ELLISVILLE—Many of the women participating in Moms in Touch International (MITI), the weekly prayer ministry, think of themselves as “mat carriers.” Their word picture comes from the description in Mark 2 of the four friends carrying their paralytic friend to Jesus for healing.
Julie Loos, Missouri MITI state coordinator and a member of First Baptist Church, Ellisville, explained the concept.
“Our founder, Fern Nichols, uses this visual quite a bit,” she said. “It visually demonstrates what we do in MITI. We each pick up a corner of that mat and lift each child to the Lord in prayer. Moms connect with this because it lightens the burden. They are drawn to this ministry because instead of feeling alone, they meet moms who have walked this path before or they’re willing to walk it together.”
Another Ellisville mom, Stacey LaViola, has four children, one in high school, one in middle school and two in elementary.
“It’s all about prayer,” LaViola said. “We follow a format of Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving and Intercession. We don’t use any of the time for gossip or other conversations.”
LaViola said her four children get an immediate benefit out of her participation and leadership in the group.
“My kids feel comforted to know that we are praying for them and their friends,” she said.
LaViola said her group also is an encouragement to the schools.
“We try to make contact three times a year,” she said. “We make an appointment with the principal to explain that we deal with special requests as well as pray for all the students, teachers, and administrators. Then, at Christmas we take cookies to thank them and remind them that we are praying. Also, at Easter we try to find a way to remind them that we are continuing to be faithful in our prayers.”
Loos, mother of high school boys (a freshman and a junior), began praying with other moms when her oldest was in kindergarten.
“Women get into Moms in Touch because they want to pray for their children,” she said, “But, they soon see how the group ministers to them.”
Another benefit of the MITI ministry is the lesson in prayer.
“Many women learn how to pray by attending our groups,” Loos said. “By using a format, we give our prayer some structure. We also have a heavy emphasis on praying scripture for the children and teachers. The format helps the group stay focused so that we can begin and end on time.”
MITI is committed to beginning and ending the prayer groups on time.
“Moms need to know how long that it is going to last,” Loos said. “One of the biggest objections is that of being too busy. However, that hour of prayer is an important way to volunteer at the school. Many more moms are able to work in the school store, tutor or perform the other needed duties. But, to use that volunteer time to pray has a huge eternal impact.”
MITI is encouraging others to get involved.
“It is easy to start or join a group,” Loos said. “Visit the group locator on the website: www.momsintouch.org.”
In addition, Loos pointed out that under “About Us” MITI has a document for pastors to see the benefits of having a praying group of MITI in the church. On Sept. 18, MITI is promoting “Bless Our School” to churches to encourage Christians to join in prayer for our schools: the children, teachers and staff.
VICKI STAMPS/contributing writer