Walmart checkout
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 10, 2023 ·  4 min read

Boy Stops to Pray for Missing Children in Walmart

Most parents will admit that their that one of their biggest fears is having their child go missing. Although the number should be zero, an estimated 8 million cases are reported annually of missing children each year, worldwide. Paying his respects, a young boy went viral for praying beneath a wall plastered with missing children.

In 2017, a boy and his mom made a quick trip to Walmart, one of America’s largest distributors of household goods and groceries. He then disappeared from her side, a terrifying moment for any parent. “I had to run into Walmart. I turned around to make sure my son was next to me.”

Going Viral

However, after a few moments of frantically searching, she found her son Braydon kneeling before a wall. She thought of reprimanding him for leaving her side. After all, we know how dangerous the world can be for children. They can go from safe to “in danger” in a matter of seconds. Instead of punishing him for leaving her side, she snapped a picture and uploaded it to Facebook.

Prayers to Save Missing Children

Braydon prayed that these missing children would be returned home with their families. The board read: “Every second counts,” with pictures of the missing children.

This heartwarming story caught so much attention that one of the missing children’s cousins commented on Braydon’s remarkably kind heart. “I don’t know who this little guy is, but I want to Thank you for praying for these children. One of those kids up there is my cousin Aubrey Carroll (a teenage boy missing since 2016). This has surely touched my heart. If I knew where or who this kid was, I would love to thank him personally.” Another commenter stated, “Whether or not you believe in God really doesn’t matter. This was a child in Walmart who was thinking about others and doing the only thing he could to help. The world would be a better place if everyone followed his example.”

Braydon’s act of incredible kindness, compassion, and hope, sets an example for children and adults alike. No matter your age, gender, religious beliefs, or personal preferences, it takes little to no resources to be kind to others. To keep up a positive outlook. Or to genuinely hope for the best for everyone.

Heartbreaking Realities

Sadly, there are an estimated 2,300 missing children reported daily in the US, with estimated reports of more than half a million annually. Often these children are abducted but have also been reported to run away or be kicked out of their homes. Even more heartbreaking is that around half of the missing children have also been diagnosed, somewhere on the Autism spectrum.

Some would argue that this is because children with autism have higher anxiety than other children and may look for ways to escape overstimulation. As a result, they run off and may become lost or abducted.

Safety Measures Prevent Missing Children

As a parent, talking to your children about safety is important. However, knowing what an age-appropriate conversation might look like is also challenging. Fortunately, Johns Hopkins breaks down the daunting topic by age, with suggestions on how to proceed with the conversation and how to reinforce it.

The most important suggestion that seems to be at the foundation of every topic regarding parenting is communication. While many adults think treating children the same way you would their adult counterparts confuses them and causes them to become disrespectful, the opposite may occur. By treating children with respect and open dialogue, they, in turn, learn those good and healthy habits. They learn to confide in and rely on parents and other safe adults when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Therefore, it’s ideal to expose them to good habits like staying close to the store, getting permission before going off with friends at the park, or looking both ways before crossing the street, as soon as they’re old enough to begin understanding words and concepts.

Another suggestion for keeping children safe is to have a “safety word” that the whole family can use to alert each other of any possible dangers subtly. Consider also some self-defense classes such as, karate or kickboxing.

Support for Missing Children

Furthermore, if you have missing children and would like some support or feel the desire to offer your support, several organizations can help. They’ve made it their mission to help protect missing children and get them safely back to their families.

In addition to helping bring missing children home safely, these organizations are dedicated to educating youth and families about safety. They’re also dedicated to helping children, and their families, get treatment for their traumas and assistance with reintegration into society.

Missing children are often the most heartbreaking of cases because their vulnerability is what makes them so precious. However, it’s also what makes them so susceptible to abduction. Balancing teaching children with trusting them to make their own give choices offers a sense of peace. Furthermore, ensuring they’re aware of and prepared for any dangers that may arise, minimizing any threat to their safety.

Keep Reading: Missing baby found alive more than 40 years after parents found killed in woods


  1. Boy Wanders Off While At Walmart With His Mother. Once Mom Finds Him Kneeling, She Looks At Blue Board Hung On Wall. Love This Pic.
  2. Mom finds son kneeling to pray inside walmart because of sign on the wall. Newsner. Michael Panter. April 11, 2019.