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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 king (Herod – Matthew 2), and pagan priests of ancient Egypt (Exodus 7-8), then He can certainly choose to use Halloween for His glory.
What Goes into Your Halloween Prayer Plan?
There are a few things to consider when making your Halloween prayer plan. Each of these is discussed below along with examples to guide you in creating a plan for your family and community.
Consider Your Halloween Activities
If you want to bathe the entire Halloween season in prayer, you definitely need to make your prayer plan before October. Just imagine if you took all 31 days of the month to pray over this holiday. What impact could that type of focused prayer have on your family, neighborhood, or community?
Although you may never know the impact of a month dedicated to praying over Halloween, you can be assured that God will use your prayers for His glory.
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 ideas 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!
Consider the People Involved in Your Halloween Activities
Again, with the paper and pen in hand, list each activity you usually do during October. These may be some of the same items from the first list and that’s OK. What you’re trying to do is come up with as thorough a list as possible.
Once you have a list, make another list. This second list should include all the people associated with any of the activities you’ve listed. At the minimum, this would likely include family members, neighbors, and church friends. But you could also list children’s classmates, coworkers, salespeople in stores you shop at regularly, and neighbors.
Other ideas for who to list might be the company or individuals that host haunted houses, the farmers that host pumpkin patch activities, and the children’s ministry volunteers who work at your trunk-or-treat event. All of those people make up the heart of your prayer plan.
As one example, if you go door-to-door trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, list the names of your neighbors. 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.
How should you pray for these neighbors? Below are a few ideas, but always do your best to tailor your prayer requests to the needs and situations of your neighbors.
- 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
You would then repeat the same process for any activities you plan to participate in this year. If your family will be visiting or setting up a game at a community harvest festival, pray for all the people involved in that. If you always go to a local pumpkin patch, pray for the farm owners and workers as well as other families that visit.
A Sample Halloween Prayer Plan
When you are finished creating your local Halloween prayer plan, it should look something like this:
Pumpkin Patch trip to Farmer Joe’s – people to pray for:
- Farmer Joe, his wife, and employees
- The Johnson family who will be going with us
- Other families that will be visiting the Pumpkin patch at the same time we do, for opportunities to share Christ or be encouraging
- My fifth-grade class field trip to Farmer Joe’s
Church Trunk-or-Treat on October 31 – people to pray for:
- The church staff as they plan and advertise
- Unchurched families from the community would come and feel welcomed and loved
- Unchurched families would be grateful for the free Bibles and interested in visiting a Sunday service
- Volunteers to have opportunities for conversations with unchurched families
- Volunteers to have opportunities for conversations with families who are members but need encouragement
- All those providing security for the event.
After each event you’re praying over is finished, spend a portion of your prayer time thanking the Lord for His blessings. Even if you haven’t got a clue what those blessings are or you haven’t seen any results from your prayers, you can be sure there are blessings to thank Him for.
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 encourage you to consider the possibility that God might want to use you as a prayer warrior on behalf of those that have no one interceding for them.
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. Following are some things to consider as you contemplate a wider-ranging prayer plan.
Consider How Halloween Emphasizes and Promotes Evil
The history of Halloween is tied to 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 and grandchildren 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).
Consider How Believers Should View Evil – and How Evil is Often Portrayed
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. Evil is not just another lifestyle choice and 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 Standard against which all good and evil is measured. As you consider this truth, spend extra time in God’s Word and filling your mind with righteousness so that wickedness will not gain a foothold in your life.
Halloween can be and often is used to excuse, rationalize, and normalize wickedness. While praying against the normalization of evil will not change the world immediately, it can help. As you pray against such wickedness, you can also pray that the church will rise to the challenge of standing against evil, even when that very evil is embraced as good by so many.
The church – both local churches and the universal Church around the world – can and should stand against evil wherever it is found. Even when dressed up in what used to be a much more innocent holiday.
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!
The Bottom Line for Halloween Prayer: Protect the Children
This is the bottom line for your bigger prayer plan for Halloween: protect the children.
Your children are blessed because they 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 that is not only threatening to swallow them but winning that attack all too often.
The darkness that wants only to kill and destroy plays more freely on Halloween. In so many ways, evil seems to be winning. And while we know the end of this story, interceding for those who are targets of that evil before the glorious ending is a sacred privilege.
I’m not trying to make you feel 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.
Ask God who He wants you to “loop into” your personal Halloween prayer plan – and be a warrior fighting for the defenseless. 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.