Prayer for Children and Families
At our Annual Affiliate Meeting this year, several affiliates said prayers for the communities they help and serve. Below is a prayer shared by Laura Galt, Director of Safe Families for Children in New York City.
Father, we lift up the children of New York City, YOUR children, that we are given the gift of stewarding. We ask for the provision of homes and neighborhoods and schools where children can flourish and experience peace and health. We ask for the provision of supportive friendships and community for parents and children, and we pray that your church would step up to provide relational support for lonely families.
We ask for healing of any trauma that children are enduring from violence in the home or in their neighborhoods. You say in your word, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” We pray this over any children in this city who are experiencing trauma. Cover them with your wings so they find refuge and shield them from harm.
We pray for the nearly 8,000 children in foster care, children who are separated from their parents and experiencing loss and grief and confusion. We ask that they would feel the presence of your care and love in the absence of their parents. Help them to know their Heavenly Father who will never be separated from them. We boldly ask you to end the family separation that is happening in our city through emergency removals into foster care. We lift up the many children who age out of foster care each year and are facing adulthood with no support or stability.
We pray for the 1 million children in the public school system and pray that you would bring more equity to our education system. We pray that all children in New York City would have adults in their lives who can encourage them and recognize their unique gifts. We pray that every child would know that they are loved and a unique gift to this earth.
We pray for the 14,000 families and 21,000 children who are currently homeless in our city and living in shelters. We pray that you would provide community for them as they are often isolated and unable to have visitors in their shelter. We pray that you would provide affordable housing for them.
Jesus, you said to your disciples, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” And you took those children in your arms and blessed them. Jesus, help us to see children as valuable members of your kingdom who are an example to us of trust and dependence on you. Help us to stop and take the time to bless your children as you did. Transform us to see families and children the way that you see them—not defined by their mistakes or choices, but defined by being made in your image and being the Beloved. We pray all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.