Dear friends and prayer partners,
It was one year before Josiah Spiers wrote those significant words, ‘God is Love’ in the sand on a beach in Wales, that the beginning of Scripture Union was shaped. On 2nd June 1867, Josiah had gathered 15 young children, aged 7-12, for a special children’s meeting in the living room of a house in London.
But what motivated Josiah to do this? Timid by nature, he had been reluctant to teach even the youngest children in a Sunday School class! But earlier that year, he has attended a children’s rally in London led by Payson Hammond, an evangelist from the USA. Payson had never set out to become an evangelist to children, but when he was visiting Scotland some years earlier, he had attended a children’s prayer meeting. Moved by the reality and depth of the children’s prayers, he realised children could enjoy a living relationship with Jesus. Ultimately, it was this realisation that then went on to influence the young Josiah Spiers to devote the rest of his life to children and was instrumental in the birth of the ‘Children’s Special Service Mission’ (the precursor to the name ‘Scripture Union’).
I like to think, that Scripture Union was actually birthed at a children’s prayer meeting.
Today, prayer continues to be the foundation of all that we do in Scripture Union – affirming what it says in Psalm 127 “Unless the Lord builds the house, we labour in vain’ and in Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord”.
As we gather in our churches, offices, living rooms, online, and wherever during the Global Week of Prayer this year, we pray with expectancy that God will “…do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
Family & Children’s Ministry Consultant
Scripture Union International