How can you Count and Pray through the Omer?
Last year we decided to make a paper chain rather than use our usual wooden links for the count down. I like the aesthetics of the wooden links, but nothing beats a paper chain for kid driven festivities. Paper also is more flexible a medium on which to write. We were able to write topics for prayers on the each of the links, as visual reminders of prayer points for each day, many of which the Kids contributed ideas to pray for.
While scriptures teach us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), the season of the Omer is a particular time set aside for self-reflection and intercession. Most nights it is simply included into our bedtime prayers or dinner prayer. It’s not an elaborate ceremony… Although, it does encourage a little more intentionality and focus in our prayers with the kids.
I sat with the kids to write down on each link what they felt was important to pray for with in the topics of Salvation, Missions, and Self reflection especially in cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit. Our kids were only ages 5, 4 & 2, but they asked to pray for some deep things—all things that have been cultivated through family conversations and Bible studies in the past.
Topics we wrote down to pray for included: the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives, missionary friends we know and support worldwide, the kids who don’t have any food in Haiti, those working in Church and para-church ministry, and for our neighbors and revival in our neighborhood. This is an opportunity to encourage global awareness for our kids as well. Ours was fun, colorful and kid motivated (AKA not fancy!), but also had a depth that made my momma heart swell.
The main idea is not to stress you out with a Pinterest worthy presentation. We try to keep it simple and attainable. And here’s another thing… jump in whenever you can. You can start today. Grab some scratch paper and scissors and a stapler or tape and start making a chain.
There are a few days to focus on during the 50 day count down.
We have 3 significant High Focus days during the 50 days of the Omer: Day 33, Day 40 and Day 50.
Day 33: Lag B’Omer
This is a particularly Pagan Day. Please read the linked article for an excellent explanation: https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/lag-bomer-playing-with-fire/
This is an excellent video with English subtitles that explains the pagan roots in part of Lag B’Omer: https://www.facebook.com/oneforIsrael/videos/2278239205527359/
On this day and the days surrounding, we really press in as a family to pray for Hedges of protection on our homes, bodies, minds, and hearts, as well as for a Divine encounter and revelation for those deceived by the mystic pollution of Judaism through the Kabballah.
Day 40: Mem B’Omer
This is a day we celebrate. This is the Day in the Omer that Jesus ascended back into heaven after his resurrection and brief 40 days ministering reconciliation, passion, and vision into the new church. The account can be read with the family in Acts 1:1-11. This year we had friends joining us. We bought each of the kids a helium balloon, and wrote “Isaiah 53” on each balloon, prayed over each ballon, explained the story of the disciples staring up at the sky after Jesus ascended, and then had the children release the balloons. Thankfully no child cried at the loss of a balloon, but instead cheered and jumped around in celebration and asked often where the balloon would land. Several days and weeks even later, our daughter as asked about that balloon, and if she could have it back and it’s an excellent opportunity to pray afresh for a divine appointment and revelation wherever that ballon flew and landed and whoever found it, as well as praying for a fresh renewal of the Holy Spirit in our lives for that is why Jesus left. He said in John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
Day 50: Shavuot!
We celebrate Shavuot, the completion of the OMER and weeks, and bring our offerings of praise, harvest, gifts, and thanks for the giving of the Holy Spirit. It’s interesting that in secular and religious Israel, the use of water guns and water fights and water in general is used as a symbol of the mikvah, water baptism and cleansing. As believers we embrace the baptism of water, death to the flesh and alive in Christ, BUT we also celebrate the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the living water we have through the Word of God and Yeshua! It is also a holiday famous for sweets and dairy. This is to remind us of God’s promises and faithfulness to fulfill His promises for it was at Shavuot that He gave the law on Mount Sinai and promised to lead the children of Israel into a land flowing with Milk and Honey.