Helping children pray for countries
Missions Fest Alberta is a family conference. The Children’s Ministry focus is ‘missions’; through the sessions children learn about many cultures, and what God is doing around the world. Statistics show that many are called to be pastors and missionaries at a young age. We want to provide resources so they can continue learning about needs around the world and how they can be involved throughout the year. Here is a great resource that can be used at home or in group settings, in fact all age groups can use these suggestions as they pray.
Use these tools to aid children as they pray for the needs of specific countries.
Outline of a country – Make an outline of a country shape on the floor using masking tape or string. Have children stand inside the shape as they pray.
Flags – Have children draw and colour a flag from a specific country, then pray for that nation.
Globes or maps – Have children locate a specific country and put their hand on it as they pray.
Inflatable globe – Have children toss the globe to one another. Ask them to pray for the country their hand covers as they catch the globe.
Jigsaw world map – Use a world jigsaw puzzle or create your own from a map. Have each child choose a piece, add it to the puzzle and pray for the country or area it represents.
Newspapers – Pray for world needs found in the headlines.
Food – After sampling a meal or foods from one specific country, pray for the needs of that area.
Excellent books to research needs of specific countries include: Window on the World, by Daphne Spragget with Jill Johnstone (Paternoster lifestyle); From Arapesh to Zuni, by Karen Lewis (Wycliffe); From Akebu to Zapotec, by June Hatersmith (Wycliffe). Also check out other Library resources and The Internet.
Read newsletters to know how to pray specifically for missionaries supported by your church or conference.
Help each child make a photo prayer album with one page for each day of the week.
Use missionary prayer cards or pictures on each page, praying for them and the people of that nation that day.
Place missionary prayer cards in a bag. Have the children draw out one and pray for that missionary.
…in Creative Ways
Use a prayer wall for children to write out their prayers for missionaries or people around the world. A chalkboard, white board or big sheets of paper can be used for this.
Decorate stations to represent different payer needs. Have the children pray individually or in pairs as they move from station to station.
Make a prayer chain. Write on each link the name of the person/s or place/s prayed for that day. Add links to the chain each time the children pray.
Encourage the children to think of one thing about themselves they have in common with other children around the world. (For example: I wear glasses, or I am 10 years old.) Have them pray for others who share this characteristic.
Look at the labels on clothes and shoes worn by each child in class. Pray for the nations where the clothes were made.
Collect a number of large cardboard boxes to demonstrate the only kind of shelter available to many people around the world. Let the children build a shelter from the boxes and lead them in praying for those around the world who do not have adequate shelter, food or clothing.