There’s a fascinating conversation recorded between Jesus and his disciples. At this point in Jesus’ time on earth as a human, he had already fed the 5,000, preached the Sermon on the Mount and healed many. The 12 guys with whom he spent most of his time witnessed all this firsthand and also probably had the advantage of knowing the Old Testament better than any Christians, including all the prayers.

Yet in Luke 11, one of them, who remains nameless but represents the whole group, asks Jesus to teach them all to pray.

Logically, they must have observed something about the way Jesus prayed and noted that it was different than the way they were taught in all their years of learning. And it was then that in one of the Bible’s most famous passages and what we now call the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus fulfilled their request and taught them to pray.

Prayer, especially with others and out loud, can sometimes feel intimidating. Inviting even your closest friends to pray with you or church members to be part of a prayer team can be met with an awkward silence by the most devout Christians who are comfortable with their faith and who pray and dive into Scripture regularly on their own.

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Praying for foster children, families and ministries. Together. Columbus, Georgia. May 2015.

If you are fostering or leading a foster care ministry, prayer is one of the most valuable things that you can do with other people. Out loud. If you are serving foster children and families, consider inviting some trusted friends to pray with you regularly. And if you are wondering what your time together could look like, use the answer that Jesus gave his closest friends that was reordered in Luke 11:2-4.

Father, hallowed be your name…
Worship God for who He is. Take time to praise and remember that He is Lord and the significance of that. Thank Him for being a God who cares for the fatherless by being THE perfect Father we all need.

Your Kingdom come
God’s will before all. No matter what situation you bring to him, acknowledge that His ways are ultimately and always better than our ways, humbly remembering the authority He has in our lives, our ministries and our families.

Give us each day our daily bread
What are the needs in your own lives? In the lives of your volunteers? Foster families? Ministry? Take time to present those requests to the Lord. Honestly. Fully. Without any inhibition.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us
No one and no ministry is without sin. Where do you honestly see yourself and your family or team struggling? Even if there are no specifics shared, take time to repent and also ask the Lord to show your ministry where they are not in line with God’s perfect will and to redirect your course. Confession is a biblical and grace-filled mandate.

And lead us not into temptation
When God is working in amazing ways, the devil is often trying to stop Him. Most ministry leaders will talk about how they experienced temptation the most when their ministries were thriving and God was clearly working. Pray and ask for a layer of protection around you, your family and all of your foster families, leaders, volunteers and the children.

Amen.