduation. Pray that as students walk through these last few weeks of school, they are able to focus and do their best while also relaxing under the pressure many feel. For many students, summer is a time of little structure and many opportunities to get into mischief. Please pray for God's protection to rest on them and his wisdom to guide them. Also, many students eat most of their daily meals at schools. For them, summertime can mean hunger. Please pray for community groups and churches to fill in the gaps so that no child goes to bed hungry.

Reuters Photo by Marko Djurica
Global // Record number of solo migrant children, U.N. sees slavery risk
"Be it to escape war in Syria or gang violence in Central America, natural disaster or famine, increasing numbers of children are on the move and are travelling alone, UNICEF said in a report.

About 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across 80 countries from 2015 to 2016 and another 100,000 children were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, UNICEF said.

Taken together, 300,000 children travelled alone worldwide from 2015 to 2016 - a five-fold increase since 2010, when 66,000 children were reported to be on the move, UNICEF said.

Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution," Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director, said in a statement. 'It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators." Learn more here ...

his is not an easy problem to solve, but God sees these children. Please join me in praying for them to be protected and sheltered from those who would cause them harm.

Reuters Photo by James Akena
Sudan // Alarming rise in S.Sudanese children fleeing to Uganda - aid group
"More than 100 lone children cross into Uganda each day as they flee conflict in South Sudan, walking for days on end with no food or family to sustain them, an aid agency said on Thursday. World Vision said at least 9,000 children had made the journey since last July and it expects another thousand to join them by mid year. 'The majority of these children saw their parents being killed, while others lost touch with their families once fighting broke out. Some of them walk for more than a week to get to Uganda, with nothing to eat,' said Gilbert Kamanga, country director of World Vision in Uganda. 'This is one of the worst forms of violence against children. It must stop. Peace needs to prevail in South Sudan,' he said in a statement." Learn more here ...

ust like the previous story, this is not a simple problem to solve. But we can raise our voices together and ask God to protect these children who are walking for days on end with no family or shelter or protection.

Praying with you,

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153

* Name changed to protect her privacy.

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

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