We are on the brink of a new season in our lives as toddler group leaders. Whether we’ve spent the last year or so leading singing and story time online, delivering toy loans or craft bags, walking with parents one to one or hosting support groups for new parents. Whether we are ready to return to meeting physically right now or looking ahead to the next term. Whether we are restarting something we have done before or looking to start something new, it is so important to begin with prayer.
As we look to the future, perhaps we are feeling excited and eager to re-open our doors, perhaps we are feeling nervous and unsure; most likely we are feeling a little of both. What better place to start than with this reminder:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
Let’s take a look at the things we can be praying for right now, and how we can be praying. As we share our thoughts and cares with God, it’s good to remember to listen to what he wants to say to us.
What can we be praying for?
In the midst of the last twelve months, even when we haven’t known what else to do, we have been able to pray for the families we work with and our wider communities. Perhaps now is a good time to pause, take stock and reassess the things we need to bring before God. You may find it helpful to take some time to pray now, pausing over each of the thoughts below.
Let’s bring to God the things in our heart:
- The families we love and care for
- The individual circumstances we know about
- Those we have lost touch with
- The new parents we have yet to meet
- The families who live in our neighbourhood who are dealing with difficult circumstances that we know nothing about
Let’s bring to God the things in our hand:
- The circumstances we have been through over the last year
- The frustrations we feel at things that have been left undone
- The new ideas that have been birthed in this season
- The opportunities and giftings we have in our group
- The shortcomings and gaps in our group
- The volunteers who have stepped down
Let’s listen again to God’s heart for his people as we ask him to:
- Sustain us in this season
- Direct our paths
- Lead us to the people he wants us to love and serve
How can we pray?
Perhaps you will find it helpful to use these prayer points in your personal prayers over the coming weeks. You might also find it helpful to pray as a:
Before you start working together again, carve out some time to pray as a team. You could:
- Pray for each of your children and families by name
- Take time to pray for one another individually
- Prayer walk around your local area, praying for the families who live there, the children at the local school, other places of significance and the people represented there
Does your church have a prayer diary or another way of praying for different ministries? Is your toddler group included? Can you ask for some specific prayer points to be included?
As you think about the changes you want to make when you restart your group, can you be more deliberate in including opportunities to pray with and for your families? Perhaps by using a simple closing prayer at the end of each session or a prayer request box to give families the opportunity to share their own prayer needs.
When we think about the next season for our ministries, let’s make prayer a priority, remembering to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)