Have you ever noticed how much kids like collecting things? No doubt you have had many a squished bug, muddy rock (because it’s shaped like a heart!), or especially beautiful leaf bestowed upon you by your curious child who delights in the simple (and sometimes disgusting) things of life.
I loved collecting things when I was little too. But, I was a bookworm from the beginning, so I collected—you guessed it—allll the papers. Sunday school papers, mail I thought looked interesting, or scraps of colorful craft paper all found their way into my myriad of small bags (which I also collected).
One day when I was cleaning out my closet, teenager me discovered a collection of these papers, and guess what else I had snatched when no one was looking—lots and lots of missionary prayer cards!
Praying for missionaries can be a daunting task! There are so many names, so many needs, so many words you don’t know how to pronounce. Praying is hard anyway! And adding the variable of unknown countries and people definitely does NOT make it easier. But there are practical, easy ways to make praying for your missionaries something both you and your kids enjoy!
5 Ways to Pray for Missionaries With Your Kids
1. Use those prayer cards.
Utilize the collecting skills of your children and put together a photobook using the missionary prayer cards your kids have squirreled away! You can even get crafty and make a missionary scrapbook with decorations all over and glitter glue oozing off every page (well, maybe try to avoid the glitter glue!). Letting your kids be part of this process helps them be invested in the missionaries whose prayer cards they are saving and decorating.
Another awesome way to help your kids pray for missionaries is to have prayer cards on your refrigerator! At mealtimes, pick one missionary to pray for when you thank God for how He has provided for your needs and ask Him to provide for that missionary as well. This practice will connect prayer with daily habits and make it easier to remember to be praying for missionaries consistently.
Another way to use prayer cards is to put them in a little box or bin (kids can decorate this too!) and work your way through praying for one missionary a day in family devotion time or before bed. Take the prayer card from the front, pray for that missionary, and then rotate that card to the back. This can be a really fun way to engage younger kids—especially if you hide the box and ask them to find it in order to see who you get to pray for that day!
2. Read about missionaries.
Reading missionary biographies is a great way to introduce your kids to the kind of lives that missionaries lead. You can read them out loud during family reading time, or you can have your kids choose biographies that interest them for reading on their own! Realizing the kinds of challenges that missionaries face will help your kids better understand how to pray for them!
Missionaries write prayer letters for a reason! Usually, you can subscribe to an email list and get updates directly from missionaries. Some churches even print out the letters of the missionaries the church supports so you can pick them up and read them. Family devotions, after dinner, or bedtime is a great time to catch up on what God is doing in the lives of your missionaries and in those with whom they are sharing the gospel. Then, you can know how to pray for all your missionaries!
Of course, you can read about missionaries from hundreds of years ago, too! Our To Every Nation study gives kids a glimpse into the lives of 12 missionaries by telling their stories, applying related Bible verses, and providing activities in order to engage and teach kids!
3. Communicate with missionaries.
Encourage your kids to write letters or emails to the missionaries you pray for! If you can be interacting with the people you are committing to pray for, hearing about their daily lives and maybe some of the smaller prayer requests they don’t include in prayer letters will make their requests real and personal to you. Kids will think to pray for missionaries when those missionaries are their friends!
When missionaries visit your church, work with your kids to know the names of them and their children. Not only will this make your missionaries feel welcomed and loved in your church, but it will be rewarding to your children to get to build friendships with the people they have been consistently praying for.
Don’t underestimate the impact of care packages! For missionaries, receiving little packages with drawings, treats, small toys, tools, or familiar books can be incredibly encouraging since they are far from home. As you put together these care packages with your kids, talk to them about what it’s like to live in a different country, and then thank the Lord for your missionaries who are willing to follow God’s call to share the gospel in that country.
4. Use a prayer calendar.
Sometimes we simply forget to pray for missionaries because we have so many other big prayer requests that feel more urgent in our lives. Family is sick, a friend is looking for a job, your church needs wisdom for a big decision—so the missionaries that are physically so far away get pushed far out of your mind as well. One way to remind yourself and your kids to pray for your missionaries is to assign specific missionaries or needs to certain days of the week. That way, you won’t get bogged down if you miss a day, and it’s easy to pick up on the current date and be consistent going forward!
When it comes to missions, many of us need to think outside the box and remember to pray for people who are doing “non-traditional” missionary work as well. Missionary work includes those in foreign countries AND people reaching out into their communities, doing Bible clubs for kids, and telling someone in the local grocery store about Jesus! Missionary work means giving out the gospel—no matter where you are.
Using a prayer calendar is a great way to remember all of these aspects of praying for missionaries! You can schedule out what and who you pray for every day and also write down missions prayer requests that you might not think of right off the top of your head.
Get our #NotConsumed Missions Prayer Calendar below!
5. Keep a list of answered prayers.
Something I’ve noticed in my prayers for missionaries is that if I’m not careful, those prayers can start to resemble a jingle from a TV ad. “Bless them and give them boldness” is a valid prayer! But we need to pray for more than this! Pray big prayers with your kids. Write these prayers down and pray specifically. Talk with them about our awesome God who saves “to the uttermost.” Your bold prayers of faith will teach them to pray their own prayers of faith. Then, when you see God answer, celebrate His goodness with your kids!
Not only can you praise God for these answers to prayer, but you can reference your answered prayer list when you go to pray for other big requests. Remembering God’s faithfulness in times past will encourage your kids to continue praying bigger prayers and increase their faith to follow God in their own lives. Who knows—maybe they’ll be on your missionary prayer list years down the road!
Help for Praying for Missionaries With Your Kids
We’ve created this Missions Prayer Calendar to help us be more thoughtful and intentional with our prayers for missionaries and missions. Use this calendar to pray individually or with your family.
Pray through any included verses for that day to meditate on His promises.
Print out this calendar and place it in a spot where you will be reminded to pray. Hang it on your fridge, tuck it into your Bible or prayer journal.
I would suggest printing this calendar on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock as it will be more sturdy.
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.