Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the category “Prayer pointers”

WUW Prayer Pointers

As you gather and deliver your clothing for Warm Up Winter, here are some things to keep praying for…

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That we would freshly see vulnerable people the way that Christ sees them – as image bearers of God. 

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

The clothes people give often reveal how they see vulnerable people. Ask that God reveals any prejudices or wrong thinking you might have about vulnerable people. Pray that we would see all people as image bearers of God and treat others with dignity.

We would more deeply understand what it means to be stewards of our things – not owners. 

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” When we more deeply understand the sacrifice Christ made for us, and when we more fully grasp His deep love for us, it becomes easier to give with gratitude. Ask God to keep deepening your understanding of the sacrifice He made for you. Ask God to give you some new revelation about the stewardship of your life for His glory.

Ask God what role you play in His redemption and restoration plans for vulnerable people in our city. 

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

We want to be the kind of people that are constantly hearing from and responding obediently to God. In the Bible, it is clear that God has a special concern for vulnerable people. Ask God to reveal his heart for vulnerable people in our city. Ask him to show you how to respond, not just once a year, but every day in the way you steward your influence, time, money, relationships, choices and things.

Ask God to give you a fresh revelation of His grace towards you. 

2 Corinthians 8: 1 – 3 says, “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.”

The churches of Macedonia gave in response to God’s grace – because they understood and loved the God they served. When you understand grace, circumstances take a back seat. Your giving is not determined by your debt-to-income ratios, financial indexes, leading economic indicators, or tax code. No – your giving is motivated by God’s grace!

Thank you for journeying with us this year! We’d love to hear your thoughts about this year’s Warm Up Winter campaign. Email us photos and reflections to info@commongood.org.za. If you missed any of our WUW blog posts you can read them here. FB_profile pic

 

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Pray as We Respond to God’s Mission

This month’s newsletter looks at how we reconcile evangelism and social justice. Join us as we pray for greater wisdom and guidance as we respond to God’s mission of redeeming and restoring people spiritually and physically. By Lindsay Sherring

Photo Credit: Raymond Larose via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Raymond Larose via Compfight cc

Did you know that you are part of God’s big mission?  Yes, you!  It may be difficult to comprehend that God in His infinite wisdom has picked you to carry out His mission to the world, but He has.  You might be asking, “What exactly does that mean?”  God’s mission is so multi-faceted, but at the core He calls us to share His incredible goodness to those around us.  This not only includes sharing His word through evangelism, but also meeting people’s economic and social needs through service.  The two go hand-in-hand!

As Christ-followers, God has given us great motivation to carry out His mission – He gave His only son so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be reconciled with Him forever. It is out of this place of gratefulness that we should carry out His mission.  How exciting it is to be part of His work!

This month, please pray:

  • That you have a deeper revelation of God’s goodness and love

It can be easy to slip into carrying out God’s mission out of a place of obligation or guilt, but that’s not what God wants from us.  Our motivation should come from our realisation of God’s goodness and from an understanding of the weight of what He’s done for us. Pray that your actions come out of a place of revelation and understanding, not of guilt.

  • That you show God’s goodness to everyone

When God asks us to show His goodness to people, He doesn’t mean only the vulnerable.  We are to proclaim His goodness to anyone and everyone that comes across our path.  As you go through this month, pray that your eyes would be opened to the needs of those around you in the many situations that you encounter.

  • That the church as a whole would understand God’s heart

It can be easy to forget that the church doesn’t have a mission, the mission has a church.  Ultimately, the body of Christ is to carry out God’s heart, not any specific agenda.  His desire is that we incorporate evangelism and social justice as we carry out His mission.  Pray that the hearts of individuals and leaders would be tuned to God’s heart and His mission for their lives.

  • That we participate in God’s mission

Reading about God’s mission and doing something about it are two different things. If we become a people who are all talk and no action, our message of Christ’s love loses all credibility. Pray that you feel convicted to courageously carry out the mission of God.  Ask God what this looks like in your own life and then seek to live accordingly.

Praying for Discernment

This month’s newsletter looks at how we can discern the will of God in our daily lives. Join us as we pray for greater discernment as we respond to those around us. By Lindsay Sherring

As Christ-followers, we are called to respond to the needs of those around us, but this requires great discernment in order to know what the best response is for that person or situation. We need discernment not just in dealing with vulnerable people, but in dealing with our own personal life decisions as well. Should I give this person money? Should I drive them to a shelter? Should I take this job? Or marry this person? The decisions we need to make are endless.

We all want to make the right choice, but how do we respond to people amidst the busyness of our daily life? Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut formula to helping those in need around us. But we do serve an all-powerful and all-knowing God so our first response should always be to seek Him. It all comes down to God desiring us to be closer to Him and His will. As we walk closely with God, His whispers and desires become evident and our decisions begin to fall in line with His will.

This month, please pray…

  • That God’s desires and wisdom would become clear to you

It may sound simple, but asking God to place His desires on your heart is a great starting point to understanding His will. If we are not constantly seeking Him, it becomes harder to discern just what He wants for our lives. Ask God to give you wisdom and discernment to make the right choices.

  • That the fear of making a wrong decision won’t hinder action

There are many ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways of helping others and sometimes the fear of ‘doing justice incorrectly’ can overcome our desire to help and we end up not doing anything. Remember, God can restore and redeem any situation even if you think you’ve done the wrong thing. This doesn’t give us permission to flippantly ‘do justice’, rather it is a comfort to know that God has the ability to correct our mistakes and use them for His glory.

  • That we would be open to hear God speak in different ways

God can speak through His word, the people around you, industry professionals, articles you read, etc. We must take all of these messages and use our best judgement when faced with a situation that requires our action. It is important to remember that although there are various sources of information and ways to help those in need, God will never ask you to do something out of line with His word. Ask God to give you discernment to hear his voice through all of it.

  • That you seek and find the third way

Discernment is about finding the third way in many situations. A person may be asking you for money, you may want to drive them to the shelter, but what they really need is prayer. Don’t become so wrapped up in your own dos and don’ts of reaching out that you forget to listen to God’s promptings. Ask God to reveal people’s true needs so that you can respond appropriately in a Christ-like way.

– Lindsay is a member of the Common Ground Bosch PM congregation and is the fundraising coordinator at Common Good.

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