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Halloween can be a sticky issue for many Christian families. There seem to be so many conflicting opinions and lots of finger-pointing. It’s an issue my husband and I struggled with as young parents. While I’ve never been satisfied with where I’ve landed on this topic, I do believe that having a Halloween prayer plan is a necessary starting place.
One more thing before we begin talking about your Halloween prayer plan. Be gracious and loving to those who disagree with your conclusions. If God can use a witch (witch of Endor – 1 Samuel 28), a murderous pagan emperor (Herod – Matthew 2), and pagan priests of ancient Egypt (Exodus 7-8), then He can certainly choose to use Halloween for His glory.
How Do You Celebrate Halloween?
Ordinarily, I would have advised you to create your plan prior to October 1. But this being 2020, I say to start wherever you are! And maybe even make next year’s plan now!
As you consider what to include in your prayer plan, think about how your family, friends, and church usually celebrate Halloween. Just sit down with paper and pen and let the thoughts flow. Here are a few to get you started.
- Neighborhood trick-or-treating
- Neighborhood giving away treats
- Church harvest festival
- Church trunk-or-treat
- Pumpkin patch or hayrides
- Dressing up in costumes
- Parties for adults, kids, or families
Make your list thorough, but don’t worry if it’s short. This isn’t a contest!
Who Do You Include in Your Halloween Celebrations?
Again, with the paper and pen. List each activity you will do this. Then make a list of people associated with that activity. Those people are the heart of your prayer plan.
For example, if you go door-to-door trick-or-treating, list the names of the people who live in your neighborhood. If you don’t know names, list house numbers or descriptions – and then make a plan to learn their names. Every day leading up to Halloween, choose a few people or families from this list, and pray for them.
What to pray for? Glad you asked!
- They will experience the love of Christ through you
- Opportunities for spiritual discussions
- A chance to build an ongoing relationship
- They will see the joy of living for Jesus in your family
- A heart-to-heart connection will be made
Now, repeat for all the activities you plan to participate in this year. So, if you are going trick-or-treating, hosting a party, and going to a pumpkin patch, you will have three lists of people to pray for. The ‘end date’ for each prayer list will be the day after that event.
On that ‘day after,’ you simply thank God for His blessings, both seen and unseen. Then you ask Him to continue using you in any manner He pleases.
The Bigger Halloween Prayer Plan
Halloween is in many ways just another holiday. Another day of fun for you and your family. And that is where the prayer focus I’ve already discussed takes place.
But, as with anything in the world, there are often other sides. How you incorporate the bigger picture of Halloween into your prayer plan is up to you. I only encourage you to consider the possibility that God might want to use you as a prayer warrior for those that have none.
Halloween can be ‘good, clean fun.’ It can also open doors to greater darkness. Wisdom and prayer are the only ways to discern and handle those twin avenues.
Halloween Emphasizes Evil
The history of Halloween is tied with pagan practices. The emphasis on the dead, evil, witches, the afterlife, ghosts, and the devil cannot be ignored. That does not mean it needs to be emphasized. But awareness is important.
As the world grows increasingly filled with darkness – not just on Halloween, but every day – the association of evil with Halloween becomes more obvious. As parents and grandparents, we want to protect our children from the evil that is in the world. But we cannot do that in ignorance.
The first step is understanding not only the pagan history of Halloween, but also how Halloween along with the days right before or after it, are used for evil purposes. Not fear. Just awareness.
Jesus wants us to be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). Surely, that means understanding the times in which we live.
Only when you understand the nature of evil and the spiritual battle in the world, can you pray effectively (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Pretending Evil is Good
The second big issue with the Halloween emphasis, or excuse of, evil is that by treating evil lightly our world is not presented with the truth. The truth is that evil exists. It is not good. You can dress it up and pretend it’s freedom, but evil is evil.
And the only way to proclaim that truth is to proclaim that God is good. That God exists. That He is the decider of good and evil.
Instead, Halloween can be used to excuse or rationalize evil. Of course, a single day will not change the world, but by starting with praying against the normalization of evil seen at Halloween, the Church can begin to highlight the reality of evil and good.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Protect the Children
This is the bottom line for your bigger prayer plan for Halloween: protect the children.
Your children have you praying for them. But there are millions – billions -of children in the world who have no-one praying for them. No-one fighting against the darkness threatening to swallow them. That darkness that plays more freely on Halloween.
I’m not trying to make you feel responsible or bad because you love Jesus and pray for your children. I’m just asking you to craft a prayer plan that brings others in. Maybe the children in your city or state. Maybe the children in brothels or shantytowns. Maybe the children in your classroom or the local foster care system.
Let God lead your heart to expand your Halloween prayer plan to those who have no-one else. You may never know what miracles your prayers may bring about.