Last night, I attended a teen event for some youth in our church. After one of the evening’s activities, most of the teens left the building to move onto their next activity, while the teen prayer team gathered against one wall to pray. Their backs were to us, ignoring everyone else in the room, and all their heads were bowed as they hung in football huddle form on each other.
One woman from our church said, “Let’s go pray around them.” So a bunch of us made a semi circle around them, closed our eyes and prayed silently. They were surrounded, backed to a wall with the members of our church holding hands, creating a boundary around them. They didn’t know it until they raised their heads a few moments later.
The moment itself only lasted about two minutes, but it gave me a picture that will last forever.
There they were, being faithful to God, lifting their fellow teens and friends to the Lord. And we came around them and prayed a hedge of protection. We were the spiritual boundary, keeping the enemy at bay as they did God’s work.
We as parents do our best to protect our children. We cuddle them. We tell them what they can and can’t do. We tell them where they can and can’t go. We create boundaries for them. But there comes a time when we have to let our children go into the world we’ve prepared them for. We feel helpless, like there’s nothing we can do. But if we think that way, we’d be wrong.
When they step out on their own, our focus moves from being that physical protection to the spiritual one. (Though hopefully, we’ve had a spiritually minded focus all along.) It’s our job as parents and adults to pray a boundary around our children. We must fight the spiritual warfare. We are on the front lines, doing the damage to the enemy lines so that our kids can advance the Kingdom of God. We move into enemy territory and clear the way so they can take the land.
In those two or three minutes last night, God gave me a gift. He opened my eyes to see that my job as a parent, and aunt, a friend is to pray that hedge of spiritual protection into being.
Will you join me?