By: Nico Benalcazar with Catherine Ryan   |   Posted: May 11, 2023

These children in Ecuador who lifted up their prayer requests on paper airplanes will melt your heart. Read what they wrote so you can join them in prayer!

Paper Airplane Prayers: See What 5 Kids Wrote to God

These children in Ecuador who lifted up their prayer requests on paper airplanes will melt your heart. Read what they wrote so you can join them in prayer!

Written by Nico Benalcazar with Catherine Ryan
Photography by Nico Benalcazar
3 children hold a sign that says "What is your prayer today?"

It’s Saturday in a cold, mountainous community of southern Ecuador — and for many children in the area, that means one thing: It’s Compassion day. Separately and together, they make their way to the center. Some arrive on foot, while others travel on the community bus or by motorcycle.

Many families in this area earn a living through agriculture. With adults spending up to 14 hours a day working in the fields, children are often left alone. But Saturdays are different. The center is a bustling place of love and hope, where children feel heard, seen and known. This particular day is even more special as the children continue a monthly tradition they’ve come to know and love.

Luisa, a child registered at the center.

Once gathered at the center, the boys and girls know what to do. Tables are covered with pieces of paper, pens and markers. They’ve been learning about the importance of prayer and encouraged to grow their faith in Jesus. Today will be an outward sign of that faith.

Matias, a child registered at the center.

First, each child carefully writes a prayer request on a piece of paper, then decorates and folds the paper into the shape of an airplane. Together, the children follow their tutor to the top of a nearby mountain, where they pray together and launch their paper airplanes into the sky as a symbol of lifting their prayers up to the Lord.

Read what some of the children pray for:


“I like to imagine that Jesus receives my paper airplane, unwraps it, opens it and reads it. He likes my prayers to reach him, and that's how he takes care of me.”

— Matias


“I like to pray and ask Jesus that all the world’s children have food, because one of my neighbors sometimes doesn’t have anything to eat, and that makes me very sad.”

— Sebastian


“On my plane, I wrote my prayer to God, in which I ask him to provide hope to families and children who have not yet had the blessing of having a church to belong to.”

— Santiago


“My favorite prayer is asking Jesus for love so that all children can have a family, a tutor, a pastor or someone who makes them feel loved, just as we feel in the church. On my paper plane, I asked God to care for all the children in the world and that they do not lack love.”

— Luisa


“I pray to Jesus so many more children can have good food, just like I have at church.”

— Carlos

After the paper planes are released, the children make their way back to the center. Before going home, they’re each given a piece of paper with a Bible verse to recite during the week — on their way to school, before doing their homework or before meals — such as “Know that I am with you every day” (Matthew 28:20, NIV). These words and the memory of their prayers flying through the sky toward their heavenly Father fill their hearts with hope and give them strength in the promises of God’s Word.

Pray With These Children

a girl prays

Read prayer requests from around the world in our monthly prayer calendar.

a girl prays