Today kicks off a new prayer series that will focus on a specific need as God calls us to pray. Our first prayer request in this series is for Missing and Exploited Children. Streaming service Netflix is running a series on the murder of 8 year old Gabriel Fernandez. The series is graphic, hard to watch but a compelling story of a social system that failed to protect him from his own mother.
Sadly Gabriel is representative of countless abused children. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States — that’s roughly 2,000 per day. Of those, there are 115 child “stranger abduction” cases each year, which means the child was taken by an unknown person.
According to DoSomething.org more than 4 children die from child abuse and neglect on a daily basis. Over 70% of these children are below the age of 3. Boys (48.5%) and girls (51.2%) become victims at nearly the same rate. 2.9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States. Worldwide these numbers only climb to an unimaginable number.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21
The Bible is full of scripture on our responsibility to not only our children but all children. Society has lost track of its responsibility in to our children. With more and more progressive leanings away from the Bible and in particular scriptures they don’t like, we are doomed to see this issues not only continue but to grow.
Our prayer today is that God would use us to guide, protect and nurture not only our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but all children we come into contact with. We ask that God put us in the places we need to be to facilitate this mission and ministry. May we share a kind word with all we know and come into contact with, encouraging them to be the best example of Christ like behavior. Children reflect what they see in us, so may we always reflect a smile, and the maturity to know they will do as they us do. They will say as they hear us say, and they will only teach their children what we have taught them. In Jesus precious name, Amen.