How can a child be shown that their prayer life can be impactful?
Prayer is, in essence, relational. When we reach out to God in prayer as Christians it’s because we know that He is a God who listens and a God who intervenes. Often, through our lives we have seen God move through our prayers and this, along with scripture, is what gives us a deeper trust and faith in Gods character.
So, why is it important for a child to have access to good quality, age-appropriate Christian resources? Often, as adults we can watch or read some of the content aimed at children and think that God presents himself in a child sized manner, that the Holy spirit displays pint sized power to our little ones, but that is simply not the case.
I have seen young children in worship, deep in communion with God and have heard testimony after testimony of how God has told them he loves the, that he will never leave them, and that he is a good, good father. These words are even more precious when you consider that, according to the national census, 3 million children in the UK live in single parent families. Kris Valloton dubbed this generation, ‘The Fatherless generation.’
According to the Barna group, 94% of Christian adults committed their lives to Christ before they were 18. If a child is able to meet with God and to come to know His character as a loving father, then from a young age and well into adulthood their prayer life will be rich and expectant.
The question is, how? And the answer… One Panda at a time!
A study by Ofcom showed that the average primary school aged child spends up to 5 hours in front of a screen, 95% of them choosing YouTube and TicToc for the majority of that time.
When Pete and Nicola James first created the Cheeky Pandas, it was as a response to a gap in the digital market when trying to nurture their own daughters’ faith.
Now, over the last three years, it has grown into a dynamic and creative digital ministry for kids. There are three series of animated Cheeky Panda episodes and every episode comes with a BSL version, a music videos, free downloadable activity packs, assembly plans and widget packs for neurodivergent children.
Recently, at Spring Harvest, I had first-hand experience of the beautiful fruit of our neurodivergent resources. As we tried to walk the seven-foot Panda suits around the site (we didn’t make it far as so many people, children and adults alike, wanted their photo taken!) So many SEN children came to touch, cuddle and love on the Pandas.
We are also in the process of developing a fourth series in partnership with The Jesus Story Book Bible. The new series will help to grow and develop the Archbishop of Canterbury’s vision for every Christian to share their faith and see themselves as a witness to Jesus Christ. The hope is that this project will help parents introduce Jesus to children, to empower families to build their relationships on shared faith journeys, and to make it available for everyone absolutely free.
Our heart is not to build an empire, it is simply to reach out and meet children where they are, to show them who God is and how he loves them, and to teach them in the way they should go I the hope that they will keep it all their lives.