One of a few defining moments in my life happened when I was 21. I was in the Philippines, in the mountain city of Baguio, and the mission team I was with was scheduled to do an evangelism crusade in Manila, 160 miles away, in just a few days. The crusade was a primary reason we came to the Southeast Asian country, to share Jesus and our faith with children living in the slums of metro Manila.
However, a typhoon threatened everything.
A strong typhoon was hitting the island and there were warnings of mudslides and roads being washed out. The Lord impressed upon my spirit that we couldn’t let the weather halt His purposes, so we gathered, prayed and held a 24-hour prayer vigil as the storm pressed in. We prayed with youthful fervor, and we asked God to keep the roads open and move the storm away from Baguio.
Whenever I visit the poorest areas of the world, I will often ask the people we visit how I can pray for them. Their prayers seem simple, but deeply moving:
“Pray I will have enough food this month for my children.”
“Pray my cough gets better so I can work tomorrow.”
“Pray that I can fix my roof so it doesn’t leak,” “that my crops would grow,” “that I can go to college,” “that God would not forget me.”
The prayer requests of the poor are sincere and basic. And be assured God hears them. Psalm 102:17 says He will respond to the prayer of the destitute and He will not reject their pleas.
He hears our prayers too. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. After our 24-hour prayer vigil was over, the storm had passed.
And while the roads to Manila were not blocked, other roads in the area were washed out. I believe God answered our prayers then, and He continues to faithfully respond to our pleas and petitions.
Praying for the poor of the world can be a bit of an unknown for many of us living in wealthier countries. Sometimes we aren’t really sure how to pray. So Bright Hope created the Extreme Poverty Prayer Guide to help give you a starting point for powerfully praying for the poor. There are seven short prayer requests and corresponding Scripture verses. Whether you use it once ,or once a week for the year, it could be the prayer that is answered for someone in great need.
You can get your free copy of the prayer guide here.