“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
Engaging Children in Prayer
Every Christian—young and old—has a part to play in sharing the good news of Jesus around the world. In August we focus on ways to engage children in global mission right where they are, right now. May the Lord use your prayers to excite and nurture the next generation of disciple makers.
SUNDAYS • Instill the Love to Pray!
When you see answered prayer in our everyday lives and from Christian workers around the world, aren’t you surprised and grateful that we have an awesome God who hears us? Prayer is a great way for children to develop a deeper relationship with God so let’s encourage them to pray for people who have never heard of Jesus. Check out OMF’s A Taste of Asia: 21 Devotional Adventures for the Family, where the little ones can go on an amazing prayer adventure and enjoy lots of fun activities along the way. Another great read is 40 Days 40 More Bites, which covers twenty countries and explores a variety of issues from all around the world. It’ll definitely get discussions going about the needs and challenges we can bring before God in prayer. Pray for children to develop a love for prayer from a young age and pray that they will engage with the world through prayer.
MONDAYS • Start Learning!
World mission is God’s great plan since the beginning of time. As we read the Bible, we come to know the heart of God and his love for the world and people that he created. His desire is for all people to know him–and you can see his faithfulness through countless stories in the Bible. Fast forward 2000 years since Jesus gave us the great commission and sadly there are still many people in this world who haven’t heard the gospel. It is our responsibility to teach children about the joys of knowing God and telling them the importance of receiving Jesus’ salvation. One of the best ways to learn about sharing the good news is seeing how others have done it. For some inspiration, watch captivating missionary biographies from the Torchlighter Heroes of Faith series or if you love a good read, we recommend the Christian Heroes Then & Now which features many missionary biographies. Pray that as young people learn about missions, they would be inspired to be involved in what God is doing.
TUESDAYS • Ready, Set, Go!
While not all of us can go to live in another country, we can still experience going to the part of Asia that is here. Go wild with your senses. Visit an Asian store or restaurant in your area. Lean into the new smells and tastes. Try to use chopsticks. Find out how to say “hello” in different Asian languages. Maybe your family can take a trip to a Chinatown near you or join an Asian festival celebration. Pray that the Lord grows a delight in children for the flavors and cultures of Asia as he raises up new workers to go into his harvest fields.
WEDNESDAYS • Be a Sender!
Senders keep in touch to encourage those far from their home countries. Children can be involved by sending letters, cards and colored drawings to bring splashes of joy. Timely emails or video greetings are also appreciated. Contributing funds toward camps and community outreach projects by having a car wash or setting up a piggy bank savings offering will remind those you sent that they are not alone. Pray that children and young people will get involved alongside adults in being senders who help those that your church has sent out so that they know they have very active partners working with them in sharing the gospel.
THURSDAYS • Give a Warm Welcome!
In Revelation 7 we see multitudes from every nation, tribe, people and language worshiping Jesus. Getting ready to spend eternity together with these brothers and sisters in praise begins now. May the Lord help us include children in creating spaces to welcome and be interested in the unique people and places that God created. Here are some ideas: hold an international food fair at your church, get to know immigrants in your community, learn a traditional ethnic dance and a song or some common phrases in another language. Pray that children and their families actively get to know and make friends with others from new countries or different cultural backgrounds.
FRIDAYS • Inspire Others!
Many people now serving God abroad first got excited about doing that when they were young. Invite cross-cultural workers on home assignment or retirees to tell stories about their work. Follow-up with hands-on experiences like creative prayers, drawings or cooking lessons. Display everyday items from various East Asian countries and do quizzes that highlight the cultural differences. At the end of any of these activities, encourage the children to share 2-3 things they learned with their family and friends so that they can inspire others to be interested in another country too. Pray that churches and mission partners will find age-appropriate ways to introduce children to the exciting things God is doing around the world.
SATURDAYS • Impact the Next Generation!
In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul says that grandmother Lois and mother Eunice lived out their faith and passed it down to Timothy. God used these women to nurture a child who chose to follow Jesus and later became a disciple, pastor and support to Paul. Who are the children around you? How are you living out your faith and passing down God’s heart for the nations to them? Ask the Holy Spirit to bring the names of those in your sphere of influence that he is calling to be involved in global missions. Pray faithfully for them. Be someone who God uses to impact the next generation.