For the past seven years I’ve been moved in various ways to support the work of Compassion International, including volunteering as a correspondent sponsor. (This means I get the joy and privilege of writing letters to children who, for various reasons, aren’t receiving letters from financial sponsors.) My involvement with Compassion has taught me one of the most powerful ways to help these children, their families, and their communities is through prayer.
God is working in their midst and He already has an amazing plan to bring individual children, families, and entire communities out of extreme poverty. We need to invite His vision through prayer.
I appreciate so much that Compassion has created an app that gives daily prayer reminders and prayer prompts for the children I write to. I also put their photos on my fridge, so I pray for the kids and their families every time I see them.
Something else God has been teaching me to do is to pray for these children, their families, and their communities as I go about my day. Anything can be a reminder.
As I ask God to bless my meals, I ask Him to fill the bellies of the girls I’m writing to and to provide plentiful food for their families and neighbors. Taking my vitamins reminds me to ask God to give these children all the nutritional support they need.
Washing my hands reminds me to pray for good, clean, easily accessible water sources for these kids. When I tend to my houseplants, I ask that God would help with local food supplies, including the amazing food-producing projects God has created in some of the communities served by Compassion and the local churches.
As I decide what I’m going to wear each day, I pray for the kids to have access to the clothes they need and especially for good shoes and socks. When I misplace my glasses and stumble around trying to find them, I ask God to provide eye care for these children and their families, including the provision of glasses for anyone who needs them.
If I stub my toe or if I sneeze, I am reminded to pray for the children’s access to healthcare. Even an unwanted mosquito bite prompts a reminder to pray for protection from malaria for these girls and their families.
In moments of upset and fear, as I remember to step into God’s presence and let Him restore my peace, I pray that He will also show these girls how to live in His peace. That no matter what is happening around them, they will know He is there, they will feel His comfort. That when they are upset, they will know they can talk to God and feel His peace, as His presence changes their heart and even affects the atmosphere around them through His Holy Spirit. I also pray that they will feel able to ask the folks at their church for prayer, and that they will realize their own prayers for their families are so powerful.
When I spend a joyous day with my friends, I pray that the children I write to will also know the joy of blessed friendships. In my letters, I tell these precious girls about my adventures with my friends. I let the kids know that one of my biggest prayers for them is that they will be as blessed with supportive friends as I am.
Housecleaning prompts me to pray for God’s provision of decent housing for these children and their families. Checking the daily weather report reminds me to pray that the kids will be safe from natural disasters.
When I go to sleep at night, I pray that the children will have good, safe bedding and that they will sleep well. A midnight snack reminds me that kids in extreme poverty often go to bed hungry. As I thank God for providing my snack, I ask that He do the same for them.
When I read a book, write a letter, or do simple math for a daily task, I thank God for the education He has given me. I ask that He provide the best education for these children and give them all the tools and encouragement they need to live the life He has created them to live. I ask that He bring complete literacy to every part of their community.
As I look in the mirror to comb my hair, I ask that God will help each of these girls to know who they are in Christ. That they will not think badly of themselves or ever let anyone talk to them in a demeaning, dishonoring, or abusive way. That they will walk in their true identity in Him, to know how much He loves them, and to trust the amazing plans He has for them.
When I take daily communion, I thank God for saving me. I ask the same for the children and their families, and that Jesus will introduce Himself to those who don’t know Him. I thank Him for the amazing work He is doing through those local churches to bring the good news of Jesus and the hope He gives to these children and their entire households. I ask Him to bless and strengthen the staff and volunteers who work in those local churches and who work with the kids through the Compassion centers.
When I take notice of how much peace has come to my life because of all God has done for me, I ask the same for the children I write to. I pray that they will know an even greater peace of God’s presence and an even deeper faith in Him. And such incredible joy, even greater than the joy I feel as I watch God work in their lives.
These are simple but powerful ways to let God remind us, through our daily activities, of how to pray for kids in extreme poverty. Whether you support a particular organization that works to help children in poverty, or whether God has put on your heart a special child or a particular community to pray for, your prayers can be as simple as talking to God throughout your day, inviting Him to work in their lives. Simple but oh so powerful. Because those momentary prayers of just a few words invite the creator of the universe to bring His plans to fruition for these amazing kids and those who love them.
Thank you for your heart for God’s kids of all ages. And thank you for your prayers for them. God bless you.