Ways to Pray for Children

pray for children

A practical way to pray for children is to use a calendar that gives a topic for each day. This list, developed by Bob Hostetler, contains 31 ways to pray for children, one for each day of the month. Each topic is based on Scripture and includes a supporting Bible verse.

Whether you pray for your children or your sponsored children who live halfway around the world, ask God to move in their hearts and transform them to be more like Christ. Prayer is a powerful tool and can be a teaching tool for your children. Pray for your children and pray with them too. They will learn about prayer from your example! It is a privilege to talk to God, the Creator of the universe. Children can learn that He is an all-powerful God who answers prayer according to His plan.

“At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people” (Ephesians 6:18).

Pray for children. God answers.

31 Days of Prayer for Your Sponsored Child

As sponsors, we want to develop relationships with our sponsored children, but space, time, and sometimes uninformative letters can make those relationships seem distant. When we don’t have a face-to-face relationship with our sponsored children, prayer can be an excellent tool to help build one.

Bob Hostetler came up with 31 prayers for children based on Scripture. Even when we don’t always know all the particulars of our sponsored children’s daily lives, we can still be praying for God to be moving in their hearts and transforming them to be more like Christ.

And at the same time you're praying for your sponsored child, your sponsored child is praying for you. Take the time to pray for children today.

Prayer prompts copyright Bob Hostetler. Used with permission by the author.

Day 1 — Salvation

Praise God that through the local church and our program, sponsored children have access to the most important gift of all — salvation through Christ. Pray that God would make your sponsored child’s heart tender to repent and find salvation in Christ.

“Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory."

"Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”

– 2 Timothy 2:10, NIV

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Day 2 — Growth in Grace

Thank God for the church members and ministry staff who can take part in discipling our sponsored children. Pray that your sponsored child will grow in his or her knowledge of Christ, as well as grow deeper and deeper in His grace.

“I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18, NIV

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Day 3 — Love

Although our sponsored children don’t have access to many material resources, they have access to the immeasurable love of Christ! Pray that your sponsored child would live a life of love — committed to the love of his or her Lord and the love of others.

"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them."

“And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:2, NIV

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Day 4 — Honesty and Integrity

Some of the places where our sponsored children live are rife with corruption. Pray that your sponsored child would reject corruption and would be an example of honesty and integrity in his or her community.

“May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.”

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” – Psalm 25:21, NIV

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Day 5 — Self-Control

Many sponsored children live in places where alcoholism, drug use and promiscuity are common. Pray that your sponsored child will grow in the fruit of the Spirit of self-control.

“Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.”

“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and sober.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:6, NIV

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Day 6 — Love for God's Word

Thank God that sponsored children around the world have a chance to learn the Word of God. Pray that your sponsored child would learn to cling to God’s Word and treasure its words as his or her comfort and treasure.

“May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.”

“The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.” – Psalm 19:9-10, NIV

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Day 7 — Justice

Many sponsored children live in places where they witness or experience injustice. Pray that God would place a deep love of justice in your sponsored child’s heart and that he or she would grow to become bearers of justice in their society.

“God, help my children to love justice as You do and to act justly in all they do.”

“For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” – Psalm 11:7, NIV

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Day 8 — Mercy

Many sponsored children have a desire to help others because of the help they have received from their sponsors. Pray that your sponsored child would find ways to be merciful to the people around him or her.

“May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.”

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:36, NIV

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Day 9 — Respect

Some sponsored children live in places with many examples around them of disrespectful and disobedient youth. Pray that your sponsored children would learn to respect those in authority.

“Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.”

“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”

– 1 Peter 2:17, NASB

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Day 10 — Biblical Self-Esteem

As former Compassion President Dr. Wess Stafford often says, the lie children learn in poverty is that they are nothing and they don’t matter. Pray that this lie would be replaced in your sponsored child’s life by the truth that he or she is uniquely, lovingly created by God for a specific purpose.

“Lord, please help my sponsored children develop a strong self-esteem rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.”

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

– Ephesians 2:10, NASB

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Day 11 — Faithfulness

Thank God that sponsored children have an example through the local church of what faithfulness looks like. Pray that God would be working through the Holy Spirit to build faithfulness in your sponsored child’s life.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.”

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3, NIV

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Day 12 — Courage

Sponsored children need courage when it comes to standing up to their peers, believing the truth of God’s Word amid desperate situations, and even standing up against injustice. Pray that your sponsored child would find strength and courage in the Lord for whatever he or she faces each day.

“May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.”

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV

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Day 13 — Purity

In many of the places where sponsored children live, youth become parents while still teenagers. Pray that God would give your sponsored child courage and perseverance to stay pure.

“Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.”

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10, NIV

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Day 14 — Kindness

Thank God for how He is working through His Spirit to transform your sponsored child. Pray that your child would become more and more like Christ in the kindness he or she shows others.

“Lord, may my sponsored child always try to be kind to others.”

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:15, NIV

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Day 15 — Generosity

Former Compassion President and CEO Wess Stafford often says that you can’t out-give the poor. Pray that your sponsored child will grow in generosity and will be willing to share what he or she has with others who also are in need.

“Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.”

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:18-19, NIV

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Day 16 — Peace-Loving

Pray that your sponsored child would love peace and reject useless quarreling. Pray that he would become a peacemaker in his community.

“Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.”

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” – Romans 14:19, NIV

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Day 17 — Joy

Pray that your sponsored child would reject the lie that joy comes from worldly success or our circumstances. Pray that he or she would rather be full of real joy through the Holy Spirit and would be an example of joy in his or her community.

“May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord; for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6, NIV

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Day 18 — Perseverance

The lie of poverty can convince children to just give up because there is no hope for their lives. Pray that God would fill your sponsored child with perseverance and that she would set her eyes above, on the things that last.

“Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1, NIV

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Day 19 — Humility

Thank God that your sponsored child has examples of humble men and women at the local church. Pray that she would grow in true humility — that she would have a God-given understanding of Him.

“God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.”

“To slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always be gentle toward everyone.” – Titus 3:2, NIV

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Day 20 — Compassion

Pray that through the comfort they have received in their troubles, your sponsored children would learn to comfort others. Thank God for the compassionate heart that so many sponsored children have and pray that God would give them opportunities to extend His compassion to others.

“Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.”

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." – Colossians 3:12, NIV

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Day 21 — Responsibility

Though many sponsored children have examples around them of hard work, some are also surrounded by examples of alcoholism and truant mothers or fathers. Pray that your sponsored child would learn responsibility and diligence in the Lord.

“Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.”

“For each one should carry his own load.” – Galatians 6:5, NIV

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Day 22 — Contentment

Praise God that the secret to being content is not being well fed or living in plenty. Pray that your sponsored child would learn true contentment in Christ amidst a difficult situation.

“Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.”

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13, NIV

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Day 23 — Faith

Praise God that He has chosen those who are poor in this world’s eyes to be rich in faith. Pray that your sponsored child’s faith would be growing more and more each day.

“I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.”

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.’” – Luke 17:5-6, NIV

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Day 24 — A Servant's Heart

Pray that your sponsored children would reject this world’s lie that the point of this life is to serve ourselves first. Pray that they would serve others around them with all their heart and that they would learn to put the needs of others before their own.

“God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.”

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”

– Ephesians 6:7, NIV

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Day 25 — Hope

The surroundings of so many sponsored children scream to them to just give up hope. Pray that your sponsored child would be filled with the hope he has in Christ, and that he would be a beacon in his community, overflowing with hope through the Holy Spirit.

“May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13, NIV

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Day 26 — Willingness and Ability to Work

Pray that your sponsored child would attack her school work with eagerness, as doing it for the Lord. Pray that in all her endeavors, she would devote herself to the Lord and do it in His strength.

“Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.”

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23, NIV

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Day 27 — Passion for God

Praise God that even through trials, we have a God who loves us to cling to. Pray that your sponsored child would cling to God and develop a passion for Him.

“Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.”

“I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” – Psalm 63:8, NIV

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Day 28 — Self-Discipline

Praise God that His Spirit is alive and moving in your sponsored child’s heart. Pray that your sponsored child would learn self-discipline and would become prudent, even when surrounded by recklessness.

“Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.”

“For receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair.” – Proverbs 1:3, NIV

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Day 29 — Prayerfulness

Praise God that He has given sponsored children around the world His ear, that even though they are often voiceless in this world, He cares for their prayers. Pray that God would make your sponsored child a child of prayer, who would continually turn to God in prayer.

“Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.”

“Pray continually.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV

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Day 30 — Gratitude

Although they do not have material wealth, pray that your sponsored children would be overflowing with thankfulness to God for the gifts He has given them. Pray that rather than a bitter heart, they would have a heart of gratitude.

“Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:20, NIV

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Day 31 — A Heart for Missions

Praise God for how He can use sponsored children to be His messengers in their communities in a powerful way. Pray that God would fill your sponsored child with a passion for proclaiming God’s glory and sharing His gospel with the community.

“Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.”

"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." – Psalm 96:3, NIV

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