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My name is Cheryl
Should we ask our children to help us pray for Ukraine? Will their prayers really matter in the grand scheme of things?
2022 has already brought so many challenges to our homes, finances, and health. The emotional and psychological trauma of war could be damaging to our children depending on how severely their lives have been upended.
So it beckons the question: how much should we share about the Ukraine-Russia war with our children? Will I be putting undue stress on them to explain a war on the other side of the world?
And is ‘praying for the war’ really necessary?
My resounding answer is yes. We should talk about it because studies are increasingly showing that talking about stressful events can take away much of the fear and ambiguity.
Ambiguity often creates room to guess what else is going on, and we don’t want children to fill in the gaps with social media, discussions with friends at school, or even their siblings, as this often leads to misinformation. Hearing about war and the effects of war from a loving parent is important, because it allows us the opportunity to remind our children that we will always do everything we can to keep them safe.
(This article gives great insight into age-appropriate subjects for talking about war with children.)
THEN it’s time to pray. So how do you pray?
A child who has a new sibling may enjoy praying for protection over nurses and moms and children in Ukrainian hospitals.
A child who understands war and the resources necessary for a small country like Ukraine to defeat Russia might want to pray for the safe delivery of additional supplies.
Sometimes it is easy to believe that our children won’t understand because it isn’t right in front of them. But children don’t need to see the devastation of war on the news to be encouraged to pray.
Help them remember what we need every day to survive – water, food, shelter, and clothing. If your child was in the same situation, what would they hope that children on the other
side of the world would be praying for on their behalf?
Your child may not know a life without these things, but I am POSITIVE your child can pray a prayer of faith for God to supply those things for others.
Children are watching you and your relationship with God. When you pray for Ukraine in front of them, use the language you would use with your child, but present it to God. Then ask your child to pray next.
Here is a simple example:
Dear Lord, we come to you now to pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. I pray you would protect all of the mommies and daddies and children. Some of them are escaping the country and need food and water.
Give them joy in the midst of their pain, and faith to know you are with them. We pray that the leaders of all of the countries would make wise decisions to bring an end to this war. Touch the hearts of your people to help however they can.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For other ideas on how to help your child pray heartfelt prayers, check out this blog.
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