Launched in 2002, Boko Haram - which in the local Hausa language means "Western education is forbidden", a reference to the initial focus of its Islamist agenda - became a force to be reckoned with in 2009 when it raided police stations and government buildings in Maiduguri, and other northern cities.
Hundreds of people were killed in the ensuing clashes between the security forces and its members.
Soldiers raided Boko Haram's headquarters, an Islamic centre in Maiduguri where children from poor families, including those from neighbouring Chad and Niger, enrolled for religious studies, only to be recruited as fighters.
When the security forces seized control of the centre, they captured its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who then died in police custody.
The military declared victory over Boko Haram, only to find the group reorganising itself under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, who took it on a more militant path in the campaign to establish a puritanical Islamic state across Nigeria.
This is how the extremist group Boko Haram started their fight. Using children warriors according to the BBC article. For more videos that explain how it started, click here.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for all the blessings and love you pour out on Nigeria and its neighbouring countries.
We ask you to reveal yourself to each member of Boko Haram, may you speak to them Lord, so that they turn from their evil acts, and let the children go.
Jesus, you are the living God, you have the victory and you are King of our hearts.
We know that you pray for us and your unfailing love is immense.
Help our Nigerian sisters and their families, comfort them and strengthen them, help them escape their kidnappers and find a safe place, help them to find shelter, surround them with your love oh Lord.
Guide all those who are looking for our sisters, may they find them quickly.
We praise you Oh Lord, you are the God of miracles, nothing is impossible for you.
You love us, and you keep your promises. We ask in the mighty name of Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.