Praying for Missions

“The end!” One of my Mission Friends forgot how to close his prayer, so this was what he said as he finished. Makes sense! Hearing the prayers of preschoolers is one of the joys of teaching Mission Friends. Their prayers can be sweet and touching as they pray to God.

One of our tasks in Mission Friends is to lead preschoolers to pray for missions. This year I have tried to focus on prayer with my Mission Friends group to help our preschoolers learn about prayer. There are several things I want our Mission Friends to know about prayer.

  • ŸPrayer is talking to God, like we would talk to a friend.
  • ŸGod hears us when we talk to Him.
  • ŸWe can talk to God at any time and any place.
  • ŸWe can give thanks to God when we pray.
  • ŸWe can pray for others.
  • We can listen when others pray.

Just when I wondered if any of my active Mission Friends had learned anything at all about prayer this year, something happened a couple weeks ago that gave me the assurance that they really are learning! We have used the book, Always Remember to Pray, to give examples of words we might use when we pray or the kinds of things for which to pray. Each week after our mission story in Group Time, I ask who would like to pray. I try to mention one thing we could pray for the missionary that week.

Many times through the year, E. raised her hand for a turn to pray. Each time she repeated a memorized prayer, such as the mealtime blessing of singing “God Our Father.” I have always been glad that she expressed a desire to pray, and I would thank her and go to the next preschooler who wanted a turn to pray. Then two weeks ago when she prayed, she voiced a prayer in her own words for the first time. It was so precious. I could tell as I listened that she had her eyes open because she thanked God for each thing on the walls as her eyes went around the room. I had the missionary picture in my hand, and she did finally look at the picture to pray for the missionary. E. has prayed in her own words each time since then.

I was reminded that our preschoolers are learning about prayer as they hear us say sentence prayers with them. When they hear us pray for the missionaries’ prayer requests, they learn they can pray for others. Preschoolers will not learn it all at one time, but little by little they come to understand more about talking to God. So keep praying with your Mission Friends. They really are learning about praying for missions.

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