Through the Nurturing Children Through Worship and Prayer Initiative, Lilly Endowment seeks to support highly promising and creative endeavors that help children come to know and love God and grow in faith.  

Eligible charitable organizations were invited to submit proposals for up to $1.25 million that may be used for up to a five-year period to establish new and/or enhance existing programs that support multiple congregations as they design intergenerational corporate worship services and prayer practices that more intentionally and fully engage children and nurture their faith.  

The Endowment is especially interested in supporting programs that help congregations address one or more of the following objectives: 

  • Strengthening worship and prayer practices that attend to and respect how children experience God and express their faith.
  • Enhancing worship and prayer practices that are more fully inclusive of all children, including children with disabilities.
  • Drawing more fully on the arts (e.g., music, visual arts, drama, etc.) to enhance the experience of worship and prayer for children.
  • Creating opportunities for Bible storytelling that help children hear and tell stories of faith through worship and prayer practices.
  • Enhancing worship and prayer practices that more intentionally connect worship with the daily lives of children and their families.


Charitable organizations located in the United States with Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and public charity status were eligible to apply. While individual congregations were able to apply, the initiative was not intended to provide grants to individual congregations for the sole purpose of funding their own ministries. Congregations needed to discern whether they were positioned to help other congregations by convening them as a learning community and helping them achieve the aim and objectives of this initiative.  

How to Apply

The submission window for applications is now closed.

The Endowment anticipates announcing grant awards in the fall of 2024. The Endowment anticipates awarding approximately 60 grants to organizations that submit the most compelling proposals and demonstrate the capacity to design, implement and sustain high-quality programs that advances the initiative’s aim. 

View the FAQ or email the Endowment at