The Lord gives the word [of power], the women who bear and publish [the news] are a great host. (Psalm 68:11, AMPC).
As we look at our world today, those who suffer most are often women, children, and the poor. The statistics below indicate a few challenges women are currently facing worldwide:
- About one-third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
- Among internally displaced people, approximately 50% are women and girls.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, 44% of women have never attended school.
- In Latin America and the Caribbean, 25.7% of young people aged 15—29 do not benefit from the main pillars of social inclusion, the education system and the labour market, and the majority are women (67.9%).
Amidst all these challenges, women can hold on to the hope of the Lord’s promise that He has given His word of power to enable them to rise above their circumstances, to be bearers of hope and transformation.
Godly women as examples for us
Throughout the Bible, we read about God-fearing women who positively impacted and contributed to advancing the kingdom of God. Some of them accomplished this under difficult circumstances. A closer look at their lives brings us to the conclusion that they were willing to surrender to God’s Word and to act in obedience even to the point of death.
As we read the passages of the Old Testament we are encouraged by the lives of Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Hannah, Ruth, and many others.
In the New Testament, Jesus touched and transformed the lives of numerous women. He healed them, covered their shame, and intervened when they were about to be stoned. They faithfully followed Him while He was on earth. Women were present when Jesus was crucified, and they were the first at the tomb to witness and proclaim His resurrection.
In the book of Acts, we read about Lydia whom the apostle Paul met during his stay in Philippi. She responded to the truth and became one of the first converts in Philippi. She and her whole family were baptised.
Jesus changed women’s lives around to become part of the great host to proclaim the Good News of the gospel.
Research shows that women play a vital role in modern-day missions and were at the centre of spiritual awakenings in the past. Sojourner Truth was illiterate, and she asked people to read and re-read the Bible to her. Empowered by the Word of God and her own prayer life, she fearlessly campaigned for the equal dignity and rights of all human beings. Pandita Ramabai, a former Hindu, dedicated her life to advocating for the voiceless in India. Amy Carmichael, a missionary in India, cared for girls and infants rescued from sex trafficking. Women like them inspire us to follow Jesus with courage, passion and zeal.
Women, as the great host of the gospel, can look to the past and use it as a map to:
- Remain, women of prayer
- Be women of action
- To be courageous
Pray for women who are a great host
Let us look at the lives of women in the Bible as a guideline to pray for women today. Remember to include young and teenage girls in these prayers as well, as they too are bearers of the Good News of the gospel.
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. (Judges 4:4-5).
Pray for Christian women to remain connected to Jesus as the True Vine so they may flourish in their roles as wives and mothers, operate in their spiritual gifts and contribute to society through their vocation.
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:28-29).
Like the woman at the well, who left her waterpot behind, pray for women to leave their old ways behind and boldly share what Jesus has done for them.
…hear the word of the LORD, O women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbour a lamentation. (Jeremiah 9:20).
Pray for the wisdom of godly women to be passed on to the younger generation. Pray for women to give themselves to prayer, to have concern for the spiritual and moral condition of their land and people group.
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:28).
Praise God for His promise, the Spirit, which will be poured out on women. Pray for women to hunger and thirst for the indwelling of the Spirit in their lives.
…she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:39-42).
Pray that women who are too busy with works and serving will purposefully make time to sit at the feet of Jesus, simply to listen to His Word.
And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. (Luke 7:37-38,47).
Pray for women who feel overcome by their sin and the lies of the enemy, to come to Jesus. Pray for them to encounter His love and compassion tangibly.
- The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics | United Nations