Hello and welcome to Day 64 of Pray for Ryde. My name is Reverend Kerry Birch and I am the minister of Ryde Baptist Church. Today we are praying for Pre-schools and Nurseries.
Many of us will remember our first day at school. I remember that I was terrified and tried to escape and run home a number of times before being caught; once I settled in I realised that there was nothing to be frightened of.
My brother and sister and I were extremely fortunate that we had a stay at home Mum and Grandma to look after us until the time finally arrived to go to school. That is much rarer these days, with parents working and grandparents and other more traditional childcare support systems disappearing.
Parent and toddler groups are insufficient on their own to satisfy the curious developing child and a more structured environment becomes more important. Parents returning to work need the provision of nurseries to care for their infants, and it is good for the social development of young children to have some pre-school experience before the reality of that first day of school.
Learning about the world should be fun, and exploring the environment in which children are born and grow up is best done in the company of others; children need each other as they learn to discover who they are and how they relate to others, to their peers as well as to the grownups in their lives.
Some of the important lessons we grownups often forget can be relearned from watching toddlers play and have fun, discovering the world with a sense of joy and awe, as well as risk-taking playful abandon.
We pray for nurseries, pre-schools, as well as for toddler groups and other places where our youngest children gather and learn. We pray for teachers and other staff, as well as for the children and their families. Particularly we pray for safety and protection in these most challenging of times.
Heavenly Father, today we bring before you our youngest children and their earliest steps of learning to leave home and discover the outside world. We thank you for the nurseries and for the pre-schools that provide a safe and structured place for children to grow and to learn. We pray that families will be able to find the right place, at the right time, for their children.
Lord Jesus, you told your disciples off when they tried to prevent children from coming to you. You love children. So, we pray for those children and families who do not have the resources and advantages that many families have; we thank you for the way that nurseries and pre-schools enable all the children in their care to experience and learn new things.
Holy Spirit, you are the giver of life. We thank you for fun and for play, for creativity and imagination, for wonder and awe, all things we knew once but may somehow have forgotten now. Renew us, we pray, so that we might see your world through young eyes.
Please join us this evening at 7pm for our daily Zoom prayer meeting: