“You might remember me. I gave you a little dinosaur when I was about seven years old. Would you believe I’m 21 now?”
My Friday began, like most days, with my routine of listening to the Scriptures, a breakfast of yogurt and coffee, and a quick check of the overnight emails. That’s when the morning took a turn—in a good way. In my inbox was an email with the subject line “Hello from a pastor’s kid.” It began with a bright, cheerful greeting: “Hello, Mr. Wells!”
The sender mentioned her name and family and then stated, “You might remember me. I gave you a little dinosaur when I was about seven years old. Would you believe I’m 21 now?” She went on to say, “I was talking with my parents this evening, and we were remembering that little dinosaur. My dad told me you kept it as a reminder to pray for pastors’ children, and I want to say thank you.”
I knew what she was referring to. I do have that purplish-blue raptor on my bookshelf. It looks out at me every day. And I regularly recall why it is there. It reminds me to follow through on the promise I made to pray for PKs—pastors’ kids. There are times when “the decorating coach” decides to remodel my office and I’m told that “Dino” has to go. When that happens, I simply remind my office organizer why Dino is there, and it’s put back in its rightful place.
The motive to pray for pastors’ kids comes from my understanding of the challenges and spiritual battles that surround them. As my young friend indicated in her email, “Being a pastor’s kid can be challenging, and I think the devil often targets pastors’ families. I find myself praying over my current pastor’s family and the attacks they often face against their kids.”
Recently, Susan and I were the honorary guests at a joint birthday/anniversary celebration put on by friends and family. One of the people in attendance was a woman we’ve known for over 20 years, someone we value deeply as a friend. Since she met our family in 1994, she has kept a picture of our kids on her fridge and prayed for them daily. When my youngest son, now married with children, walked into the room, she hugged him and said with sincerity, “I love you and I pray for you every day.”
I believe that the eternal destinies of our children, youth and young adults are impacted when we pray for them. My Friday morning emailer believed it too. “I’m sure that my family and the children of many other pastors have been affected by your prayers,” she wrote. “My siblings and I have grown up loving and trusting in God in a day and age when our peers, and the world, are so against Him. It is a huge, huge blessing to know Him and to be able to see the truth.”
Our prayers establish a foundation for God’s purposes to be realized in a young person’s life. I am awestruck by what God has been doing in this young woman’s life. She describes it this way: “While I didn’t go into the ministry [she serves the Lord in the arts community], I get to love on so many different types of people and try to show a flawed human version of God’s love and compassion to the people in my workplace. I often witness to homosexuals, transgender people, and people dealing with huge anxieties in this arts field, who have such broken pasts. As I’m praying over them and trying to show the love of Christ to these people, you can know that your prayers had a part to play, not only in my life as I witness to these people, but in the lives of the other pastors’ kids who are still following and yearning for a deeper relationship with Christ.”
I trust the final paragraph she shared with me will resonate with all of us. “Keep praying for the pastors’ kids. We’re given an amazing opportunity by growing up with Christian leaders, and I know the enemy would like nothing more than to see that opportunity squandered.”
Heavenly Father, we pray for the children of our pastors and leaders, along with those of all our church families. As we remember the coming of Your Son, Jesus, and the purpose of His birth, we pray that each child, young or adult, will live out Your calling and purpose for their lives. Guard them from all evil and help them to be all that You’ve created them to be. For Your glory. Amen.