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Matthew 25 Challenge: Prayer & Reflection

Matthew 25 Challenge: Prayer & Reflection

by World Vision on January 28, 2020
The implication of this passage from Matthew 25 is as revelatory for us as it was in Matthew’s day:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me. …
Whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:35-36, 40 (NIV)
God wants our lives to overflow with mercy, love, and compassion — the marks of His kingdom. As followers of Jesus, we have a choice: respond to unsettling realities in fear and withdraw, or follow Him in responding to the greatest needs of our day with love and hope. We know salvation doesn’t depend on works, but we also know that caring for those in need is evidence of a faith that changes lives.

Along with our donors and supporters, we’ve put that kind of faith to work. Thanks in part to their tireless generosity and commitment to action, poverty is retreating and on the run. Two decades ago, more than 30,000 children died from preventable causes each day. Now, that number is less than 15,000. That’s millions of children’s lives saved every year!

Still, the job isn’t finished. Poverty may be pulling back, but it’s holing up in some of the toughest places in the world — areas plagued by violence, corruption, and exploitation. That’s why now is the time to come together, inviting our brothers and sisters to the deep and profoundly fulfilling purpose of building God’s kingdom by serving the poor and oppressed as Jesus did. It won’t be easy, but by uniting as the body of Christ, we can help make fuller lives possible for children and families in need.

When we do, something incredible will happen. We’ll encounter a living God working through us to usher in His kingdom of love and justice on earth. To end exploitation. To restore lives. To empower communities. And in serving them, we’ll serve Him.

Reflecting on Matthew 25, pray with us for World Vision’s work around the world and learn more about how to engage your church to live out Jesus’ call in Matthew 25.

Pray for the hungry

In Matthew 25, Jesus calls us to feed those who are hungry. We’ve made great progress in overcoming hunger, but millions of children around the world still don’t get enough nutritious food to live healthy lives. Now is the time for us to come together as followers of Jesus, sustaining families for today and equipping them to put food on their own tables for tomorrow.

Pray for the thirsty

Water is essential to life. Here, Jesus, the source of Living Water, reminds us that we serve Him when we quench the physical thirst of those in need. With nearly 1,000 children still dying every day because of dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene, we’re working hard to solve the global water crisis in our lifetime. In fact, we’re bringing clean water to one new person every 10 seconds — and we’re committed to bringing it to everyone, everywhere we work by 2030.

Pray for refugees, disaster survivors

The Bible tells us that God loves those who are different from us — and wants us to care for them, too. Today, many of the “strangers” in greatest need are refugees and disaster survivors. Together, we can show them they’re not forgotten. From sending much-needed supplies to offering safe places in their own communities for kids who have survived trauma, let’s answer the invitation to treat “strangers” like neighbors.

Pray for families’ livelihoods

We’ve learned the best way to help people is to empower them to unleash their own drive and talents. That’s why we work to give some of the world’s poorest people the tools they need to start or build small businesses, save money, take responsibility, care for their communities — and break the cycle of poverty in their families for good.

Protecting children through prayer

With these words from Matthew 25, Jesus shows us that true faith doesn’t stay locked within the walls of a church. It reaches out to the hurting and the oppressed. And it cares for children, who are the most vulnerable of all. Together, let’s protect boys and girls from evils like child labor, trafficking, and exploitation — and live out a faith that’s bold enough to enter the hardest places.

Pray for children’s health

These powerful words from Jesus are an emphatic call to care for God’s children who are threatened by preventable disease. We’re beating back diseases like malaria and tuberculosis around the globe, but millions of children still suffer needlessly from illness and malnutrition. Join us in providing what children and families need to grow strong and healthy, and be a part of the Great Physician’s work.

Pray for children’s education

God created every child with potential, and education is the best way to nourish it as they grow up to build vibrant, fulfilling lives. There’s a whole host of obstacles that can stand in the way, but we’re coming together to remove those barriers — whether in families, communities, or educational systems — so every child can fill his or her mind and take hold of a world of opportunity. Because when the future is bright for children, it’s bright for everyone.

Pray for children’s faith

Regardless of how much we own, Jesus calls us to be poor — or humble — in spirit. In everything we do together, our work is driven by our shared desire for others to know God’s grace and experience the fullness of life He offers. Whether it’s giving children a solid foundation for their faith or supporting parents and churches, we do it out of thankfulness for Christ’s saving love and a desire to reflect His light to the world.

Pray for U.S. children and families in need

Desperate need can be found not just across the ocean, but also in our own neighborhoods. Nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. lives in poverty, and that’s why World Vision also works here at home. From helping families in distressed and underserved communities to responding to domestic disasters, let’s join together and answer Jesus’ call to love our closest neighbors.

Pray for women and girls

As Christians, we know God creates each person with equal worth, and He calls us to help the marginalized. In communities where all people aren’t afforded the same dignity, World Vision works to help overcome discriminatory beliefs and to end harmful practices like prenatal sex selection and gender-based violence. Together, we’re helping everyone see that all are made in the image of God.

Pray for children with disabilities

As followers of Jesus, we are called to seek out and care for the most vulnerable among us. More than 1 billion people around the world have some form of disability — many of them children. World Vision seeks to ensure children with disabilities have equal access to healthcare and educational opportunities, help children have a voice in community affairs, and sensitize parents and community leaders to help eliminate stigma toward children with disabilities. We believe every child deserves the chance to reach their God-given potential.

Learn more about how to engage your church to live out Jesus’ call in Matthew 25
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