February Prayer Verse & Devotional

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Verse

“Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,

for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)


Devotional

The fourth commandment given by God to Moses is to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, set apart unto the Lord.  God then gives His reasoning. For in six days He labored and made the earth and everything in it and on the seventh day He rested and blessed the day.  God didn't rest because He was tired, He rested because He was satisfied. He had pronounced all that He had made as being "very good". In the gospels Jesus explains to the Pharisees that the Sabbath was made for man and not man made for the Sabbath when they complain about His disciples picking grain heads to eat.  Jesus goes on to say that the Son of Man was Lord of the Sabbath.


Sabbaths are all about rest but not just resting from work.  Sabbath rest is also about finding our inner rest, our satisfaction in the Lord.  Rest from our constant striving to be someone of worth in the worlds eyes, and understanding and believing we are already of great worth because we belong to Jesus and He thought we were worth dying for.  This kind of rest is rest for our souls and its not just for Sundays. We are to live in this rest. The Lord of Rest (Sabbath) invites us in the above verse, to Rest in Him. When we live in the realization that our true and perfect identity is the one He gives us - Accepted, Beloved, Forgiven, Reconciled Child of God, we can truly rest from striving, satisfied in Him. Jesus is our perfect Rest.


We learn from Jesus' example to continually rest in the Father's care trusting Him completely even when things from an earthly perspective look out of control (the cross). Not my will but Thy will be done.  Finding our identity (yolk) in Christ is easy because He did all the work, He paid the price for our sins and gives us our identity as accepted child in Him by grace. Our light burden is to simply love Him back, because He first loved us.  Jesus we praise You for being our Rest. Help us to live in that rest and remember daily your invitation to rest in You.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, From Creation You wanted us to find our Rest in You.  We were made to rest in You. Father we pray that every precious women You, by Your providence bring to RFW-C would find their value and worth, their Rest in You.  Father help each one to be drawn by Your love for them, to lay down their burdens at the foot of the cross. May Jesus be their Rest.

In Jesus name we ask Father, Amen.

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


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/