A Call to Prayer for Vulnerable Children and Families

By Lynette Ezell

 “You know Jesus and God and all those things people in your church talk about? Well, the only time our kids hear the name Jesus is when someone is swearing at them.”

Face to face with a well-seasoned social worker, the truth hit me hard.

At that moment, I realized that when a family says “yes” to foster care, it’s more than stepping into an overwhelmed, fractured system; it is a calling to engage in a spiritual battle. It’s waging war against the enemy who hates children and is always seeking to destroy families. Jesus alone can champion this war and enable His people to surround hurting children with the love of a family.

Scripture is clear that prayer moves the hand of God. Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside foster families and witnessing first-hand the challenges they face.

This May, during Foster Care Awareness Month, here are some ways you and your church can be praying intentionally for those in the foster community:

  1. Pray that foster families will not feel alone and abandoned. The grief and loss these young souls carry can manifest as difficult and baffling behaviors. Many times, families find themselves isolated at home, overwhelmed and weary. Ask the Lord to awaken those in their Church to see them and take tangible steps to support them.


  1. Pray for children and youth in care who are experiencing the debilitating effects of mental illness. Young souls who have experienced neglect and abuse require professional care and loving adults who can support their emotional and mental needs. Unfortunately, the skilled help they need isn’t always easy to find. Ask the Lord to lead foster families to the right helpers and supportive tools they need. When children begin to heal and trust again, they can also learn to trust Jesus.


  1. Pray that children who have been removed from all they’ve ever known would be placed with Jesus-loving families and taken to churches where they will be accepted and supported. I believe this is where the Church can be used to change an entire generation for the Kingdom of God. Jesus loves children and desires to “set the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6). Pray that we will not be complacent or too afraid to miss the joy of being the face of Jesus to precious young souls longing for the love of a family.


  1. Pray that foster families would trust God’s love and care for them, no matter the outcomes. The goal of foster care is reunification. Unfortunately, the court system and agencies involved can sometimes make decisions that are hard to accept. This can be emotionally challenging for foster families and traumatic for the children caught in the middle. Ask the Lord to help them remain faithful and trust Him even when they don’t understand.


  1. Pray that more churches would get involved with Send Relief’s FAM Ministry. Engaging in foster care is answering the call to share the gospel with a broken world. We need at least one caring adult from every Southern Baptist church to step up to the plate and lead others in providing support to families. Every single believer has some type of role to play in caring for vulnerable children. The tools and personal coaching provided by the FAM teams are ready and available to equip every church of every size.

This year, let’s claim May as a time of fervent, family prayer for those who are on the front lines of foster care. If the Church answers the challenge to pray, the victory could be greater than we ever thought possible.

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).

Published August 22, 2023

Lynette Ezell