Inside a brightly painted orange building in Honduras’ capital city, a group of preteens and a few adults gather in a circle. Outside, children yell and cheer from a neighboring soccer field. The sounds inside the building may be quieter, but they are no less passionate. Their fervent prayers echo far beyond the confines of the room.
They’re called Generation of Conquerors Ministry of Intercessory Children. They pray for wisdom. They pray for the good of the people. They pray against violence, gangs, drugs, and corruption.
They are part of an intercessory prayer group that World Vision supports through its Christian commitments work. The prayer sessions take place in multiple areas across the city, including sometimes in a World Vision office.
Instruments for blessings
Local pastor Patricia de Guitierez leads the group. She teaches them about the power of prayer, how to love to pray for others, and how to love one another. “They come together to pray for others. [They] learn how to be compassionate and pray faithfully,” she says. “It works because we pray to a powerful God.”
She continues: “They are learning that they are instruments of God. There are instruments for evil, but they are instruments for blessings.” This group has been an instrument of good since 2005 with new members joining as older children graduate.
“I am an intermediary because I love God. I cry for the needs of other people, the world, and my country,” says 10-year-old member, Genesis (pronounced Yenesis).
Intermediaries for their country and communities
Children who participate come from some of the most notorious neighborhoods in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Those areas can be so dangerous that public transportation refuses to go there. Outside the building, in the soccer stands, gang members monitor the activities of the neighborhood.
But these young people brave the streets because they believe strongly in the importance of prayer, and they know the difference it makes. “What we do is intermediate for our nation or for what is happening to another brother, or if he is has gotten off track,” says 13-year-old Lester.
“Lately, crime is very prevalent in our community and the gang problem is also close to home,” Lester says,“ So, first of all, it is for peace in our community and also for freedom. To be able to go out in our streets knowing we will come back alright, and not expecting that something will happen to us.”
Holding God’s hand
The session begins with a reading from the book of Jeremiah 1— the lesson is God knowing his children when he formed them in their mothers’ wombs.
After the lesson, they begin to pray. It’s not a quiet affair. They are impassioned and emboldened to pray to a God that they know cares for them; a God who knew them before they were even born.
“When I pray, I feel so happy and so passionate,” says Genesis. “I feel like God is holding my hand and we are praying together.”
Tom Costanza of World Vision’s staff in the U.S. contributed to this article.