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Discipling Your Children to Pray With the Persecuted Church

As we raise our children to know Jesus and love the Church, we look for ways to show and teach them the heart of Christ.

“The wisdom of God was not given for any particular age, but for all ages.” 

The wise words of the 18th century theologian Jonathan Edwards remind us of the importance of passing along our faith to the next generation–to our children. As we raise our children to know Jesus and love the Church, we look for ways to show and teach them the heart of Christ.

We can do that through teaching them how to pray for those they know and see every day and for those they may never know. We begin to teach them that prayer is a powerful force and gift of God that transcends borders. As Open Doors Founder Brother Andrew writes in his book, And God Changed His Mind, “Our prayers can go where we cannot … there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”

As you learn about and pray with the persecuted Church, be intentional about teaching your children that we are all the Church connected through the blood of Christ. And let them know that prayer is the No. 1 request from our brothers and sisters.

Here are three ways to take action and teach your kids to pray for their persecuted family:

1. Choose a time before bedtime or meals. Identify a time where you’re already gathered and capitalize on it. Be intentional about your commitment to give even a few minutes with the purpose of prayer for those facing persecution. During this time, you can show that prayer is a discipline but that it can be simple. Your kids will see you modeling that praying for the persecuted is a priority.

2. Put a note in their lunchbox. Send them to school with a note and the name of a Christian prisoner or a prayer request you’ve read about on our website or Facebook page. Teach them that the needs of the persecuted should interrupt our day. Praying for or being reminded of our persecuted family members is not reserved for Sunday morning, but rather, should infiltrate our lives.

3. Put a World Watch List map on your wall or fridge. No matter what ages your children are, chances are they’re learning about the world in some capacity. Use the World Watch List map as a tool to help guide your family in prayer. Ask your children for creative input: put pins on the countries you have prayed for or pin pictures of Christian prisoners on the countries where they’re currently imprisoned. Putting this in a central location allows your children to frequently see it and be reminded of those facing persecution.

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