Whipple Creek Church Holds Family-Friendly 10 Days of Prayer

March 19, 2017 | Heidi Nelson

We were excited about participating in the General Conference 10 Days of Prayer initiative during the middle of January, but we wanted to make it accessible to our families with children. The theme this year was praying through the sanctuary.

We started each evening with 10–15 minutes of hymns and choruses that prepared us for that night’s message. Then we asked our Sabbath School teachers to prepare a 15-minute children’s story that would help children understand the beautiful meaning symbolized in God’s sanctuary.

Each evening, we set out a different element of the sanctuary from a beautiful 1/10 scale model that was donated to the church and placed it within a simple yet beautiful "courtyard" and "holy and most holy place" built especially for the event.

Each night our teachers prepared wonderful, interactive, creative ways to share the message of the sanctuary with our children. One night the children (and adults) received wafers with honey to remind them that God’s Word is as sweet as honey. Another night the children got to take home incense sticks of frankincense to remind them that our prayers to God are like a sweet-smelling aroma before Him.

Then we prayed together in the sanctuary as a family — praying for family members, friends, aunts, uncles, grandpas and grandmas and for each other. The children heard their parents confessing sins and faults and asking for God to give them power to serve and obey Him.

Each night we prayed for 25–30 minutes, with some of the children participating and all of them having written prayer requests they wanted the adults to remember in prayer. Toward the end of the 10 days, we took time to gather our families and surround the children and lay hands upon them and ask Jesus to abundantly bless them. The children’s hearts were warmed by this, and many of them turned to the adults who had laid their hands on them and hugged them.

God blessed abundantly, and our church has been uplifted by this wonderful time of praise, learning, prayer and thanksgiving before God as a family.