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Pray for Children at Risk

Published on: October 9, 2019

Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!

Children and youth today represent a future hope for the kingdom of God. But today we see many gaps where God’s intentions for this generation of children and youth are not being realized. Children face tremendous suffering and risk around the world. Please join with YWAM this month as we pray for the world’s vulnerable children.

Today’s worldwide gaps:

  1. Child mortality: Every day, 15,000 children under five years of age die. In developing countries, half of those deaths are caused by malnutrition.
  2. Child soldiers: There are an estimated 250,000 child soldiers (some as young as seven years old) in the world today in at least 20 countries. About 40 percent of child soldiers are girls, who are often used as sex slaves and taken as “wives” by male fighters.
  3. Children and youth in crime, drugs and violence: Central and South America are experiencing a dramatic upswing in youth crime. “The drug mafia recruits children as young as nine or 10,” says Guaraci de Campos Viana, the chief justice of Rio de Janeiro’s juvenile court. “Children have no sense of danger. Being a member of a drug gang gives them a sort of adrenaline rush.”
  4. Street children: Many boys and girls under 18 years, find that “the street” has become home or their source of livelihood. They are inadequately protected or supervised. There are many more who are at risk due to the family situation. In 1989 it was estimated there were 100 million street children worldwide.
  5. Residential care versus family-based care: Worldwide many are now working toward a goal to have children living with foster families, adoptive families or in family-like settings, as opposed to traditional orphanages. Lost Kites is a film made by a YWAM team with the aim to see vulnerable families strengthened, and children restored to family – globally.
  6. Sexual abuse and exploitation: Every day, across all countries and levels of society, millions of girls and boys face the alarmingly common childhood experience of sexual abuse and exploitation. Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. About one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. About one in seven girls and one in 25 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
  7. Refugee children: There are 70.8 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, as a result of persecution, con?ict, violence, or human rights violations. Everyday this number grows 37,000 of which 50 percent are children! Many are unaccompanied or separated children, which puts them in an even more vulnerable situation. Refugee children and youth often are out of school and become easy victims of sexual exploitation.
Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse

YWAM offers many opportunities for students and staff to stand in one of those gaps and bring healing and restoration to those children, youth, their families and communities. As we do so, we can see a new hope for the kingdom of God.

Listen to the Letter

Please watch this short one-and-a-half-minute video, made by YWAM’s Children at Risk School in Perth, Australia:

If you only have a few moments to pray during The Invitation please pray for the children at risk in your area and ask God to lead them to salvation. Thank you for being part of The Invitation. We would love to receive stories from you regarding how you prayed. You can email us at

Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse

Prepare to Pray:

As your group prepares to pray, you are invited to settle into the time by having someone read aloud from Mark’s gospel, chapter 10:

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 10: 13-16

If you have children in your group and it seems appropriate, have an adult near them extend a hand of blessing to them. Then have someone read aloud: “When he came into the world, the Son of God became a child and grew in wisdom, age, and grace in the eyes of God and of all who knew him. Jesus welcomed children, believed in their dignity, and held them up as a model for all who are seeking the kingdom of God. Children need the help of grown-ups if they are to develop their individual gifts, and their moral, mental, and physical powers, and so reach human and Christian maturity. So, we ask for God’s blessing, not only on the children of our community but also on all children growing up in this beautiful yet broken world of ours.”

Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse

Then have someone read aloud from Matthew’s gospel, chapter 18:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ’Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’

Matthew 18: 1-5

As you go into the main part of this prayer time, consider the final phrase of the scripture above. Could the ways we make room for children be ways of making room for Jesus? What does this say about the ways we do not welcome children, sometimes limiting or even harming them? Hold onto this thought as you go to prayer.

Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse

Pray for Children At Risk:

  • Pray for better healthcare for pregnant women in developing countries and for healthcare for newborn children. Pray also for food and nutrition for children in developing countries.
  • Pray for children who live on the streets.
  • Pray for the refugee children who make up 50 percent of all the displaced people in the world, for protection and educational opportunities.
  • Pray for the enormous number of children and youth who become victims of sexual abuse all around the world.
  • Pray for the children and youth who become victims of violence because of recruitment into gangs.
  • Pray for children who ended up in institutional care.
  • Pray for children and youth that were forced to become child soldiers because of armed conflicts.
  • Pray for these children to hear the truth of the gospel and to receive hope and new direction in life.
  • Pray for YWAM students and staff who work with these children. Pray for boldness and protection and provision. Pray that God will raise up more workers to reach children at risk.
Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse

Take Action

Photo credit: Johan and Jeannette Lukasse
  • If you are interested in prayer and communication, you can be part of The Invitation. Contact us at We need an administrator/coordinator; photographers/videographers; and researchers.
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  • Send an email to letting us know how you prayed and what God revealed to you.

How We Prayed

 September 2019 – Hindu World

  • Several people posted that they prayed for the Hindu world as part of The Invitation and some noted they would also pray during the 15 Days of Prayer for the Hindu World starting October 20.

Future Topics:

  • November 14: Tokyo
  • December 12: Israel
  • January 9: Lordship of Christ

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