Day 20 — Extreme Poverty
#DETOX is designed to prioritize God in the new year as we allow him to cleanse and renew our souls (Psalm 51:10). Together, we are committing to 21 days of prayer and fasting so that we might come into greater alignment with God’s will, purposes and plans believing and trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact and change in our lives, our church and our world.
Over the course of our #DETOX journey, we will have a daily prayer focus that will help guide and unify us as a community in prayer as we seek God's heart together on a variety of topics. You can find an overview of our daily prayer focus topics here. The following post is meant to serve as a reminder and inspiration on what and how you might pray on today's prayer focus, but should not limit how God leads you in praying. Be sure to follow along daily at our #DETOX Daily Blog here.
Prayer Focus: Extreme Poverty
In the book of Luke we see that Jesus begins his ministry in an extended time of prayer and fasting in the wilderness. Luke 4:14 explains that Jesus returned and reintegrated into society “in the power of the Spirit.” One of the first sermons he gives includes a reading and claiming fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah 61:1.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Many theologians claim that the references made in Luke 4:18-19 are merely spiritual, simply proclaiming that with Jesus’s presence comes good news, freedom, sight, and favor in a solely spiritual sense. What’s interesting though, is that as Jesus continues his ministry it becomes increasingly evident that he’s concerned with fulfilling both spiritual AND physical needs. Jesus feeds the 5,000 (and 4,000), he heals a myriad of folks who are ill (and even deceased), and becomes angered to extent of throwing furniture around when he sees socio-economic injustice present in places of worship! One could list SO many more instances where we see Jesus fulfill the Luke 4 prophecy in tangible ways, but hopefully you get the picture.
It also becomes clear that Jesus is not content with loving the marginalized from a distance by “sending thoughts and prayers” from afar. Jesus always began with prayer — but it always led to action, as on a daily basis he personally engaged with and empowered those society deemed impoverished both spiritually and tangibly.
As you pray today, ask that Jesus would give you eyes to see the poor, oppressed, and marginalized as he did (and does).
Ask that you would be equipped this year “in the power of the Spirit,” so that your actions may come from a place of knowing His grace and humility.
And lastly, ask God to reveal what tangible next step you can take to engage with those in extreme poverty, up close and personal as Jesus did.