Over the past couple weeks I can hardly watch the news without it leaving tears in my eyes. Especially after seeing horrific images of the child refugees in Syria. It’s truly heartbreaking.
As I pray for these people, the Lord has been stirring in my heart the desire to inspire my children to pray for the world. To nurture their understanding of God’s love for people everywhere.
I want them to know that there are people in all nations, including our own, who desperately need the hope that the gospel provides. I want them to know that there are many needs that extend beyond what we see and experience out our front door.
I want them to begin to understand that there are people living in poverty and oppression that goes beyond our first world comprehension – and that they are living without hope and without God.
I want them to know that, although many of these people live on the opposite side of the world, prayer is a powerful way we can connect them to Him and to His kingdom.
I happened to stumble across a website this week called stand4kids.
Each day of the month has a picture of a child from another country along with his or her prayer request. My four year old daughter and I have begun praying for these children each day.
Here are two examples of prayer requests:
I live in Mexico. Like many families in poverty, mine can’t afford to send me to school. Pray that God will provide a way for me to get an education.
When I was only eight, I was kidnapped from my rural village and trafficked to another country. I am now 12 years old and I am a prostitute. I live in a brothel where I’m beaten and forced to do things I don’t like to do. I miss my family very much, but I can’t escape. Pray for me and other children forced into prostitution. Ask God to destroy this form of exploitation and degradation.
As you can see, some of the issues brought up are hard. Hard to the point where we may not want to share them with our young kids.
However, I personally want to talk with my children about the truth of what is really happening in our world. I want them to have some knowledge of what actually going on. Wisdom and discernment must be practiced when deciding what to share and how to share it – I want to raise their awareness without producing fear in them. But I also don’t want my fear of producing fear to keep me from talking with them about these truths of the world we live in.
It’s a delicate balance that I’m learning to find.
This morning my daughter came running into the kitchen to ask if we could pray for the “13 child” (the child for the 13th). She loves looking at the pictures of the children and the requests are worded simply which enables her to pray with understanding. It’s been awesome to see her eagerness.
This is proving to be a great resource to help young children see glimpses of God’s love and compassion for people all over the world – and a great way for families to pray together.
I encourage you to check it out and consider if this would be a helpful tool for your family to use to pray for the world together. Stand 4 Kids
Another great resource for families with older children is Operation World.