Author: Lori Apon
Widows are found in almost every book of the Bible. Today, widows live in every community and corner of the world. These women left alone comprise an ever-growing demographic that is not to be ignored. Even though widows have different personalities, financial statuses, and challenges, their basic needs are the same.
June 3 is International Widow’s Day. This focus provides a great opportunity to stop and pray for widows in every country.
7 specific needs of widows around the world and how to pray:
Freedom from rejection
Lord, rejection is often part of the widow’s story. Either she was abandoned by her husband or her community of family and friends disappear leaving her alone. Please let her know that you have not forsaken her.
“I will never desert you, or will I ever forsake you.” -Hebrews 13:5
Deliverance from shame
Lord, many widows are blamed or feel blame for their husband’s death. Oh, what pain this must cause for these precious women. Shame wants to be the shroud for this widow. Perhaps her husband made a choice that allows for humiliation to knock on the door of her heart. Lead her to look to the truth in God’s word. Replace a spirit of shame with the truth of who she is in Christ. Thank you for taking the weight of our sin on the cross. Thank you for forgiveness. You promise that vengeance is yours. You will right every wrong. Please bring relief from the attacks of the enemy against this widow and her children. May she know the truth that will set her free.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” -Isaiah 61:1-3
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2
Lord, widows feel the great weight of providing for their families. You promise that if we put our trust in you, you will be faithful to meet our deepest needs. Please provide for the widows around the world today. Provision may come through a job that pays her bills. May this employment provide the added benefit of using skills and talents you have given her, as well as a new community and purpose for her days. Provision might come through your prompting of others to help with her financial needs. Provision may be for short term relief of responsibility through rest or time away. Please provide an opportunity for this retreat. If she needs fun for her family, provide for a vacation. For those widows living in poverty, may she discover that she is rich as she trusts in you for everything.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:19
Lord, widows need protection. You have shown throughout Scripture that you are able to protect the widow. Please protect her from emotional and physical abuse. Thank you for promising to be her defender (Psalm 68:5). Please bring an advocate to her side who can stand up for her. Thank you that you are always interceding for us and for the most vulnerable among us.
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” -Romans 8:33
“He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” -Hebrews 7:25
Comfort for needs of young and old widows
Lord, widows at any age and stage in life need to know that you are there. For the young widow, please comfort her as she surrenders dreams and disappointments. For the older widow, thank you for promising that the righteous will not want. We ask that you give her a special gift of wisdom as she navigates the road of grief. Bring the physical, emotional, and spiritual support she needs to make it to tomorrow.
“I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” -Psalm 37:25
Peace in place of fear
Lord, fear is often the widow’s closest companion. Every time you were about to do something new, drastic, powerful, or mysterious, you sent angels with the “do not be afraid” command. Please send warrior angels with this same admonition. Let her know that you will work everything out for good for those who love you. Protect her from the fear of failure, children who would turn from you, or the fear that life will always be sad and lonely. You make a home for the lonely (Psalm 68:6).
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” -John 14:27
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
Lord, throughout Scripture widows and fatherless are a picture to this world of our greatest need—knowing God as Father and having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Please do not let these widows be just one of the many in the land who did not know you as savior. We pray for their salvation. Draw each widow in the world to yourself. May they put their eternal hope in the blood of Jesus Christ.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:13