As the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church draws closer, I hope you’ve had the opportunity to utilize some of the resources on worldhelp.net/prayer.
There you’ll find prayer sheets for kids and teenagers, which have age-appropriate stories to teach them what it would be like to live in a persecuted country. As you read through these stories, pray with your kids or grandkids. Show them they can encourage the persecuted church through prayer.
Below is a true story you can read aloud to the children in your life, written in terms they can identify with and understand:
Life for Christians is a lot different in China than it is where you live. The government doesn’t like people reading the Bible or talking about Jesus. But Christians in China are brave. They still love Jesus even though it can mean getting in trouble.
At one church, pastors and Sunday School teachers were talking about Jesus to a large group of children.
When they were done with the Bible story and about to eat lunch, the police came running into the building.
They told the pastors and Sunday School teachers they shouldn’t be talking about Jesus. Then they took everyone — even the little kids — to the police station.
The police officers put the pastors in jail, and all of the kids had to sit and wait in the station until their parents came to get them. They were really afraid and didn’t know what would happen to their pastors.
The boys and girls were happy when their parents arrived to pick them up. But before the parents could take their children home, they had to pay money to the police officers as a punishment for sending their kids to church.
When the kids got to go back home and go back to school, they wondered when they would see their pastors again. They had no idea that those pastors were in a prison where you had to do really hard work all day long.
The pastors had to work outside, even when it was so cold that there was snow and ice on the ground. They didn’t get breaks and sometimes the officers would beat them up if they weren’t working fast enough.
The pastors became sick and weak, and it was hard for them to do the work they were forced to do.
Every day the children would pray for their pastors and hope to see them again. But they had to wait a year and a half for the pastors to be let out of prison.
The children were so happy to see the pastors again because they had missed them. And even though the pastors had been bullied and hurt for following God, they still loved Jesus! They continue to tell men, women, and children about God to this day even though they know they could be punished again.
They aren’t scared of what other people may do to them because they know Jesus is their Friend.
The next time you pray, will you thank God for the Chinese Christians and their bravery? Also, remember to pray that He will keep them safe so they can teach and learn more about Him.