‘DREAM Big – Pray Like a Child’ is the theme of The Salvation Army’s International Day of Prayer for Children and Youth this year, to be held on Sunday 31 March 2019. The theme is inspired by Bible verses from Ephesians 3:20-21 which, in The Message paraphrase, explain that ‘God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.’
World leader of The Salvation Army General Brian Peddle encourages all Salvation Army corps (churches) to prioritise a focus on their ministry with younger people during their Sunday meetings on this date. He says: ‘This is an important day in the Salvation Army calendar. As I travel, it is encouraging to be regularly confronted with such vivacious worship and a contagious desire to serve as I see whenever and wherever I meet Salvationist young people. In my Call to Mission this year, I have intentionally called the Salvation Army world to Take Responsibility – with a specific call to raise and nurture every generation.
‘Friends, we must accept responsibility for children, young adults and emerging leaders – equipping, growing, empowering and discipling our present and future Salvation Army. We must strive to foster a safe environment where our young people are encouraged to find their own place and role in God’s Kingdom. We must provide accessible opportunities for them to grow in their faith, and engage them in sharing that faith with other children and young people, peer to peer.’
To support the Day of Prayer, a range of special resources have been produced. These include a 10-day devotional and prayer resource, based on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which defines five key rights – protection, education, shelter, healthcare and nutrition. Ideas for Sunday school activities have been produced, a sermon outline, children’s story and creative arts resources. To help with preparation for worship, musical suggestions for bands, songsters and worship teams have also been compiled.
Additionally, a range of posters and PowerPoint images have been designed to help promote awareness of the Day of Prayer. Finally, a benediction by the General has been recorded and is available to download for use in children- and youth-focused meetings.
More information – and the Day of Prayer resources – can be found online at sar.my/idpcy2019.