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“Heart for the Suffering” Family Prayer Chain

Today I’m sitting in a cozy home as snowflakes swirl around outside my window.  My coffee cup is full. My feet are tucked into a warm pair of slippers. And I have the joy and privilege of living out my calling to write and encourage other moms.

I am blessed.

But as I type these words, I’m all too aware that many people live without such blessings.  Every day, the morning news reminds me of struggles and injustices.  People victimized by crime.  People forced to flee their homes because of war.  People with drug addictions that have stolen their families, their homes, and their own sense of worth.

Teach Kids How to Pray

And I think of Jesus words:  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

As a mom, I want to help my kids develop a heart for the “least of these.” I want to help them recognize their own own privileges and be aware of those who don’t enjoy the same blessings.

But it feels like an uphill battle in this culture of entitlement and materialism.  And in the midst of everyday activities, it’s all too easy to get laser-focused on our own family’s needs. Seeds of ingratitude germinate when little inconveniences happen and we so easily lose sight of the many privileges and freedoms we enjoy.

But God cares for all of his people. And as that Bible passage above reminds us, he’s especially attuned to the needs of the suffering.

So how do we help our families develop a heart for “the least of these”?  How can we build awareness about injustice and help our kids think outside themselves?  

I’ve been reflecting on those questions a lot lately.  There are countless ways that families can practice gratitude or learn about injustice or serve our neighbors.  But here’s one very simple idea that came to my mind:  What if we prayed for “the least of these” every day? 

Through the simple habit of daily prayer, we could remind our kids about God’s heart for people who face injustice, poverty, and oppression.  We could teach them that their neighbors include people worldwide, who are poor and hurting. And we could show them how to love their neighbors by taking them to God in prayer.

To help your family with this simple idea, I’ve created a FREE “Least of These” Family Prayer Chain.  Each heart-shaped link lists a group of people to pray for, and as you add to the chain day-by-day, you’ll be creating a visual reminder of how prayer links people together:  Your prayers help link others to the love of God, and they also create a link of love between your family and the ones you pray for.

In addition to the prayer links, I’ve included “Prayer Prompts” that offer short descriptions and simple prayer request ideas for each link of the chain. I’ve kept these concepts simple and brief so they’ll be kid-friendly—but feel free to offer more details and prayer suggestions based on your own knowledge.  (A quick Google search about the topics can lead you to more information if your kids get curious and ask a lot of questions!) 

You can grab this free printable resource by clicking the blue button, and I’ve added a few simple instructions below for how to prepare and use the prayer chain.  

It’s my hope that this simple activity will help you cultivate a heart for “the least of these” in your family, and a passion for bringing justice and relief to the problems in our world.  Who knows?  Maybe God will plant some new ideas for ways that your family can help bring justice and love to our world!

Grab your download by clicking the blue button below. (Downloads are only available to More Like Grace subscribers: With downloading, you consent to OPT-IN to our email newsletter offering more encouragement and freebie news. Unsubscribe any time.)

Supplies Needed:

  • “Heart for the Suffering” Prayer Chain download
  • scissors
  • tape

How To Prepare and Use the Prayer Chain:

Teach Kids How to Pray
  1. Download and print the “Least of These” Family Prayer Chain.  You should have 6 pages of heart links, and 3 pages of Prayer Prompts.  
  2. Set the Prayer Prompts aside and keep in a location handy to where you will pray. 
  3. Cut out the individual heart links.  The easiest way to do this is by folding each row of hearts in half lengthwise: Cut the outside line of each heart, and then cut out the middle (white) part of each heart.
  4. Find the first heart link with Psalm 140:12 on it.  Hang this in the spot where you plan to display your prayer chain. It will serve as your “starter link.”  
  5. Store the cut-out heart links and the Prayer Prompt sheets together.
  6. Each day you pray, grab one of the heart links and find the corresponding prompt on the “Prayer Prompts” page.  After you’ve read the prompt and prayed for the request, make a cut through one side of the heart link. Slip the link through the heart before it in the chain and use a small piece of tape to secure it back together.

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