Saturday, 24 November 2007

If your eye causes you to sin....

Prayer Day 13 of ""30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless" requires us to reflect on the way that women and even children are exploited, harmed and depersonalised by pornography. We might also reflect on how it leads the purchaser into a degrading addiction, and puts families at risk of a perverted set of values and desires.

Holy Lord, you created men and women to be companions for one another and to find delight in one another. I pray that you would recall us to our true status as loving partners and mutual supporters, and help us to defend our communities, our families and especially our children from the evil lusts that are formed and perpetuated by pornography.

I pray that your church, as the Bride of Christ, would take a lead in seeking to eliminate this evil trade. I pray for the lawmakers, who seek to eliminate pornography from the internet, that you would guide them with the gift of wisdom. I pray especially, Lord, for the law enforcement agencies as they seek to break paedophile rings. May they develop ever greater professionalism and skill. May they be successful in gaining convictions, and may they, their families and their communities be blessed and encouraged by their success.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Infertile couples and childless women

The title of Day 12 of "30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless" has so offended me that it has taken me some time to get round to this day's prayer. I have now retitled it entirely for this entry.

Lord, I pray that you would comfort and heal all couples who long for children, but who have not yet conceived. The stories of Hannah and Sarah teach us that, with you, anything is possible. Please bless these couples who have love in their hearts for their as-yet -unborn children. May they at last receive your greatest gift of new life.

Father, I also pray for all those women who have not had children because they have not yet found a life partner, and who enter their menopause with the sad realisation that they never will know the joy of motherhood. Surround them and affirm them with your love, Father, and lead them to the places and roles where they are able to rejoice in having a significant and honoured role in nurturing others who so need the love they have to give. May they also be affirmed and loved by your people, the Body of Christ on earth.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The Tamars of Today

Absalom was not just an ambitious son who couldn't wait for his father to hand the kingdom over to him. He was also a brother with a terrible wrong to avenge. The main part of Tamar's story is told in 2 Samuel 13, although the repercussions can be seen to spread like a stain over the following chapters also.

Father, I pray for all girls and women who find themselves in Tamar's situation. Be their shelter and comfort as they come under threat, Lord. Be healing streams for them as they seek to recover.

And Father, I pray with Absalom that justice will be done, and that those who have power and authority will protect and treasure these defenceless little ones, and cause them to lift up their heads again. May they know that the shame and the blame does not belong to them.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


On Day 10 of prayer for the voiceless, we are asked to pray for China. Because of its traditional preference for boy babies, combined with the single-child policy, China now has a gender imbalance that is thought to be the longest-lasting and the most severe in the world, with 120 boys for every 100 girls in 1996. This is due to selective abortion and female infanticide.

Lord, I bring China and her people before you and plead for them that you will help them to recognise what is happening in their society and appreciate the value and importance of bringing babies of both sexes into the world.

I pray for all human life to be welcomed with joy, cherished and respected, in China and across the world. Lord, may no baby be less than totally welcomed and rejoiced over on account of his or her sex.

A relevant web site for information is:

Monday, 5 November 2007

Female Labourers

The writers of "30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless" describe the lot of women who work too long, too hard and too much, especially in back-breaking manual labour. An example is the typical African peasant woman who works 16 hours daily, trudging long distances to find and carry firewood, animal fodder and water, growing and harvesting food, tending crops, cooking and caring for her family. This leaves little time to seek education and training which would enable her to break free from the cycle of low status and poverty.

The nurse who was linked to my church and went to Africa with a missionary society explained that the small children of these women are often too tired to eat by the time the evening meal is finally cooked and so are malnourished, thus adding another vicious twist to the downward spiral of poverty.

Almighty God, please in your majesty and might act to rescue the poor from those who are too strong for them - especially,Lord, show them ways in which they can help their families to walk free out of poverty.

I pray, Lord, that you would move the hearts of our political leaders to keep working to make such poverty history. Lord, if you want something new to start with me, please show me the part you have for me to play in your rescue plan.

Relevant web sites are:

Friday, 2 November 2007

Women in Purdah

Dear Lord, please give us understanding hearts and ears that listen, so that we may learn to see the reasons why some cultures want to wrap their women in purdah, and can debate with its proponents about the costs to women and to society when women are restricted in this way.

I pray Father that you would release every human being from any restriction or oppression that prevents him or her from enjoying a full, active and useful life, in which all their valuable potentialities can develop.

The challenge for today is to keep a log for 48 hours noting every time you leave home and what you did. Then to reflect how different your life would be if you were confined to your home.

For me the answer is:
  • going to work
  • visiting a friend
  • shopping (twice)
  • going to take part in Youth Church

Without the ability to go out, and to do so alone if necessary, I could not be economically independent. I could not contribute my time and talents to help people in need and to add my labour to the local economy. I would not be a taxpayer, so the nation would also be the poorer. I would be unable to make any friends at all ouside of my family circle, or if I did, I would find it very hard to maintain any meaningful contact and relationship with them. I would have to pay for food and other necessities to be delivered, and it would be hard for me to come by new ideas about what to buy and from where. I would not be able to be part of the church's ministry for young people.

On the other side of the coin, I have to admit that British men are generally respectful and egalitarian, and do not pester a woman just because they see her alone in a public place. I know this is not so in all cultures. Thank you God that the culture where I live is firmly on the side of equality and diversity.