THUMB is an acronym for the major non-Christian religious belief systems embraced by unreached peoples. Imagine a hand. Start with the thumb. Each of the five fingers stands for one religious bloc. The first letter of each can be combined to spell the word THUMB.
T = Tribal H = Hindu U = Unreligious (Atheist)
M = Muslim B = Buddhist
Teaching Time: 25 minutes
Materials: H Station-scarf for each girl; U Station-notebook and pen; M Station-pitcher of water, large mixing bowl, hand towel; B Station-Bible
Take your family on a THUMB prayer walk. Prior to gathering everyone together, set up 5 stations around your home. You can mark each station with a letter of THUMB. Be sure to read through the action steps below and have the necessary items at their appropriate stations. When your family is ready, explain that you are going on a prayer walk to pray for all the THUMB people. At each station, do the activity below, ending in prayer for that religious bloc.
- T: Tribal people believe that spirits live in things in nature like rocks, trees, mountains, and water. Tribal people worship through song and dance. Before you pray, sing and dance a song of praise for our God, just like King David did. Pray that Tribal people would worship the Creator of the universe and rejoice in the salvation and freedom they can have only in Jesus.
- H: Hindus believe in many different gods. At the temple, they worship and pray to statues of these gods. They burn incense and lay gifts of flowers, food, or drinks at their feet. Before you pray, have the girls cover their head with a scarf. Pray that Hindus around the world would see that salvation is only found in Jesus, and that they would turn from idols to worship the true and living God.
- U: The unreligious do not believe that God exists. They count on their own knowledge and science to explain the world. Before you pray, talk about things around you that prove God exists and then write them down in a notebook. Pray that unreligious people around the world would see God through creation and would come to know Jesus as their Savior.
- M: Muslims go to the mosque to pray and worship. Before going inside, they must first wash their hands, feet, and face. This shows their desire to have a clean heart before God. Before you pray, take turns washing your hands. Pray that Muslims around the world would know that their hearts can be washed clean only by the blood of Jesus!
- B: Buddhists go to the temple to meditate. Buddhists believe that by emptying their minds and thinking about nothing, they can remove selfish desires from their heart. Before you pray, sit cross-legged in a meditation position. Pick out a Bible verse to read aloud. Quietly meditate on (think about) what the words mean. Pray that Buddhists around the world would be drawn to meditate on the truth of Jesus and His Word.
Additional Ideas: Before the prayer walk, have children trace their hand on a piece of paper and cut out the shape. As they visit each station, they can use a pencil or marker to label each finger on the hand cutout with the letters T,H,U,M, or B. Older kids can make five hand cutouts to form pages of a THUMB book. As they visit the stations, they can use the palm area of their cutouts to write a fact or a prayer for each of the THUMB groups.
- How are THUMB beliefs different from what God teaches in His word? Many THUMB peoples do not have Bibles in their language. How would having a Bible help them?
- Do we know people from other religions or those who do not believe in God? How can we as a family get to know them better and share Jesus’ love with them?
Pray that THUMB peoples will learn about Jesus and have the freedom and hope that only comes from Him.