My prayer pal Lucy and I have something in common. We both think first base is the best position to play in softball!
But we have other things that connect us as well, especially when we get together on our “Prayer Pal” nights. We love to figure out how we can pray for each other.
The leaders of our Wednesday night club program hit on a great idea several years ago. They invited the adults in our church to volunteer to be prayer pals with the children attending the program. It’s a rather simple commitment, and most adults are eager to be involved in supporting the kids in prayer.
We start the children with prayer pals when they are in first grade, with the hope that the adult and child can be paired up until the fifth grade when he or she graduates from the children’s program. This gives time to develop a relationship. I’ve had four prayer pals in the last several years, and the most meaningful relationships are the ones we can build over time.
Daveney, my first prayer pal, was quite shy in the early years. But by the time she reached fifth grade, we chatted about all sorts of things—and sometimes she seemed like the mature one in our relationship! When we did activities together, I watched her grow in leadership and confidence.
Lucy is my new prayer pal, and we hit it off right away. She’s enthusiastic about everything and doesn’t hesitate to find me on a Sunday to give me a hug. When we shared prayer requests after I had a bout with COVID, she did not let go of my request about regaining my taste and smell. I didn’t realize she was still praying about it until months later when her mom asked me if I was better!
Lucy and I intersect with each other on a regular basis and pray for each other. But we also spend time together three nights out of the school year when all the prayer pals get together during a designated time on a Wednesday night.
Two of those Prayer Pal nights are for just half an hour. The other night—at the end of the year—is for a longer portion of the evening that includes a carnival or some other fun activity.
On those special nights, we often do a quick game together like a word search to get some conversation started. Then we ask how we can pray for each other—and we take the time to pray! This is an opportunity for all the adults to spend time with their prayer pals, doing somewhat structured activities that can help with any awkwardness.
We encourage adults to be careful about giving gifts to their pals, especially in front of other pals. It can also be a little tricky when one sibling gets something special from an adult pal, but another sibling doesn’t. They do keep track! But I will occasionally send a small gift card to an ice cream place or something similar—and instruct my pal to take her siblings out for a treat. However, the last time I did this, Lucy requested that the two of us meet—without her brother and sister!
Our children are learning about the priority of prayer. Our church is abuzz with activity on Prayer Pal nights—and the kids can’t help but notice!
CAROL MADISON is editor of Prayer Connect and directs the prayer ministries at Hillside Church of Bloomington, MN. To subscribe to Prayer Connect. To purchase hardcopy of individual issue click Buy Button below.