Standing in the Gap — no.4a
— prayer for children accused of being witches.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10 (ESV)
impactS of Covid–19 on the belief systems of those who perpetrate harmful practices.
This, our fourth “Standing in the Gap” prayer campaign, comes amid severe restrictions due to the impact of the novel coronavirus Covid–19. The pandemic has disrupted the life of every child and family around the world. Not only is this an unprecedented public health emergency, but it is also proving a major stress to our societies and economies.
For many of us this is proving a significant challenge. But in communities where there is a prevalence of accusations of witchcraft against children, the impact has been extremely negative.
- Health: many children living on the streets (who’ve fled from abuse, been thrown out, abandoned, or stigmatised by accusations) do not have easy access to washing facilities, even clean water and soap, let alone sanitiser and face masks.
- Nutrition: access to food is an enormous challenge for children and families in marginal environments where normal supply and distribution have been severely disrupted.
- Shelter: physical distancing is often impractical or impossible in locations where children seek refuge. Access to temporary accommodation in charitable shelters may be restricted.
- Psycho–social: in many communities, children find themselves being blamed as having caused coronavirus, or accused of having bewitched people with it. Coronavirus becomes another reason to stigmatise children.
All these issues affecting children continue to be of great concern and sadness to us during these times.
Lord, we need your guidance… please show us how.
We are steadfast in our prayers for families and neighbourhoods that live in fear:
- We pray that those who are vulnerable and cannot protect themselves would find the provision they need.
- We pray that those who seek to harm children during this pandemic would be educated and enlightened.
- We pray for wisdom and accountability for faith leaders seeking to serve their communities.
- And we pray that many will find hope and strength through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us pray…
Lord God, please use us and our work to reach those who need our help, and to change hearts and minds about this issue at this time of global crisis.
Lord God, please increase our understanding of harmful belief systems, and provide insight into the right strategies and resources to enable us to carry out the work you have called us to do, in order to safeguard many more children and young people across the globe.
Lord God, please be a light to our path as we seek to do your will. We need your guidance, please show us how we can support this vital work and bring about positive change.
It is all for your glory, Lord God. Amen.