Let's Pray: June

How can we pray well as we head into this new month?

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Make room

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet brings a two-pronged message to Israel; a warning of judgement, but also a message of hope. Isaiah predicts that Jerusalem will fall to Babylon and be exiled – and a hundred years later, this prediction sadly does come true. But Isaiah’s message of hope is about a new Jerusalem where God’s kingdom will be restored.

Isaiah 54 offers us a picture of this restored people, this fulfilled promise, this kingdom.

Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54: 2 NIV

Enlarge the site of your tent [to make room for more children];
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them;
Lengthen your tent ropes
And make your pegs (stakes) firm [in the ground]. Isaiah 54: 2 AMP

How beautiful, that God’s best for His people – freedom, the fulfilment of promise – looks like making space for family? It looks like children and community. It looks like regeneration and new generations. It looks like growth and flourishing.

And these words are not saying, “Stand back and watch what I’m about to do.” They’re saying, “Get involved. Get ready. Prepare. Make room.”

The invitation to God’s people – the invitation to the Church – is one of participation. We have the privilege to be part of building God’s kingdom here on this earth; a kingdom of family and community, of welcome and belonging.
What would it look like to enlarge the place of your tent today? How can we prepare for and participate in what God is doing to grow family and community? Where in our lives can we make room?

There are over 103,000 children are in the care system across the UK. Many will have suffered neglect or abuse. All will experience trauma and loss. Each one deserves a home where they will be loved, nurtured and enabled to thrive. Today, too many children are waiting too long for the stability, care and love they need.

There are around 50,000 churches in the UK. In every village, town and city in the country there are churches – big, small and in between – filled with people invited to participate in what God is doing in our world.

Everyone has a part they can play. Everyone has something they can bring.

Can you make room?

Could you make room in your family and home to welcome a child or young person through fostering, adoption or supported lodgings?

Could you make room in your church spaces and gatherings for those who find themselves on the margins?

Could you make room in your diary to offer your time to listen to, pray for or laugh with someone in your community who is caring for children or teenagers?

Could you make room in your shopping list to buy a few extra ingredients to cook a meal for a family in your church, to buy a few extra school supplies to share, or to buy a treat to bring comfort and encouragement?

Could you make room in your laundry basket and take on some household practicalities for a family you know who could use an extra hand?

Could you make room on your desk and write to those in power to influence change that will benefit children and families?

  1. Let’s pray that more individuals, couples and families will be inspired to make room in their families to welcome children and teenagers through fostering, adoption and supported lodgings. Pray for families in the right locations and with the appropriate skills and experience, so that the right homes can be found quickly for the children who wait the longest.
  2. Let’s pray for more who will offer emotional support to families who care for children and teenagers; to make room to listen, to share a cup of coffee, to gain an understanding, perhaps to laugh together.
  3. Let’s pray that this month, many from within our churches across the UK will be inspired to offer some practical support to a family in their community. Pray that meals cooked, lifts offered, shopping and laundry done will bring huge ease and encouragement to families, and that they will feel supported and cheered on by their church family.
  4. Let’s pray for more individuals who can use their skills and their networks to influence change that will benefit children with care experience and their families; learning, writing, campaigning, leading.
  5. We invite you to ask God – show me where I can make room.

Creative prayer activity: Tidy-up prayers

It can be easy to write ourselves off when it comes to considering what part we can play to make a difference. It’s not the right time. We don’t have the space. Others are more suited with the right kind of skills.

These points are valid. It’s absolutely true that not everyone can welcome a child or teenager into their home through fostering, adoption or supported lodgings. But lots of people can; and those who cannot have the opportunity to play another vitally important part.

This month, we want to encourage you to prayerfully tidy up a corner of your home. That might sound like a chore – but don’t worry, a spotless living room isn’t the goal here! Instead, use the activity to consider the opportunities, resources and relationships that are available to you right now, and how you might be able to use what’s at your fingertips to help ensure that every child and young person experiences the stability, care and sense of belonging they deserve.

You might want to do this alone and use the time for personal reflection, but if you have children in your home we think this could be a great activity to do together, and consider what you as a whole family can offer!

  • Choose an area of your home to focus on. You might want to pick a whole room – maybe your living room or kitchen? Or you can choose a smaller corner – your desk, the toybox, the car?
  • Begin to tidy up your area, and notice the things you pick up. What kinds of things do you have in your home? Where did they come from? What stories do they hold? What kinds of things do they represent?
  • As you put items away, pay attention to the spaces where you’re putting them. Which areas are full, bursting at the seams? Where are the areas in your home, in your life, that have space for more?
  • Consider as you tidy – where could you make room?
Creative prayer activity: Tidy-up prayers

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