This is an excerpt from my new book, Playing Around in PrayGround, that is presently in edit, soon to be published.
According to John Eldredge in his book, Wild at Heart, there is a warrior in every little boy. I agree with John Eldredge. We need to train and release these young warriors for battle in prayer, emphasizing that Satan is the enemy and Jesus is their Commander in Chief! These young warriors can be heroes for the whole world as they fight for the Kingdom. Likewise, in the heart of every little girl, there is the heart of a future mother. A mother is the fiercest of warriors when her children are threatened. We need to nurture the hearts of these little girls to love people as God loves people. They need to be angry at what the enemy does to God’s children and potential children. We need their ‘mother bear’ claws to come out toward the enemy.
Why would God want us to learn to fight in prayer? Because God Himself is a warrior. He is a champion warrior. One of the names of God is El Gabor, Champion Warrior, One who has never been defeated. Goliath was referred to as Gabor – Champion Warrior until he met a little boy named David! A little boy who knew El Gabor (THE Champion Warrior) and took down the Champion Warrior of the world at that time!
Today, a lot of parents don’t want to expose their children to violence and I understand their reasoning. However, there is an inner child in all of us that is meant to fight; fight for the Kingdom of God; fight from a place of an already won victory. David fought from a place of victory. He ran to Goliath. He used what was familiar to him as weapons. He declared, “Who is this uncircumcised (not in covenant with God) Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God!” Then following with a bold proclamation confirming that David knew his God, said, “This day the Lord has delivered you into my hands!” Maybe if we would train and release our kids to fight in prayer, we would not have as much aggression physically. Maybe?
When we don’t allow our kids to join us in being world changers (prayer warriors), their faith grows stale. When children experience God moving on their own and others behalf, or pushing back darkness because they have prayed, declared and worshipped, it serves to strengthen their faith. It brings a freshness to their relationship with God and detours the onset of passivity, boredom and religion.
I believe there is a warrior inside of each little guy. Lets direct him to prayer, to advancing the Kingdom. Give him an enemy to stand against, the enemy of His God! I believe that not properly equipping the men to see prayer from God’s perspective is one reason that there seems to be more women intercessors than men in almost any given church. We need to tap into the warrior child in the men and release them, all the while we train up the young boys and release them. There is no more sure, no sweeter victory than advancing the Kingdom of God in our prayers. It confirms the majesty of our God. It affirms us as partners with God in His Work. It is FUN!
Equally as important is the release of the Mother Bear in each young girl. A mother bear is dangerous!! As a mother of three now adult children plus their two spouses, I find myself fighting more in prayer for them than ever. Often when they were younger my mother bear claws would show. Now that our kids are older, my bear claws just stay out against the enemy trying to detour or distract them from their assignments in the Kingdom. My claws may not be obvious but they are ALWAYS out. Make no mistake this mamma bear is still on high alert! They will always be my cubs in my heart.
Years ago after one of Josiah’s little league, yes, little league basketball games, I had a disturbing dream. Remember I am competitive, so give me grace here. This was a dream not reality, but sadly probably was in my heart. We had lost against our biggest rivals and they had a good but cocky little guard as well as an out spoken coach. In my dream I had come out on the court took the little boy, turned him upside down and was mopping the court with his hair. Then I suddenly had a bat and was about to hit the coach (by the way was/is our friend). As I was about the swing, the coach’s head turned into the Ark of the Covenant. I could not hit the Ark, the presence of God! The coach was/is a carrier of the presence of God!!!!! God checked my mother bear claws along with my skewed perspective and values. People are not my enemy, the enemy is my enemy! Sometimes that gets a little fuzzy. We mammas have to keep that in clear perspective!
I tell you this to emphasize the fact that girls are protectors and territorial by nature. Lets tap into those momma hearts and loose them to protect the ‘babies of God.’ Little girls are passionate in prayer, tender to nurture, fierce to protect. Set girls’ eyes on the Kingdom and release them, girls will get the job done!
Often, I am questioned about how I could encourage children to participate in spiritual warfare. There is great wisdom and great strategies for such an endeavor. By adding this next section to the blog it makes the blog rather lengthy. However, I did not feel right leaving out the strategies of protecting concerning our kids as they change the world in prayer. I hope you don’t stop reading. So the big question is . . .
How do we protect our children, yet teach them to fight?
1. Go before them and with them. Be willing to be a shield against the enemy for the children. Don’t try to make them go where you have not gone before in spiritual warfare. Once time on a prayer trip in Belgium, we were going to go to several places to declare the Kingdom coming to Belgium. One of the local young ladies showed up with her newly born child. One of my team members was adamant that the baby was not to go, thus preventing the young mother from going with us. I stepped up and said that I would cover the child and take responsibility spiritually for this baby. So off we went. Eventually, we walked and prayed over the ‘red light’ district. Scantly clothed ladies and mere girls were selling themselves in the windows. As we walked, a Nigerian woman in the window opened her door and called to us. She thought we were lost because ‘who would have a baby in this environment?’ We were able to talk with her about Jesus. She invited me into her back room and I was able to pray extensively with her – all because of the baby. The baby opened the door physically for us, and the door of that young lady’s heart for Jesus!
Hannah, our youngest, took her first mission trip when she was three years old. She observed people participating in darkness. Many questioned the wisdom of taking a young child on this type of outreach trip. She experienced cold showers, sleeping struggles, strange foods, ect. But she also experienced the excitement when several of the adults who would not accept an invitation to the outreaches from any of the other team members, would readily take them from her. She participated in prayer and team meetings each day. She was nicknamed, ‘Princess Hankie’ because everyone, not just our team but others would want to give her candy, carry her, make sure her every need was met. She developed a love for people that trumped any fear of differences or circumstances. As long as she was with me or one of our team members she was at peace, because of she felt our prayers. I believe as we covered her in prayer, the reality of God using her to touch others for Jesus was planted deep in her heart. We are seeing the fruit of that today.
2. Don’t let them hit the enemy head on. By this I mean, don’t go rebuking principalities and spirits of darkness with children. Teach them to use the Word of God as their weapon. Teach them there is a time for asking. But when we go into warfare, we cease asking and begin declaring the Word of the Lord by sitting in our authority. According to Ephesians 3 we are seated in Christ Jesus, Who is seated at the right hand of authority, next to the Father. It is from this position and by speaking the Word of the Lord that we bring the Kingdom of God to earth.
Their second weapon is their secret weapon – worship! In Psalm 8:2, God gives children a special weapon that renders the enemy powerless. It is their worship. When they are attacked or are praying for the Kingdom of God to come we disciple them to institute worship. We teach the kids the scripture of Ps. 8:2 as “God has given us worship to tie up the enemy and set us free.” (complete with hand motions)
Keep the kids focused on worship and the Word.
3. Compassion compels us in bringing light to the darkness. It is only in actions and words motivated by love that we will see our victory. The enemy and his guys is intimidated by love! We want to model, teach and release them to love people of all types. As they experience the love of God and are conduits of His love to others, fear is dispelled. We want to encourage kids to see others through Jesus’ eyes. However, I have found kids find it easier to see others through Jesus’ eyes, than adults do! As we celebrate the differences in people, not fear them, kids will model this celebration and usually surpass any and all adults.
Compassion for kids is on the edge of their heart. It is easy to tap into the compassion that God has placed in their hearts by speaking their language. Create prayer games, show the kids pictures, tell them stories; all focusing on the prayer point or person.
My middle child, Bethany contracted a virus in her eye. The Dr. gave her the wrong medicine which resulted in long months of her cornea sloughing off and the stem cells in her eye being burned. Eventually creating holes in her cornea and the eye collapsed. She endured pain equated above childbirth the whole time. But when her eye collapsed the pain was beyond comprehension. (Side note on kids and adults memorizing scripture: When Bethany’s eye collapsed Boone and her were with me. They both immediately started quoting Ps. 91. Bethany told me later that she has no doubt that she would have literally gone crazy with the pain if not for the Word of God.) During the whole process the kids at KDO PrayGround, ages three through five, were praying. Several of the little girls developed an especially strong heart to pray. I brought pictures of Bethany, gave updates. The kids shot arrows (warring) at the sickness and declared scripture over her eye. They laid hands on the pictures. They played/prayed many, many prayer games focused on Bethany’s eye! They learned to persevere in prayer. I would ask, “How long are we going to pray.” They would respond, “Until the answer is seen!” What a rejoicing day when Bethany came into PrayGround able to see (with a contact) out of her once collapsed eye! It is a miracle! The KDO PrayGround kids knew they were world changers. They had changed Bethany’s world! They had advanced the Kingdom of God for Jesus!
Another time, the kids in PrayGround were praying for the children of India to have safe drinking water. We invented several prayer games directed at this focus. The kids would run clean water down to a bucket and pray! We brought in dirty water complete with bugs for which the kids to look. The kids prayed over pictures of children in India. Without us telling our Missions Pastor, PrayGround continued to pray for the children of India. Suddenly, Pastor Paige, our church’s mission pastor, felt compelled to take up a special offering in a Sunday church service to dig a well in a specific area of India for clean safe water! The children shouted and danced the next time we were together at PrayGround. They had changed the world for some children in India! Again they advanced the Kingdom of God for Jesus!
The compassion of God is easily seen through a child.
Originally posted March 12, 2017