“Parenting is hard,” said Holdrege mom Janet Bailey. “And it’s getting harder and harder in the world that we live in with all the challenges that our kids face.”
That’s one of the reasons why Janet joined Moms in Prayer International many years ago. Her group is one of 92 Moms in Prayer groups that meet across Nebraska to pray for students, teachers and schools. With school back in session, moms and grandmas will meet each week to pray for 217 Nebraska schools.
The groups provide a support system for moms as they navigate the challenging waters of parenting, and the prayers make a difference in Nebraska schools and beyond. The Moms in Prayer organization started in 1984 and has prayer groups around the United States and in 140-plus countries with resources in 60 languages.
“As moms, we just want what’s best for our kids,” Janet said. “We hate to see our kids suffer. We hate the painful things they go through. Being able to pray with other moms, it just lifts the burden.”
Janet said she started attending Moms in Prayer when her daughter was in middle school. Groups form based on the ages of children. Some groups focus prayers on elementary schools, others on middle schools, high schools or colleges.
“When I first experienced Moms in Prayer, I just left with a sense of peace and contentment,” she said. “I just had such a burden to pray for my kids because of all of the outside influences and everything going on in our world. It’s gotten to be one of my favorite hours of the week.”
She now meets with a Moms in Prayer college group on a weekday morning at a local coffee shop. Her group has grown to eight moms, but all it takes is two women to form a group. She said there’s working-mom groups that meet over the lunch hour or in the evenings to fit into their work schedules.
The one-hour meeting is divided into four steps of prayer: praise, silent confession, thanksgiving and intercession. Time is allowed for moms to pray for individual children and specific requests and then for intercessions for teachers and schools.
The Moms in Prayer organization provides examples of Scripture prayer with a blank line where a child’s name can be inserted.
“It’s really cool to be part of a group and hear other women praying for your child — to hear other women pour out their hearts for your child,” Janet said.
When Janet met with the middle school and high school groups, her group prayed for teachers by name each week.
“We pray for every teacher at least once throughout the school year,” she said. “It’s hard to be a teacher or administrator, and we hope our prayers can help them.”
The group also prays for upcoming events at schools, such as ball games, homecoming or prom, band competitions or quiz bowls.
“I think one of the most important impacts it has is what it does in my own heart,” Janet said. “I can walk in the door being a worried, anxious nervous wreck about what’s going on in my child’s life or one of their friends or the school, and after we’ve prayed together as a group, I walk out feeling such peace, such contentment.”
Some moms may be initially intimidated by group prayer, but Janet said that fear doesn’t last long.
“Almost any woman who is involved in our group once had a fear of praying out loud in front of people,” Janet said. New attendees often just listen until they feel comfortable enough to participate. “Because it’s just short prayers, it’s not that intimidating,” she said. “No one is being judged on how they pray or how eloquent they sound. I would say to anyone who is feeling nervous about that to come and listen.”
And in addition to seeing God answer prayers in her children’s lives and schools, Janet said she is grateful for the friendship and support she has received from her group.
“It’s a great way to build friendships with other women who have similar values and concerns,” she said
Elise Attanasio, the current Nebraska State Coordinator for Moms in Prayer International, agreed.
“It is such a grace filled, powerful prayer ministry available to all,” she said. “The sisterhood is strong and lasts a lifetime. Blessings await for the children and schools and the whole next generation when we pray together!”
Nebraska Moms in Prayer groups start up again after Labor Day. Anyone interested in joining a group or starting a new group is encouraged to visit the website at www.MomsInPrayer.org where they’ll find information, encouragement and videos. Click on “Join a Group” to request specific information on the school or group type desired. This will help Moms in Prayer reach the vision “that every school in the world would be covered in prayer!”