How I Use Strategic Prayer To Help A Child In Crisis
When I was younger, my worldview was black and white. The longer I work in ministry the more I am reminded that gray is a color too. Several years ago we had the privilege of coaching a family who was fostering a child who was walking through a very difficult season. After several months of escalating emotion, the decision was made for the child to be placed in a pediatric behavioral health facility. The choice was not an easy one – but it was the best one for that moment, for that kiddo. Given the complexity of the situation and the size of our organization at the time (very small!), we decided to travel to be with the family during this time.
Sitting in the car with the Hubs on the way to the hospital I just prayed. I had never been inside a place like this, and truly had no idea what to expect. On the other side of several years ministering in this space, I have now experienced many sides to these types of interventions and have a long list of trauma related conferences, teachings and break out sessions under my belt. But at this point in our ministry journey this was taking it to a whole ‘nother level. But we were both convicted that this was where we needed to be.
We walked in and prayed using our strategic prayer approach with the family while sitting in a sea of other families. Just sitting quietly on cracked leather-looking chairs in a variety of drab colors. The well-worn carpet and yellow-hued- walls did not provide an inviting ambiance in the waiting room. Some people scrolled through their phones, others talked (somewhat loudly) on their cells. Very few talked to each other. Our little group huddled together and invited the Holy Spirit into this space.
I personally could feel the difference as we prayed and praised in the middle of one of the most hopeless feeling spaces I have ever experienced.
As families were called back by name, I felt a Holy Spirit prompting to include myself in the grouping. I took the moms hand and softly conveyed intention. She had yet to be called back, as the child was not accepting visitors even though it was visiting hours.
I walked back with the others, and found an arts and crafts space that was populated with patients and family members alike. I milled around holding a care package from our Ignite Hope family and wondering how to gain further access. Falling back on my faith, I did what I’ve learned to do – I prayed it up and down.
When a nurse came up to me to ask who I was here to see I gave the child’s name and at the last second the Spirit reminded me of the child’s birth last name which is how the insurance was still listed. Y’all – full disclosure – there’s pretty much no way I would have been able to have pulled that out of thin air – that was all Jesus.
The child heard my voice and heard that name. I heard a soft sweet voice calling my name down the hallway. The next thing I knew, I was being enveloped in the biggest bear hug! My heart literally leapt! Suddenly, all the praying, the wondering, the worrying (yes worrying – I am a work in progress y’all – but God’s not done with me yet) just made sense.
God gave me the gift of seeing, and hugging and praying with and over this child with my own eyes when the family could not get in to do these things. I was able to hand over gifts that were hand picked. I was able to convey messages of love, belonging and hope. And then God allowed me to share what I saw, and said and prayed to the family that waited and prayed on the other side of locked and closed doors.
The hopeless, pressing feeling I experienced when I walked in lightened when we invited the Holy Spirit into that space. As I sat in the back praying and listening and just holding a child who has seen and experienced more than any child, no – more than any human ever should have had to, I sat surrounded by dozens more hurting souls. I use strategic prayer for healing, for protection, and for peace. One person praying in the midst of pain.
And God met us all there and it was tangible. It was powerful. It was real.
Sometimes, I will hear people say, “I want to do something real, not just pray,” In my flesh – I get that, we want to see something with our own eyes. But God’s word says that real faith is believing without seeing. And sometimes (most of the time) the most real thing you can do is to battle on your knees in the Heavenlies for the hurting, for those who feel hopeless, and invite the Holy Spirit in to do what you could never do- bring in the healing that we all desperately need.
CEO- Ignite Hope
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