Home Oregon As new school year begins, moms back up their kids in prayer

As new school year begins, moms back up their kids in prayer

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GEARHART — It’s been said that there’s no power on earth quite like that of a praying grandmother.

Likely so, but praying moms are pretty powerful, too.

Thanks to a now-worldwide ministry that has its roots here in the Northwest, countless mothers and grandmothers as well as a variety of specialized groups are surrounding their young loved ones with ongoing prayer.

“In the wake of devastating school violence across our nation last year, and the cultural confusion our children daily find themselves in, we at Moms in Prayer want to remind you that prayer for our children is a powerful tool,” said Jenn Whyman of Gearhart, state coordinator for the ministry. “Our mission is simple — two or more women meet regularly one hour a week to pray on behalf of children, schools and their community. We believe God hears and answers our prayers, and are certain lives can change, and that families and school environments across our state can be transformed if women get involved in the lives of children and/or grandchildren through prayer.”

Formerly called Moms in Touch, what is now Moms in Prayer was founded by Fern Nichols in the 1980s after she moved from Oregon to southern California.  With her two sons going off to junior high school, she was fearful at the battlefield for their hearts and minds they potentially faced.  Nichols recognized the power of prayer in her own life and began inviting other moms to join her to pray for children and schools.

Nichols never dreamed this vision would evolve into an international ministry, now based in Poway, Calif., with prayer groups in more than 144 nations.

Like Nichols, Whyman emphasizes that sincere, fervent prayers of everyday people are effective. “You don’t have to be a ‘prayer warrior’ to make a difference,” said Whyman. “Just someone humble enough to cry out to God for His mercy and protection.  Now is the time to get involved.”

The hour of prayer is guided by a “Prayer Sheet,” using the four steps of prayer — praise, confession, thanksgiving and intercession.

“We pray scripturally and specifically in one accord for teachers, administrators, support staff and students,” said Whyman. “The Prayer Sheet teaches women how to pray and trust God, replacing fear and worry for children, friends and schools with joy and peace as women gather to pray with others.”

Whyman said Moms in Prayer recognizes that women and their children are in different seasons of life, so a variety of group types are offered:

•Traditional prayer groups focus on praying specifically for one school;

•College and career groups pray for students attending university or for adult working children.

•Grandmothers groups meet to pray for the schools their grandchildren attend;

•Church-based groups meet at a church to pray with several local schools represented.

Whyman said there also are groups for mothers of children with special needs, or for those homeschooling.  There also are military groups for those who have family members in the service, and working moms group that meet before or after work or on the weekend.

To either start or find a Moms in Prayer group, go to MomsinPrayer.org