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“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Great Commission demands that we work to see the gospel taken to every nation, tribe and tongue. Not every family is called to move to a foreign nation, but all families can impact the world with the gospel through prayer. With just a few minutes each night, you can foster a love for the nations and the Great Commission in your children.
Our family has incorporated the book Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (Operation World Set) into our family worship time each night. This book lists information and prayer needs for each country in the world, enabling you to pray for the whole world in a year’s time. Because we have young children, we simply tell them the name of the country and we take turns praying for the people and missionaries who may live there. We pray for many people to put their faith in Jesus, for the gospel to go forth, and for missionaries to be strengthened and encouraged in God’s Word, that they may proclaim it boldly to those around them.
Before our prayer time, we often show our children a map and point out where the country is located. The boys talk about continents, countries, and the distance between our house and the place for which we are praying. Sometimes we will also include some facts about a country or talk about people who live there.
Praying for a different country each night has been part of our routine for three years. Even in our young children we have heard fervent prayers for the salvation of many people groups. We have seen their concern for other children around the world, and we have watched God give them an understanding of the importance of sharing the gospel.
How to foster a love for the nations in kids:
Hang pictures on your fridge of missionary families you know and pray for them consistently. Seeing their faces reminds you to pray for their families and ministry. Now even our youngest children, who cannot read, remember to pray for our missionary friends by name without prompting.
Sign up for your children to receive a free one-year subscription to this magazine that teaches them about other children around the world.
Kids on Mission.
Download free resources for children from the International Mission Board. Resources include activities and compelling video of missionary children around the world.
Sponsor a Child
Sponsor a child through a ministry like Compassion International and pray for that child nightly. Include the whole family in correspondence with that child. One family I know allowed each of their children to pick a child to sponsor of their same age and gender. They help their children write letters to their particular sponsored child and keep pictures of the children on their dressers.
Packages come in 6-12 month subscription plans. Each month a package comes in the mail, which includes information about a specific country, stickers to add to a passport and a souvenir. Someone gave a one-year subscription to our boys as a gift and they loved it!