Teaching Kids to Pray for Their Friends Who Need Jesus

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Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. ~ Romans 10:1

friends who need JesusWhen kids pray for their friends they often prioritize the temporary problems over the eternal problem. Growing up I did the exact same thing, understanding that all my friends needed prayer I took time to pray for them. What I failed to understand was what they truly needed prayer for. I prayed for the temporary discomfort and immediate needs hoping to better their life, because my understanding of eternal and temporary needs was disconnected.

This misunderstanding on my part came from the thought that if they got over X, Y, and Z they would see God in their life, and then turn to Him. Now I know that my view of prayer was skewed. I know that I might be able to heal some of their temporary problems, but only Christ can heal their eternal problems. When it comes to prayer we need to teach kids the importance of realizing that only God has the power to bring change. We need to teach that praying for healing and temporary problems isn’t wrong, but only provides temporary relief.

Praying for Friends Who Need Jesus

The apostle Paul was a prayer warrior and did a great job of encouraging the church through written prayers. He did this as a way of talking to God and showing the church how much he cared for them. This is part of his prayer for the church of Colossi:

… We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” – Colossians 1:9-12

This is a great example of how we should teach kids to pray. Paul starts by saying he has not stopped praying for them, not for the temporary though. No, Paul prays that they might have “spiritual wisdom”, so that they can walk in a way that pleases the Lord. He prays for them, but everything he prays for promotes their relationship with Christ. This is how we should teach kids to pray. We need to raise up a generation of prayer warriors who see the need of the temporary, but realize the vital importance of the eternal. We need to raise up a generation that desires to bring others into a growing relationship with Christ Jesus.

If you are reading this you are a person of influence in kid’s life. I hope they see you pray in a way that demonstrates your love for Christ. Hopefully when kids hear our prayers they hear our heart for evangelism, see the burden we have for our unsaved friends, and catch a unquenchable desire for opportunity to share the truth of the Gospel. At the end of the day this is how we need to pray for the lost, not for temporary relief but for eternal salvation.

Prepare to Pray!

If you have younger children, you will want to choose one or two verses for them to learn to pray. Have your child brainstorm friends who may not have a relationship with Jesus. This list may include friends from school, and even those from church.

Do you have older children? Have them read through the following verses and choose one or two as they are thinking about the friends for whom they want to pray.

Click on the image below to print FREE PRAYER CARDS. Choose the age-appropriate printable for your children and print on card stock.

Scripture Prayer CardsMy Scripture Prayer Cards 3-12 blog







Grab a pen and write down the chosen verses, or have your child write them down.

Verses to Help Us Pray for Friends Who Need Jesus:

To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’ ~ Acts 26:18

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. ~ Ephesians 6:19-20

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~ 1 Timothy 2:3-4

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. ~ 2 Timothy 2:24-26

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9

Now Pray!

Encourage your children to not just read the words, but to pray them.

Click on the image below for all of the articles in this series.prayer{All of these verses link to BibleGateway. If you would rather choose a different version of the scriptures, then click the link and choose the version you want.}


Joe headshotWith almost ten years of Kid Min, Joe has served in many roles as he sought to teach Children the truth of the Gospel. Currently he serves full-time as the Children’s Ministry Director at LifePoint Church in Quincy, IL. In addition to his role there he is an event planner, blogger, and coffee addict. Connect with Joe by visiting his blog, http://joemally.com, and by following him on Twitter @joe_mally.


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