January Prayer Verse & Devotional

Verse

Abundant food is in the fallow (uncultivated) ground of the poor (lacking resources), But [without protection] it is swept away by injustice.     Proverbs 13:23  (Amplified Version)

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Devotional

The Bible has a lot to say about the poor and what our God honoring responses to helping them should look like. 


“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,

and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17;


“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,

but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Proverbs 14:31;


“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35;


“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:10


These are but a small sample from God’s word to His children about our attitude and actions towards the poor among us.  I sat with Proverbs 13:23 asking what the Lord wanted me to understand.  Here are my thoughts: The poor could be thought of as those the world deems as having no value.  They don’t have position, money, power, privilege.  But the Lord says their fields or lives have abundant food, or abundant worth BUT injustice sweeps their worth away.

Refuge for Women  seeks to provide a community that is a safe, protected, loving place where each precious woman can pursue healing and rediscover their great worth given them by their Maker, Jesus that the injustices of a fallen world has continually swept away.

But this is only half of the story.  With regards to every person’s salvation, we are all poor and needy beggars, enslaved to sin.  Those who are successful by worldly standards are at greater risk of not realizing their poverty in relationship to God apart from Jesus. In Matthew 5:3, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.   When we understand more deeply our impoverished, helpless state and that Jesus has given us EVERYTHING at great cost to Himself by His mercy and grace and love, to satisfy God’s justice and bring us peace with God forever, how can we not, knowing our abundance in Jesus, want to rush to help the 'poor' among us, practically, personally and spiritually. 

One way of helping is to pray earnestly for the women and staff and ministry of Refuge for Women Chicago.  And when we pray, ask the Lord what He would have us do today to help the ‘poor’ (those the world does not value) among us.  May 2019 be a year when God’s people embrace helping the poor for the sake of the gospel and so bring honor and joy to our God and Maker.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, You have given to us Your precious Son, Jesus.  What more could You give?  Yet we ask that You would abundantly bless RFW-C in 2019, providing for all their needs.  Help each resident know their worth in Jesus.  Father, give us eyes to truly see the ‘poor’ (those the world does not value).  Father give us and Your church universal hearts to do Your will regarding the ‘poor’ and so bring glory to Your name and show the wonder of the gospel to a watching world.

In Jesus name, Amen.


Taken from our January Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking is a high-profit, low-risk business where human beings are sold again and again and again by those who view them as objects for profit.


How Much $ Does a Pimp Make?


According to Polaris Project, a pimp can make between $150,000 - 500,000 per girl.  Keep in mind that some pimps will have multiple girls under their control.  A former Refuge KY graduate was forced to bring in $4000 per day for her pimp.  So even with days off she was bringing in $300,000 a year for her trafficker.


If you'd like to learn more about trafficking and the women that we serve, here are just a few ideas you may want to consider:

Know the statistics:

  • 27 million are enslaved around the globe

  • 16,000 to 25,000 women and girls are affected annually in Chicago alone

  • Trafficking has been reported in all 50 US States

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Know the red flags:
Visit Polaris Project to learn the indicators of human trafficking.
To report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888
 
Books we recommend:
Choose one of these for your next book club.

  • Walking Prey by Holly Austin Smith

  • In Our Backyard by Nita Belles

  • The White Umbrella by Mary Frances Bowley

  • Nobody’s Girl by Barbara Amaya

  • Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd

  • Refuse To Do Nothing by Shayne Moore

Movies we recommend:
Host a movie night at your house and invite Refuge to come speak.

  • Nefarious

  • Chosen

  • 8 Days

Support the healing of women who have been trafficked:

  • Host a Refuge For Women House Party! Open your home, invite your friends, neighbors and coworkers, and provide dessert/coffee. Refuge will present the vision and direction for giving needed aftercare to exploited and trafficked women through presentation, video, special interest sign-up sheets, raffle prize, and Q and A. For more information contact Karen Schultz at karen.schultz@refugeforwomen.org

  • Share Our Video on your Facebook page and ask your friends to like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RFWChicago/

December Prayer Verse and Devotional

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Devotional

I love this Psalm! I love David’s burst of uncontained gratitude and overwhelming love for God. God then uses David's worship to begin to satisfy David's spiritual thirst that God gave him.  Can't out give God.

David begins his Spirit led worship, “Oh God,You are my God”.  It’s not redundant. David is declaring to God that He alone is David's God.  Anything we seek more than God is functionally our god because we are devoted to that more than the Living God. Like... Comfort, Security, Knowledge, Wealth, Power, Independence, Love of another, the list goes on.  Father, examine our hearts to see if our devotion is going to another.  We want to say to You, “You are my God!”

Have you ever been really thirsty?  I remember once after coming out of a surgery being so thirsty, I thought I would die.  My only focus, body and mind, was water.  I picture David declaring a thirst like this for God where his very body yearns desperately to have God satisfy his deep soul thirst with His living water.

While David may have been in a literal desert when he wrote these words, this deep thirst is clearly a spiritual thirst.  David declares the land to be dry and weary.  Seeking to have our soul’s thirst quenched by the things of this world renders every place we are in, dry and weary.  “I’ll feel happy once I…”: get promoted, get married, get divorced, have children, lose weight, get a new job, move to ______, get a new house, get a new car, get my bills paid, get well – you fill in the blank.  These things can of course all be good and we can take joy in them as good gifts from God but they were never meant to bring lasting soul satisfaction.  David and the Holy Spirit give us the secret.  Seek God earnestly or seek Him with all your heart.  Part of that seeking is to prayerfully examine our hearts together with God asking Him to show us anything in our lives that has become an inordinate love.  He is gracious and merciful to forgive and longs to satisfy our deep thirst with Himself.  He alone gives living water.

Next time our hearts burst with uncontainable love for God, let’s share our joy in the Lord with another spreading the joy like David did.  God makes us thirsty so that we seek Him, knowing that only in abiding relationship with Him will we be soul satisfied.  Thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for making us thirsty for You, for revealing Yourself to us in Your Word and creation and giving us Your Holy Spirit so that we might worship you in Spirit and Truth and be satisfied.  We were made for You.


Prayer

Our Father in heaven, we worship Your holy name.  Please give grace for each precious resident to be able to declare to You that You are their God.  Father make them thirsty for You.  May Your kingdom work be done in each of their lives.  Give each resident and each staff member eyes to see all that You are doing at Refuge for Women – Chicago this month.  We thank you Lord. 
In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.


Taken from our December Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here:  Refuge For Women - Chicago Prayer Requests