“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.” – Oswald Chambers

They all have a story. Every one of them. Even as a preschooler that has only been in this world for a few short years, they too have a story that’s already forming. For some strange reason, this realization hit home hard for me this week. Not sure why as I have been hearing it and saying it myself for years, but for some reason, a foggy understanding became clearer.

As a small group leader, do I really know their stories? There are things that are going on at home that we may never know about it. Things that have already begun to be woven into their stories. Some big things. And others small and common. The more time I have taken to get to know parents, the more I realize that some of these kids stories are fighting some big battles already. Things like a mother who had her hair one week, to no longer having it this week because she is in a fierce battle with life and fighting breast cancer. Or the little girl who tragically lost both parents and she and her siblings are now figuring out how and why an aunt is suddenly playing the role of “mom”. Or doctors stumped as to why a child is not growing and parents are left without answers and then to a more common case of frustrated parents fighting the separation anxiety battle at weekday preschool.

These kids and their families are fighting some tough battles. Heavy, stuff, right?! And while we all wish we had the answers and the ways we could fix things quickly, most of the time, the biggest help you can be is to pray. Pray circles around these kids and their families. There’s no super cape with that job, right? There’s no front page headline or pat on the back with that action step. And the likelihood that you’ll see how things turn out, well it’s not always likely. But it could be life changing to those kids and families.

I urge you to say a quick prayer when you are with them. Silently and to yourself. Simply ask God to watch over them. Ask God to give them what they need. Ask God to be with their family during the week. Ask God to help them know that He loves them and He’s always with them. Ask God to give parents wisdom on how to handle their little hearts and emotions. Ask God to help you be a better small group leader to these kids. Prayer has the power to change courses for generations. Praying a quick prayer over your kids once or twice a week is surely doing for one what you wish you could do for many.

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Danielle Schneller

Danielle is a mom to three preschoolers. She has served in her local church as an SGL for all ages, pre-school through student ministry as well as recruited and trained small group leaders.

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