Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. –Proverbs 31:8
Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. – Hebrews 13:3
Diane and I had the great blessing of traveling during a 3 month sabbatical in 2013. It was a much-needed and greatly-appreciated time of refreshment and enrichment. Part of that time was spent in a retreat B&B that catered to pastors and missionaries. For a three week period of time when we were not able to gather with others in public worship. A week later we were in St. Paul Cathedral in London.
At noon each day there, the priest offers a simple two minute prayer. They ask that everyone respect that time of prayer – regardless of their personal religious persuasion or lack thereof. On the day we were there the priest introduced the prayer time, indicating that we would be praying for widows and orphans and those in prison. He then led us in praying the Lord’s Prayer. It was the most meaningful experience of praying the Lord’s prayer that I can recall; so refreshing to be part of a public worship experience.
Praying for widows, orphans and those in prison made an impression on me as well. It’s not often that I would remember any specific prayer that was not directly in response to a national disaster or dramatically obvious need. Surely, however, widows, orphans, and those in prison have needs obvious to themselves and their life situation. These vulnerable folks so obviously need God’s protection and provision.
The passage from Proverbs is often used (rightly) to speak in behalf in the unborn. Certainly they have no voice; they cannot speak for themselves. Certainly we need to speak up for them. Sadly, however, many women have been forced into such decisions, and have also had no voice in the matter due to intimidation or the deception of the world.
Jesus came for those who could never speak in their own defense before God. He saved the helpless, and turned away the powerful. Christmas is traditionally a time when people become generous with those in need. Who needs your support, defense, or advocacy today? Such is our calling in Jesus.