Prayer For Ministries That Support Orphans
Top 7 Bible Verses About Orphans
God is highly concerned about orphans. Here are 7 of the top Bible verses about orphans.
Psalm 68:5 “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
What a tender side of God this is Who is a Father to the fatherless (orphans) and protector of the widows. Most of the world seems to ignore the widows and the orphans because they don’t seem to matter in this world.
Those who teach and preach the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, which as Paul wrote, is not really a gospel at all (Gal 1:7), must think that they’re in such a state because they don’t have enough faith.
Paul wrote that “the gospel I preached is not of human origin.
I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:11b-12) and if a church does teach and preach the real gospel, then it will have true religion, and true religion is highly concerned with orphans and widows (James 1:27) as we will read next.
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Want a great definition of pure religion? There is no better definition found in the Bible than in James 1:27 and it includes keeping oneself unstained or unspotted from the world but the first order of importance, and perhaps why James puts it first, is that of visiting the orphans and the widows in their affliction. Can you think of a better place than a nursing home or an assisted care living center to minister to next to an orphanage because almost every one of the nursing home residents are both orphans (parents deceased) and widows or widowers (with their spouse gone).?
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Just before Jesus left to go to the cross and die for their sins (and ours) and later ascend back up to heaven, the disciples were very anxious about Jesus’ speaking that He was going away and to where they could not (yet) come. Jesus’ reassurance to them is one for us too that He will not leave us orphans because He promises that He will come again to them and for us.
Exodus 22:22-24 “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”
This verse is crystal clear about God’s concern for the widows and orphans. The law is clear. They are not to be mistreated and this mistreatment could be in the form of neglect, abuse, or taking advantage of those who are in a defenseless position. For those who do take advantage of these disenfranchised people, God’s wrath is a promise.
Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.”
When the psalmist writes about maintaining the rights of the afflicted and destitute, which consist of the weak and the fatherless (orphans), he is establishing the fact that Israel did have laws that defended the defenseless but in Jesus’ day, there was no justice for these people which is why He rebuked those were the experts in the law and they knew better; “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matt 23:14). The word “woe” is Greek for “ouai” and means it is a judgment from God.
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Isaiah would have never written that they need to “Learn to do good [and] seek justice” and “correct oppression” if they were already doing it.
They needed to learn to do this because apparently they were not providing justice to the orphans nor were they pleading for the cause of the widows.
This was all the more reason for Isaiah’s scathing chastisement of Judah and part of the reason that they would be sent into captivity.
Psalm 146:9 “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”
We are all sojourners in this world; just passing through so we are no different than strangers today who we are commanded to make feel welcome (Matt 25:31-40). God upholds the widow and the orphans but in due time, He will bring to the wicked His judgment (Rev 20:12-15).
When Job wrote “Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him” (Job 29:12) he was saying that he knew that it was good to help those who cannot help themselves; the poor and the orphans.
God will hold us accountable for everything we do in this life but also includes our neglecting the widows and orphans because if we do neglect them, this only proves that we are not practicing nor living out what James calls pure religions (James 1:27).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.
6 Ways to Pray for Creation Care Ministries [April Prayer Focus]
Whether it’s ruined soil, contaminated water or disease caused by piled up garbage, there’s no doubt that environmental destruction hurts people deeply. In the midst of that hurt, many people doubt God’s power, His love or that He even exists.
That’s why missionaries around the world are shining a light on God’s handiwork through creation care ministries. By teaching sustainable farming methods, cleaning beaches and more, missionaries get to show how faithfully God has provided for our physical needs — and that opens doors to share about the eternal life He offers all of us.
This April, will you pray with us for creation care ministries?
Click here to get a printable version of these requests, and sign up here to get the new prayer focus in your inbox each month.
Pray for people to understand the importance of creation care.
“We do not get any agricultural change or change in any communities unless you’ve first dealt with the heart issues.” –Craig Deall, CEO Foundations for Farming in Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, many farmers were taught to plow deeply into their fields, not knowing it would cause soil erosion and hurt their ability to grow healthy crops in the future. That’s why TEAM missionaries partner with local workers to show the long-term impact such practices have — and teach sustainable methods.
When farmers understand how their methods hurt their land, they’re more than ready to try solutions no-till farming and aquaponics.
Ask God to give missionaries around the world insight into how local, natural resources can be nourished. Ask that they will be able to communicate this clearly. And pray for the people they serve to see clear benefits in using these new methods.
Pray for trusting relationships with local people.
Scott Downing drills wells in a mostly Muslim area of Chad. Village leadership knows he teaches God’s Word, but they allow him to remain because of the love he demonstrates. Photo by TEAM
Chadian villages are eager for water wells drilled by TEAM missionary Scott Downing. But the gift of clean water isn’t what opens them up to the Gospel. It’s seeing the servant’s heart Scott’s team has for the people.
“We know you are teaching God’s Word when you go to villages to drill wells,” one village chief said, “but that’s OK because we can see that you love the people.”
Pray for missionaries to demonstrate trustworthiness and love to those they serve. Pray that they won’t be seen as trying to take advantage of others but as humble servants of God.
“God gave us this world and said, ‘Care for it.’ … It’s He’s saying “Pick up your room,” so we need to take care of our room and pick it up.” –Kurt ZurBurg, TEAM worker in Ukraine
Whether it’s a village counsel or miles of bureaucracy, governments have the power to create strong partnerships or stop programs in their tracks.
After years of running a recycling program in Ukraine, TEAM missionary Kurt zurBurg still struggles to navigate his city’s corrupt legal system. As he seeks registration for a new phase of the project, he says, “It’s not easy getting clear answers and knowing the best path forward.”
Please pray for wisdom and favor as missionaries build relationships with government officials. Ask for discernment as they take legal steps to grow their ministries.
Pray for resources to build effective programs.
In Zimbabwe, an agricultural training program is planting a new future for aged-out orphans. Photo by TEAM
Steve and Anthea Love helped launch a simple agricultural training program in Zimbabwe, but the possibilities for growth are endless. One day, the Loves hope to see their students living on campus and balancing out their farm skills with business skills, computer knowledge and more. But first, they need the resources to make that possible.
Whether missionaries need teachers, land, money or something else, ask God to provide resources to build effective programs. Also, pray that they will know how to make the most of what they have now.
Pray for lasting stability among the people served.
Dave and Cheryl Jereb started an aquaponics garden to generate a sustainable food source for Karanda Hospital. Now they are trying to make every aspect of their garden sustainable by using local labor and materials. Photo by TEAM
A program will only provide long-term relief if people can replicate it after the missionary leaves. That’s why Dave and Cheryl Jereb make their aquaponics systems with as many local materials as possible. Recently, they stopped using plastic nets from the U.S. and taught Zimbabweans how to make them wire.
Pray for missionaries to create programs that are easy to replicate without their help or foreign resources. Pray for long-term economic success in the communities they help.
In La Paz, TEAM worker Steve Dresselhaus says his involvement in beach cleanups has opened doors to share the Gospel. Photo by TEAM
People in La Paz, Mexico, are often surprised to see Christians involved in beach cleanups — or showing any concern for the environment. This surprise gives TEAM missionary Steve Dresselhaus the perfect opportunity to talk about the Creator who told us to care for the earth in the first place (Gen. 2:15).
As missionaries care for creation, ask God to open doors to share the Gospel. Pray that they can share how sin has brought about great destruction but God Almighty has brought us great hope.
To get a printable reminder of these requests, click the image below.
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7 Steps to Prayer That Bring Results
If you’ve been praying, but feel your prayers aren’t bringing results, there is an answer. Mark 11:24 says, “You can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” The Bible clearly defines the formula for this kind of successful prayer that is 100 percent effective.
You were meant to live a successful, overcoming Christian life. God has magnificent plans for you. He has set aside an inheritance of abundance for you to enjoy. But God’s will is not automatic. You have a part to play.
If you’re ready to experience a 100 percent success rate in prayer, here are the seven steps to prayer that bring results.
Step No. 1: Base Your Prayers on God’s Word
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” –1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
The key to seeing the kind of results God wants you to achieve through prayer is not just shooting random arrows in the air, hoping something might happen. James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss” (James 4:3, NKJV). If you want to hit the bulls-eye every time you pray, your prayers must be the Word of God.
You can go boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), by knowing what God’s will is in advance and having it firmly fixed in your heart.
So, the first step to praying prayers that bring results is to locate the promise or promises that fit your situation in the Word of God. Then, an arrow to a bulls-eye, shoot that prayer with boldness and confidence.This principle works in any area of prayer. Do you need healing in your body? Don’t pray what the doctor says or what religious tradition has taught you. Pray, “By His stripes I am healed” (see 1 Peter 2:24, KJV). Say, “Thank You, Lord, that You’ve provided healing for my body. Help me to receive it now. I thank You and praise You for it!”
Do you have a financial need? Don’t pray your problem—pray the answer! God has said He will provide for you, so pray, “Thank You, God, that You have said You will supply all my need according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I call in this promise now, in the Name of Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
When you focus on the answer, it will activate your faith.
For more on effective prayer, try these 3 Prayer Secrets from Gloria Copeland.
Step No. 2: Submerge Your Prayers in Faith
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” –Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)
Once you begin praying God’s Word, the next step in praying effectively is to submerge your prayers in faith. That means you don’t wait for a manifestation to believe you receive—that’s not faith!
This might seem difficult at first, but as you practice applying your faith, it will become a way of life for you. Here are some quick-start tips for adding faith to your prayers.
God’s Word is always true. If He says it’s done—it’s done. So, as you pray, begin to move yourself from believing He can to knowing He will.
Start your confession of faith before you see the manifestation of answers to your prayers. Then, hold fast to your confession without wavering. Don’t speak faith one day, then doubt the next. Hold on tightly; don’t let go; and no matter how tempting it might be, speak the Word only about your situation.
When the 10 lepers came to Jesus for healing, He told them to show themselves to the priests, and when they went, they were cleansed. They didn’t stand there and wait for Him to do something. They did exactly what He said do. They acted on His word. That is how you apply faith.
The same was true of the woman with the issue of blood. She acted on her faith when she reached out to touch His robe to take her healing. When faith was applied (acted on), results came.
Kenneth Copeland put these steps into practice when he lost his voice while preaching a long series of meetings in Jamaica. Instead of shutting down the meetings, he took these steps to submerge his prayers in faith.First, he found the scriptures that promised him healing. Then, he applied his faith. He said, “Lord, if I were to ask my voice if I’m healed, it would say no. If I were to ask the people here if I’m healed, they’d say no.
But I’m not asking my body; I’ve asked Your WORD and I believe I receive it in the Name of Jesus.”
He didn’t see it, he didn’t feel it, but he knew it. He walked right back out to the pulpit and whispered into the microphone, praising God. His voice came back, and he kept right on preaching!
Every single time you act in faith with that kind of dogged determination on the Word of God, you will always wind up the winner.
Looking to strengthen your prayer life further? Find 7 Steps to a Deeper Prayer Life here.
Step No. 3: Stop Fear in Its Tracks
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” –2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)
Satan is a master trickster. But because he doesn’t have any real authority, he has to rely on the same old tactics. Mainly—fear.
Fear is debilitating. It will hinder your belief in God’s Word, it will stop you from receiving, and it will rob you of THE BLESSING. But Satan is wrong 100 percent of the time. Praise the Lord. He always is. He’s never told you the truth yet.
If you want to see results in your prayer life, fear and doubt can no longer be part of your vocabulary.You don’t always need to say everything you think! And you certainly don’t need to say things you don’t mean. Jesus said, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37, WEB).
Anything outside of that stems from evil. Clean up your vocabulary and begin to talk the Word of God.
Refuse to allow doubt and fear to enter into your consciousness. The Bible says you have the ability to do so (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
You can’t stop the devil from knocking on the door, but you sure don’t have to answer! Brother Hagin said, “I can’t keep the birds from flying over my head, but they sure don’t get to nest in my hair.”
Not only Satan, but even people will try to talk you your stand of faith—don’t listen! Say, “I refuse to doubt or fear. I am standing on the truth, and the truth makes me free!”
For more ways to strengthen your faith, try these 3 Ways to Overcome Unbelief.
“Then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” –Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
Part of having faith for prayer that brings results is seeing yourself succeeding and taking possession of what you’re believing for. Does this mean you see in the natural? No.
It means you see it with your spiritual eyes. When you can really see it, not just in your mind, but deep down in your spirit, it has become a reality to you—as real as a natural manifestation.
That’s the kind of believing prayer that brings results in the natural.
Dr. Bill Winston said it this way: “God told Abraham, ‘As far as you can see, I’ll give you.’ Until you see it, you’re not entitled to it. Without revelation there is no restoration. You’ve got to see it to have it.”Part of seeing yourself succeeding is avoiding places, people and situations that talk failure. You can’t be around people who always talk about failing. It will eventually rub off on you.
Decide right now to succeed. Quit planning to fail. Don’t plan for a what-if. Plan for success, plan for victory, plan to receive everything you’re believing God for. Stretch your faith as far as it will go. “I can’t” should not be in your vocabulary.
Watch Gloria Copeland and Pastor George Pearsons, as they expand on this teaching about prayers that bring results.
Step No. 5: Testify That Your Prayer Is Answered
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” –Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)
This verse tells us we overcome the plots and plans of the enemy two ways: by the blood of Jesus and by the word of our testimony (speaking it out). Everything you need has been provided by the blood of Jesus, and as a born-again believer, those things are rightfully yours.
But, we do have an enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy our rights. Jesus already did His part in defeating him, and our part is simple—our words. You’ve taken a lot of steps to get to this point in achieving prayer that brings results. Don’t stop now!
When you testify to answered prayer, you achieve two things:
- You claim what is rightfully yours. You have the right to have anything the sacrifice of Jesus procured. When you testify to that right, it begins to take place in your life.
- Your testimony of faith will encourage others and help build their faith. That’s why Jesus told the man who had been demon-possessed to go home and tell his family everything the Lord had done for him (Mark 5:18-20).
Your testimony is a powerful tool in your prayer life.
Find out How to Meditate on the Word of God here.
Step No. 6: Get Involved Helping Someone Else
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” –Galatians 5:6 (NIV)
So far, we’ve learned that prayer that brings results is fueled by faith. And now, we see that faith works by love.
In other words, if we want our faith to be at a level that will bring results in our prayer life, we’ve got to express that faith through love to others.
Our faith is strengthened as we reach out to others.
So, if you’re standing and believing for something in prayer, get involved helping someone else. Tell someone else what Jesus has done for you. When you do, all your problems will seem to fold up and roll away.
True prosperity is the ability to use the power of God to meet the needs of mankind in every realm of life—spirit, soul, body, financially and socially.
Step No. 7: Get on the Giving End“Give, and it will be given to you.” –Luke 6:38 (NIV)
If you want to be on the receiving end of prayer that brings results, start by getting in on the giving end.
What does that mean?
If you need healing, pray for someone else to be healed (James 5:16). The way you measure out is how it will be measured back. The Word says God is Love.
If you need your children to be more involved with God, go witness about salvation to someone else’s child.If you need more time, give what little you do have and ask God to redeem it for you—He’ll give it back in abundance. Walk in the light you have, and God will give you more.
Jesus said, “give and it will be given to you again.”
God is looking for someone He can use to become a channel of His blessings. The more He gives, the more you give. You can become a rich blessing of giving, not just receiving. If you’ll take the receiving end off your mind, and focus on giving, you’ll be in position for answered prayer.
In conclusion, when you determine to take these seven steps, your prayers will bring results every time. All you have to do is develop the kind of believing faith that receives all that Jesus did for you on the cross. You don’t have to struggle in your prayer closet anymore. Go boldly to the throne of grace!
How to Meditate on the Word of God
Meditate on the Word to Battle Stress
© 1997 – 2019 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
10 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 4
This is last part of a series (read parts 1, 2, and 3) born several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries.
Over time, I have noticed some common mistakes that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. I want to share those observations with you in an effort to help and to stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.
8. Lack of pastoral support
One sure thing that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry is a lack of pastoral support.
I have repeatedly heard this as a chief frustration of orphan ministry leaders who are struggling to keep going or by those struggling to begin a ministry in their church.
Many times, it’s not that pastors outright oppose it as much they marginalize it by their lack of enthusiasm or weak support. The question is why?
I have found three reasons that many pastors fail to give their enthusiastic support for orphan ministry:
One sure thing that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry is a lack of pastoral support.
- They think it will take away from the “more important” ministries of the church. Examples of these ministries include evangelism and discipleship. Recent research from the Barna Research Group indicates that just the opposite is true, at least for young adult Christians, when it comes to evangelism. They found that engaging in justice ministry tends to increase evangelism in born-again young adults.
- They don’t understand the gospel significance of caring for orphans. Too often, pastors see orphan care as a little something extra.They fail to see orphan care and other mercy ministries as natural good work that should flow a person who has been changed by the gospel (Matt. 25:31-46).
- They fear distraction from the church’s mission and dwindling of critical resources. Just the opposite is often the case, especially among younger Christians. Younger believers see giving and connection to mission differently than previous generations. They are less ly to give blindly to general church funds and pooled mission funds. They want to be part of the mission. They give to and work toward what they have a connection with. Orphans are people that the church can reach with purpose. It can give younger believers a way to be involved in the church’s mission financially and in presence. This involvement can translate to connection to the rest of the work of the church. The result is more connection and more passion for the gospel and the church’s work, not less.
I would caution you about two things at this point. Don’t expect your pastor to have the same passion for orphan ministry that you do. Secondly, don’t become a clanging symbol. You won’t nag your pastor into a greater vision for orphan care. Give him good facts and resources that will help inform about orphans, but most of all, pray for him. Trust God to give him a vision.
9. Poor connection to the church’s mission
For orphan ministry to be effective, it has to be connected to the overall mission and vision of the church. There are two important reasons why:
- The mission of the church isn’t alterable or debatable. Ultimately, the church’s mission is defined by Jesus, the head of the church. What we do in and through the church, we do under the rule and authority of Jesus because the church is his. The church’s mission is to make disciples, and orphan care is part of that mission. We can’t lose sight of either priority.
- Each church is set into a specific context. The time and place of its existence is part of what God uses to shape its unique vision. No two local churches will work to accomplish the mission of the universal church the same way. That means that no two churches can accomplish orphan ministry the same way. Not being sensitive to the culture inside and outside your church and accounting for the uniqueness will kill your church’s orphan ministry.
One final thing that will kill your orphan ministry is prayerlessness. The world’s orphan crisis is epic. According to UNICEF’s estimates, there are approximately 153 million orphans around the globe, but the number really fails to represent the crisis accurately.
This number represents children who have lost one parent to death, but it does not account for the scores of children abandoned by living parents, those living on the streets, those enslaved and trafficked, and those in countries (particularly Islamic) who fail to report orphan statistics.
In truth, the UNICEF number is a statistic that is meant to underscore the vulnerability of children to the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, not to account for what we would consider orphaned children.God has given the responsibility of orphan care to his people in order to display his character and salvation to the nations, but we have to acknowledge that the task is beyond us. We need something more than the resources at our disposal to address the problem.
Unfortunately, many churches make the mistake of focusing too intently on the tangible over the intangible. Instead of taking sufficient time to pray, they are drawn into the easy trap of working hard at solving problems for orphans without seeking God’s power, direction, and provision.
We can’t afford not to take time to pray.
Being prayerless in orphan care is “taking a knife to a gunfight.” It is a powerless, losing proposition. It aims too low. We will find ourselves meeting mere temporal needs with no lasting significance and no gospel impact if we fail to pray for God’s direction and provision constantly.
Prioritizing prayer seems oxymoronic to many, but it makes perfect sense. In elevating prayer, we acknowledge our helplessness and utter dependence upon God. Prayer is something tangible. It is communion with the Most High God. It is the most important work.
This Lifeline originally appeared here.