The farthest I’ve traveled is Canada, and that was back before you needed a passport to go there. It was a dairy farm tour (yes, I was a Dairy Club member at my university, though I did not grow up on or work on a dairy farm).
But, homebound though I may be, I have long had a heart for praying for missionaries. I remember being a small child and laying in bed, praying for missionaries. Hey, they came to church and talked about the work they did and they asked for our prayers! I was supposed to pray for them! So I did.
Which brings me to today, 30-some years later. I still find myself moved by the testimony and witness of the missionary priests, sisters, and laypeople who come to our parish throughout the year. I still find myself praying for them, though with far less regularity than I should (or that I did as a six-year-old).
I can’t help but think about the power of a child’s prayer. For one thing, they take it seriously when you ask them. You are investing them in the work you’re doing. You’re involving them in an intimate way. Asking for prayers and praying for others is intimate, getting you closer to people in ways that few other things can or do.
The missionaries who I’ve heard and seen and read never fail to ask for prayers. They know they need them. We know they need them.
But do we do that?
It’s true that the missions all need our financial support. But more than anything else, they need our prayers. That’s how we build them up more than anything else. And getting our kids on board with that? Even better.