Sunday’s class for the fifth and sixth graders was about to conclude, but I usually end with prayer time—personal, for family or community and almost always for the world. Earlier in the week a particular prayer letter from a missionary couple who had spoken at our church caught my attention. Our kids had interacted with the missionary’s kids while they were here, so I knew most of our class would remember the kids who needed the prayers that were requested in the prayer letter.
Living in a closed access country and having recently moved to a new area of the country, the kids were having difficulty with the new school. One had a teacher who screamed frequently, causing him to dread going to class. Two were having great difficulty making friends, given the language barrier and significant cultural differences. It was an international school and classes were promised to be taught in English. However, Arabic was the language used for all instruction. Another was asked by the teacher if she was a Christian. When she answered “yes,” she was instantly removed from the classroom and sent to a class to be taught Muslim doctrine. This intimidating first week prompted this missionary mom to ask for prayer.
So the focus of our prayer at the end of class became this family and their ministry where God had placed them. Gathered around the world map, kids bowed their heads, praying heartfelt prayers for their friends on the other side of the world.
This week, I get to show them the results of their prayers. Mom’s letter this week shared this news:
- the screaming teacher is gone (not sure where she went, but is no longer his teacher), replaced with a wonderful, enjoyable teacher
- the two having difficulty making friends have settled into comfortable friendships at their school
- the parents met an immigrant family who has a daughter who speaks Arabic and English fluently. Through this meeting, they now have the perfect Arabic tutor for their kids. While translating the other day, she explained the Muslim belief about going to heaven or hell. Knowing that was not what the Bible said, the missionaries’ son explained to her the Biblical view of salvation. After the session, she approached the missionaries, asking them to please explain salvation in more detail…which they were glad to do!
Are all prayers answered this surely and immediately? Of course, the answer is “no.” But a group of kids praying intently for their friends around the world unleashed God’s power in the lives of this missionary family…and in the life of a Muslim immigrant. We must be sure to highlight God’s direct response to prayer, especially when it is this clear. How will you lead your kids into prayer?
When a believing person prays, great things happen. James 5:16b (NCV)