The Role Of Children In the Prayer Movement
||Seen here the children of the Caribbean
Development Bank's After School Club at their Summer Camp lifting
the world in a net
Permission requested to use information from www.usprayercentre.org
by Alice Patterson
Those who know me personally would be amazed that
I’m interested in children. You see, my Dad (Travis Jaquess)
and my brother are the ones in the family who have always loved children
and have had a call on their lives to minister to them. I remember
Dad telling us about the vow he made to God in a foxhole in Germany,
“If you let me get back home alive, I promise to win as many
boys as possible to You before they are faced with a situation like
this." Dad, a new Christian, was a Medic during World War II.
When he got home, he kept his promise by working with Royal Ambassadors,
teaching 9-year-olds in Sunday School, and serving as the Boy Scout
Master. His experiences in World War II, where he saw men shoot off
the end of their foot to keep from going to the front line, where
he saw men die cursing God, and where he saw others die with a prayer
on their lips became the tools that God used from my Dad’s lips
to share the love and power of Christ and to draw young boys to Him.
My brother, David, has a degree in Christian education which he now
uses at New Life Ranch, a Christian family camp in northeastern Oklahoma.
His programs not only introduce kids to Jesus, but they train them
in discipleship and ministry. Although I love our two sons very much,
my heart has always been for leaders. So what is all this about children,
Argentina in the fall of 1996, I first saw “children intercessors."
We were taken in buses to an old YMCA-type gymnasium where about 50
children, ranging in age from 4 or 5 to their teens, led worship,
shared testimonies, and ministered to their international guests.
Cathe Halford, Gay Rowe, and I were a part of Ed Silvoso’s
International Institute on Prayer Evangelism.
Receiving translation through our headphones for
the Spanish service, we experienced passionate worship, heard powerful
testimonies, and received ministry from the children, who went out
in teams to pray for those in the audience.
I remember the testimony of a six-year-old boy who told about a girl
stealing his lunch money at school. He did a very mature thing - he
prayed for her! The next day she brought his money back and apologized
for taking it. Then he led her to Jesus! It was unbelievable!
At ministry time the children turned toward the audience seated in
the bleachers. They didn’t just go systematically down the row.
They looked, waited to hear instructions from the Lord, then went
to specific people to pray for them. The prayers were not sophisticated—just
simple, yet powerful. They were mostly praising God and saying “Recibelo,
recibelo!" “Receive it, receive it." When I got back
to Texas, I guess I did the North American thing. I don’t think
I ever said it, but somehow I thought, “That only happens in
Argentina," and didn’t really store it in my “Reaching
a City" file."
However, when I was at the ROAR’99 Conference at Bammel Baptist
in Houston last fall, I learned that Esther Ilinsky, founder of the
Children’s Global Prayer Movement based in West Palm Beach,
Florida, had actually trained the children intercessors in Buenos
Aires. A family from that ministry taught the children (and the adults
in the audience) at the Houston conference how to listen to God, how
to pray in agreement, and how to minister to people.
As those who were in full-time ministry were invited
to come to the front and receive ministry from the children, it was
a wonderful experience to have tiny hands laid on my shoulder and
to hear Kayla quietly pray for me. It was exciting to see children
dressed in “I’m a House of Prayer" T-shirts singing
and doing motions to the song, “I’m a house, a mighty
house, a mighty house of prayer!"
Some of the comments from children printed in the
Children’s Global Prayer Movement brochure are:
“I’m a world-class intercessor now."—Aaron,
“My awesome prayer power works!"—Tom,
“I’m not just cute, I’m a mighty
prayer warrior. Thank you."—Breanna, age 4.
“My desire to pray isn’t strange. It’s
from God!"—Jenna, age 8.
“Praying is more fun than toys."—Jesse,
“It’s time to pray not play, weep not
sleep."—Kelly, age 9.
Esther Ilinsky describes what is happening with children
this way, “A new breed of children—righteous seed—has
emerged on the world scene. These are world class intercessors—World
Shapers I call them. They are praying for the two billion children
12 and under who live on earth.
The Children’s Global Prayer Movement began
in 1991 at a meeting with Dr. C. Peter Wagner of the AD2000 United
Prayer Track. ‘What about the children?’ I asked. ‘Who’s
mobilizing them to pray?’ It was a God moment which has brought
us to this place. Children must not be forgotten in this end-time
revival and harvest.
Their ‘houses’ are to be ‘houses
of prayer for all nations.’ (Isaiah 56:7) What about your children?
Who’s mobilizing them to pray?"
When the Lord begins to bring something to our attention,
it seems that almost every time we open our Bible, there it is in
another Scripture or in a different context. When I began to read
passage after passage about children, I thought, “You know,
I haven’t heard anyone talk about these since I was a child
in Sunday School." In Sunday School we heard about the little
boy bringing his lunch of 5 loaves and two fishes to the Lord. As
we grow older, the miracle of multiplication becomes more important
and the child less important. I think the disciples had the same problem
that we have. All four Gospel writers describe the event of “feeding
the 5,000," but only John mentions that the person who shared
his lunch was a little boy (John 6:9). Matthew records that 5,000
were fed, “aside from women and children." (Matthew 14:21)
When some children were brought to Jesus to have Him
lay His hands on them and bless them, the disciples rebuked them.
It was Jesus Himself who said, “Suffer the little children to
come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
That’s a Scripture we memorized when we were children, but it
is rarely a sermon topic for adults.
Have you ever thought that there were probably children
following Jesus in the multitudes?
Have you ever wondered what happened to the children
who were taken in His arms, hugged, and blessed?
Could they be the ones who were welcoming Him to Jerusalem
and crying out in the temple?
Matthew 21:15-16 says, “But when the chief priests
and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and THE
CHILDREN who were crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna
to the Son of David,’ they became indignant and said to Him,
‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to
them, ‘Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of
infants and nursing babes Thou hast prepared praise for Thyself?’"
On the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, Peter
explains to those listening what is happening in their midst. In a
culture where men were the ones who spoke in public, seeing the women
and the children doing the same thing, needed the foundation of Holy
Scripture to justify what was taking place. Peter quoted from the
book of Joel in his explanation in Acts 2:16-18: “’And
it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will
pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind. And your SONS AND DAUGHTERS
shall prophesy, and your YOUNG MEN shall see visions, and your old
men shall dream dreams. Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’"
In verse 39 of the same chapter Peter says, “’For the
promise is for you and YOUR CHILDREN and for all who are far off,
as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." It looks
like the Lord is calling the same ones to Himself that He did when
the disciples tried to stop the children as they approached Him. Jesus
said, “Permit the children to come to Me." He closed both
the gender and the generational gaps.
This idea of children mobilized for prayer could be
another paradigm that is shifting today. How many of us have considered
CHILDREN when we talk about reaching our city? How many of us invite
CHILDREN to pray or even consider that they can do anything besides
memorize Scripture or cut and paste?
“Dear Lord, forgive us for not noticing
the children, for pushing them aside and keeping them occupied instead
of seeing their value, their faith, and their humility. Teach us to
become like little children, and show us how to teach them and release
them into intercession, ministry, and the harvest. Forgive us for
not understanding that CORPORATE PRAYER means intergenerational prayer.
Bless the children around us and show us how to nurture them and emulate
them—in Jesus’ Name."
Children’s Global Prayer Movement has prayer
tools, training, and people available to train children in your congregation
or city. You can reach them at:
Esther S. Ilinsky, Founder
David Schnorr, CGPM International Director
854 Conniston Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
561-832-6490 / 561-832-8043 fax
Karen Moran, who received her training from Children's
Global Prayer Movement has recently started “The Light Club"
for taking the gospel into public elementary schools. Six clubs were
started since last school year with over 165 reported salvations!
Please pray for both of these organizations. Here’s how you
The Light Club
PO Box 210384, West Palm Beach, FL 33421
561-478-8361, phone and fax
CLICK to view
video of children praying