Prayer focus: Children in poverty in the United States

Join us in praying for U.S. children living in poverty.

By Pat Curry
Published July 27, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

After Jesus was resurrected, He returned to His disciples to teach them further about the kingdom of God. He promised that they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses — first to their neighbors in Jerusalem, then to the surrounding region, and finally to the entire world.

The apostles’ initial ministry happened because they saw need among their neighbors.  

Likewise, World Vision cares for children living in poverty worldwide and here at home.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than one American child in five lives in poverty . Join us as we pray for U.S. children living in poverty, using these suggested prayer points.

Pray for homeless children

The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that in 2010 one U.S. child in 45 — a total of 1.6 million children — were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubling up with other families. The number of homeless children increased by 38 percent between 2007 and 2010. The report notes that homeless children are more likely than others to suffer from hunger, educational problems, stress, and illness. They’re also at risk for violence and abuse.

Ask God to surround them with His protection. 

Dear Lord, Your Word often talks about the needy finding safety. We pray today that children with no place to call home will be guided to places of peace and security.

Pray for children who don’t have enough to eat

In 2010, the National School Lunch Program provided meals to an average of 31.7 million children every school day, the USDA reports. Many poor children depend on those meals for the bulk of their nutrition. But what happens in the summer when school is out? Free summer meals are available to children and teens at summer meal sites nationwide — yet only approximately 2.3 million children  receive these free summer meals.

Ask God to make a way for all U.S. children who lack nutritious meals to receive the healthy food they need year-round.

Dear Lord, Scripture tells us so many times that those who believe in You are to be kind to the poor and make sure they have enough to eat. Don’t let us forget that command for even a minute.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents in more than 17 million households have difficulty providing enough food for their families. (Photo: Laura Reinhardt/World Vision)

Pray for single mothers

Raising children with two parents is challenging enough. Our nation’s single parents need an extra measure of grace to handle all the struggles they face alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for single-mother families  is triple the rate of the rest of the U.S. population. Only a third of single mothers receive child support.

Ask God to sustain single moms and dads with His strength and raise up godly people to minister to them. 

Dear Lord, You are an ever-present help in time of trouble. Be a source of hope and encouragement to single mothers and fathers. Let them see Your love in both word and deed from the Christ-followers in their lives.

Pray for teachers in low-income neighborhoods

Teachers at schools in low-income neighborhoods face a host of challenges that go far beyond spelling and math scores. Students may miss school because their family has been evicted or lack basic learning tools because their parents can’t afford school supplies. Through the Teacher Resource Center, World Vision provides new school supplies to educators who teach in low-income neighborhoods.

Ask God to provide our nation’s teachers with the resources and skills they need to equip all children for a bright future.

Dear Lord, You know how important teaching is and how challenging it can be. As our children head back to their classrooms, renew teachers in their passion to help students enjoy the adventure of learning. Give educators creative ideas and resources to solve their most challenging situations.

Pray for World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Program

The Youth Empowerment Program equips local organizations to mentor, train, and encourage at-risk youth to identify and lead positive change in their own lives and in communities across the United States. Participating youth learn to identify important issues in their communities, such as youth violence and school dropout rates; research and propose policy recommendations to public officials; and lead positive change right where they live.

Ask God to bless the work of these dedicated youth and community organizations.

Dear Lord, You created each young person, and You have a plan for each life. Strengthen those who give their time and talents to help young people discover and live the abundant life You came to provide.

Other ways to help

Sign up to receive monthly Hope Prayer Team emails. By joining World Vision’s Hope Prayer Team, you will receive a monthly email that includes news from around the world, guided prayer points for urgent requests, and links to other ways you can care for children in need

Make a one-time donation to help feed a U.S. family in need for three days. Your gift will help deliver nutritious meals like oatmeal, lentil soup or pasta, and a bean and rice casserole to American families who struggle with hunger.

Give monthly to support children in need in the United States. Your monthly contribution will help provide U.S. children living in poverty with essentials like food, warm clothing, school supplies, academic mentoring, training, and more.