This week, founder of the 24-7 Prayer movement and Tearfund ambassador, Pete Greig, offers his thoughts on how to make prayer for people living in poverty less overwhelming. ‘We need to spend more time listening and less speaking,’ he urges. This week, spend time listening to God to discern how he wants you to pray about global issues.
Sunday 4 February
‘He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.’ (Isaiah 53:3)
Prayer for justice is a slow, painful conversation with the Lord who is already there in the midst of suffering. Spend some time listening to God to better understand his compassion for people who live in poverty.
Monday 5 February
God’s word for people living in poverty in the Bible
God speaks to us today through the Bible, so we must begin our search for his voice within its pages. Read Matthew 5:1–11 afresh and listen to God for how he sees the world and people who face hardship, stigma and violence.
Tuesday 6 February
‘The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ (Leviticus 19:34)
Reflect on this verse today and pray for people displaced by conflict, climate change, disasters and poverty. Ask God what you can do in response.
Wednesday 7 February
God’s whisper for people living in poverty in silence
When praying for justice, I try to begin by sitting quietly, holding the situation before the Lord. In these moments, I may sigh deeply, allowing the situation to affect my own heart. Becoming aware that God is neither distant nor dispassionate. Think of a recent disaster or emergency that you’ve heard about and hold it before the Lord.
Thursday 8 February
I am learning to listen for the ‘still small voice’ of God (1 Kings 19:12, NKJV).
Thinking about Ukraine recently, I felt overwhelmed. But, while sitting in silence, I was reminded of Jeremiah 31:15: ‘Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’ What global situation has God put on your heart today?
Friday 9 February
God’s word for people living in poverty in the wider culture
Having listened to God’s word in the scriptures and his whisper in the silence, I also try to keep my eyes and ears open to anything he may be saying through the world he’s made. Take some time to look at a newspaper or a reliable online news source and pray for a global situation that needs God’s intervention.
Saturday 10 February
Ultimately, I believe, we must hear God’s word for those on the margins from those on the margins. We must listen to stories of hope from around the world. We don’t have to travel far to find the voices of those who are disregarded, despised or oppressed. Find an issue to pray for at tearfund.org/stories. Keep listening to God as you do.