5 Prayers to Pray with Your Children about the Devastation in Israel

In 1986, seven astronauts went up into space on the space shuttle Challenger. Among those brave astronauts was Christa McAuliffe, the first female to enter space. I remember watching it in my elementary school classroom as the teacher wanted us all to witness history being made. I watched with excitement as I saw the space shuttle take off. However, I found myself confused just a few minutes later when all I saw on the screen was a billow of fire and smoke. Our teacher explained that there was an explosion. She then told us that all those astronauts, including Christa, had died. As a young girl, I was emotionally shaken by what I saw. I had never seen anything negative on television before. It was jarring to realize those men and women I had just seen a few minutes ago were no longer alive and made history but for a completely different reason.

In the same way, your kids may be jarred by what they see on the news regarding the attacks in Israel. Finding the right words to comfort your child during these brutal attacks may be difficult. As parents, we can use this as an opportunity to explain to our children that God is still in control, regardless of the chaos we may see on television. Even when the world feels out of control, prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we can use to yield our lives and control over to God. Here are five prayers to pray with your children about the conflict in Israel:

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/rudi_suardi

  • mom praying with child outside

    1. Lord, Help Us Surrender

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    Your children may have questions about what they’re seeing on the screen. They may also wonder if an attack like that can happen to us here in the United States. Although one day we may be under attack just as Israel has been attacked, we can start surrendering our lives to God now. If what they’re seeing makes them feel out of control, pray with your children and encourage them to surrender their understanding to God. Some scenes on the news are unfathomable to us. Yet, God knew this situation would occur before the beginning of time. Comfort your children with that truth. When you pray with your children, help them surrender their control to the Lord. As a family, ask him to bring comfort and peace to an area that feels as though God is not present. Encourage your kids to pray when they’re feeling anxious. Prayer helps them feel in control as they surrender to God, who is ultimately in control of everything.

    Photo credit: GettyImages/ThitareeSarmkasat

  • Bombs going off in Israel, The latest on the Israel-Hamas conflict

    2. Lord, Help Us Abide in You

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    As we see the graphic images on television, we may feel tremendous grief over the devastation in Israel. God tells us to abide in his love. This includes the most difficult moments of our lives. As you pray with your family, ask them to abide in God’s love. As your children ask questions like, “Why is this happening?” encourage them and tell them you don’t know why these things happen, but when they do, we must pray. Tell them it is especially important not to mistake natural catastrophes as a lack of God’s love. It is easy to believe God is not loving if he allows terrible things to happen to people. Yet, God’s glory is made known when we help others, even when we have little to give.

    Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Fatima Shbair/Stringer

  • praying hands, YWAM Founder is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer

    3. Lord, Help Us to See

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    When we see cities and towns destroyed and people desperately needing help, it is difficult to see God is at work. And it’s easy to believe God doesn’t care or has forgotten them. Yet, God sometimes uses suffering to increase others’ compassion. Limit the amount of news you watch so your children will not get too frightened by the images. Instead, tell them about the many ways people are helping. Most news programs highlight organizations giving tangible relief and aid to Israel. Highlight those to them and explain to them God uses people who have an abundance to give to those in need. When people give out of their abundance, it gives God glory. Tell your kids about those people and organizations. Let them know that God is using many people worldwide to help.

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  • Men placing a dead body in an ambulance, At least 45 are killed in a religious celebration turned stampede

    4. Lord, How Can We Help

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    Isaiah 58:10-11 describes how Christians should help those who are in need: “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” 

    Ask God to give you ways you can help tangibly in Israel. This is a great way for kids to learn that we can help others, even in countries far away from us. Research and find places that are taking monetary aid to help Israel. Allow the kids to help by giving their money to these places that are meeting the needs over there. By tangibly giving money, they can feel they are making a difference in the world. Every little bit of aid helps, even if it’s not much. Encourage them to give their allowance or money from other sources. They will feel like they are tangibly making a difference, even if they can’t see what their help is doing for others.

    Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer

  • Little girl with Israeli flag; a day in a war like no other.

    5. Lord, Heal Our Land

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    Israel needs great healing in the wake of the devastation and ongoing conflict. 2 Chronicles tells us when we will exhibit humility, God will heal our land: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (7:14). No circumstance is beyond God’s control. Pray and ask God for the people who go over there to help give aid. Pray for their protection and ask God to show the volunteers specifically where they can help. Keep the military and other people safe as they are doing their best to keep everyone else safe during this time. Ask God to release the innocent hostages. God always hears our prayers and is faithful and just to heal our land when we choose to be humble and pray.

    Earthquakes, storms, and other catastrophic events can be difficult for your children to watch. Is it especially difficult when Israel is under direct attack, and there are Americans among the hostages. In these moments, it’s important not to get swept up in the devastation but to use it as a teachable moment for your children to let them know God is still ultimately in control. God allowed this event to occur. Help your kids demonstrate tangible faith by giving aid where they can. Let them know the most critical weapon they can use to help is to pray.

    Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Inna Reznik

    Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website

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    The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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