31 Aug Your Kids Can Change the World
God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil. — E.M. Bounds
As a homeschooling mother of four, I teach my kids a variety of subjects every day. While all of these are important for their education, I believe that nothing is more important than teaching them about God; His Word and how they can pray – for themselves, our family, their friends, our neighbors, and even the world.
The World is large and praying for the people in it (the billions there are) can be completely overwhelming for adults, much less children!
While my dream is to take my children to as many countries as possible, I can take the first step in that direction by teaching them about other countries and how to pray for the people in them.
For God So Loved the World
For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life – John 3:16
Children tend to think of the world based on the places they have personally visited. For my daughter, Abigail, who is three years old, the “world” consists mostly of our neighborhood, the cities her grandparents live in, and our family cabin in North Carolina.
If we are going somewhere far away, she thinks it must be one of these places, because that is what she knows. When we read about a new place that she has not yet visited, we show her that place on a map and give her a point of reference: “Daddy is going to California. Do you see? It is on the West Coast of the United States, so it is the same country that we live in but on the other side.”
Even though she has yet to visit California, she now knows that it exists and where it is in relation to Maryland (where we live). These types of conversations broaden her idea of “the world.”
Changing the World Without Leaving Your Home
Books are amazing – they allow us to learn about new places and people without ever leaving our home! In high school and college, I read Operation World and other books like it and learned about the importance of praying for the nations of the earth.
As I prayed for people I had never met in places I had never visited, an amazing thing happened – I began to grow in love for people groups I had never met. I began to think of the world as it truly is rather than from the limited perspective of my own personal experiences and travels.
I eventually ended up having the opportunity to travel to over 20 countries between the ages of 18-25 to serve others with Christ’s love and spread the Gospel. But it all started at home in prayer.
I know that it must be the same for my children. While Operation World is a good book for older children and adults, I have found an absolute jewel in the book, “You Can Change the World,” by Jill Johnstone.
This book teaches your children about a new country each day – they see the flag, where it is on the map of the world, learn about what life is like there through the eyes of a child, and hear about the spiritual climate of the country (through this, they are provided with an introduction to other religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and animism).
Each country profile includes colored pictures and ends with 6-7 prayer points. My girls love taking turns praying each of the prayer points (My 5 year old, for instance, likes to pray prayer point number 5, “because I’m 5.” 🙂
The entire activity and prayer time takes about 15 minutes on average, but often leads to further questions and discussions during the day. I have often overheard my girls during their play times together imagining that they are traveling to the specific country we prayed for that day!
When we finished the first edition, we just couldn’t get enough so I got Volume 2. Both books are wonderful and my kids often ask me to read them!
If you are looking for a simple and meaningful way to teach your kids about the world and how their prayers can make a difference for people they have never even met, You Can Change the World is a wonderful resource.
How do you teach your kids about other cultures and countries? I’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.