It's not easy to teach children about the suffering in our world. Sometimes it's difficult enough for adults to understand. But as this year's International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church draws near, it's an opportunity for families to join the global church body as we pray for our brothers and sisters facing persecution. And that includes your children.
Scripture emphasizes the importance of passing on the testimony of what God has done to the next generation. The International Day of Prayer is the perfect chance to share with your kids what God is doing around the world even in the midst of great suffering.
Here are six ways to include your children as you observe the International Day of Prayer on Nov. 4:
1) Use a children's prayer guide.
Prayer guides are a great way to teach children about sensitive subjects, especially the persecuted church. Our team created a downloadable children's prayer sheet to introduce your kids to the stories of persecuted boys and girls from around the world in an engaging, age-appropriate way. If you're having trouble knowing how to start the conversation, this resource will help you talk with your kids about persecution.
2) Relate persecution to kids' own experiences.
Children may be able to understand the struggle of persecution better than you think. Have they ever been bullied or seen someone bullied in school? Have they ever been treated wrongly for being different? Using their own experiences can help them understand what life is like for persecuted children.
3) Remind them we are family.
The Bible tells us that anyone who accepts Christ is part of God's family. That means those persecuted Christians around the world are our brothers and sisters! It's easier for children to remember those suffering across the globe when they think of them as family.
4) Choose a country to focus on.
Teach children what life is like for Christians in a specific persecuted country. For example, you can choose one of the 12 countries featured on internationadayofprayer.com and dedicate time as a family to praying for the believers who live there.
5) Show them how to help.
One way to develop a heart for hurting people is through giving. It takes just $5 to send a Bible to a persecuted believer—an amount even a child can give. Work with your children to save money and send Bibles to people in places such as North Korea and India.
6) Remind them there is always hope in Christ.
The topic of persecution can be a heavy one. Remind them that God is always with us and our persecuted brothers and sisters, even in times of trouble. Pray together that Christians around the world will hold on to that truth. Pray that those who persecute them will hear the gospel and come to know Jesus.
On Nov. 4, you have the opportunity to support the persecuted church while teaching the next generation more about God.
Although some of the stories coming from oppressed nations are incredibly painful, there are even more amazing stories of God using the Bible to encourage believers and reach the lost. Take the opportunity this International Day of Prayer to share those stories with your children.
Emily Towns writes for World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. To learn more about religious persecution around the world, click here.
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