Matthew 25: Prayer for economic empowerment

Thanks to World Vision’s training programs, Esther has more diverse options with which to support her family.

Parents everywhere are driven by a dream for their children’s lives to be better than their own. Economic empowerment is not an end in itself but a tangible expression of God’s love that radically improves the lives of children and families. Yet millions of people in the most impoverished parts of the world lack access to the knowledge, capital, markets, technology, and information they need to build thriving businesses. Join us in prayer for people to be economically empowered to lift their families out of poverty.

World Vision has learned the best way to help people is to empower them to unleash their own drive and talents. That’s why we work alongside some of the world’s most vulnerable people to equip them with the tools they need to start or build small businesses, save money, take responsibility, care for their communities — and break the cycle of poverty in their families for good.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.—Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

Inside a small one-room shop in a suburb of Kampala, Uganda, a young mother of one, Esther, leans over her sewing machine.

She’s part of a group of nearly 5,000 young people from low-income Kampala neighborhoods who have received skills training and entrepreneurial know-how through a World Vision livelihoods project. The trainings prepare them for formal employment or become successful businesspeople.

Esther, 21, says World Vision has helped her gain a sense of confidence to dream about building her own career and future.

“The biggest change in our lives is how we can now provide for our own and our families,” she says. “We now have our own personal savings … and enjoy earning through engaging in work we truly enjoy.”

Esther is one of thousands of young people who can now support her family and has discovered the power of her own ideas and voice.

Join us in prayer for hardworking families like Esther’s to break the cycle of poverty for good with the help of economic empowerment.

Pray for increased family livelihoods and economic empowerment.

When families’ livelihoods improve, they can break the cycle of poverty and sustainably pursue their family’s education, health, food security and nutrition, and shelter.

Great Counselor, bless families taking the risk of starting a business. Grant them wisdom in their decision-making. May their successes benefit their children and family and then overflow to the community.

“From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.” —Proverbs 12:14 (NIV)

Through World Vision, every 60 seconds, a family gets the tools to overcome poverty.
World Vision’s financial training helps people learn best practices for saving, borrowing, and repaying loans. (©2021 World Vision/photo by Frederick Ntiri)

Pray for families to manage their finances in a way that reflects the love of God.

It’s important for people to understand that they’re created in the image of God, have inherent value, and have the power to move from poverty to prosperity.

Loving Father, let Your presence shine in and through families’ finances. May learn to be good stewards of what You provide for them more and more every day.

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.” —Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

Pray for good weather so farmers can have healthy crops and animals.

The World Bank reports that globally, about 1 billion people work in the agricultural sector, which was about 28% of the population employed in 2018. Dry spells and floods destroy families’ crops, but poor weather conditions can also kill animals, another valuable source of food and income. Because the weather is unpredictable, World Vision teaches improved farming and livestock management techniques that help families be more resilient when hard times come.

Holy God, we see Your powerful control of the weather throughout the Word. Please provide the right amount of rain and sun for farmers’ crops and animals. Use World Vision staff and local leaders to help teach even more families how to overcome farm and livestock challenges so they can better provide for their families. Let each person in the family experience the joy of Your provision through a bountiful harvest.

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” —2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Over the lifetime of THRIVE, more than 71,000 smallholder farmers have been empowered to grow their businesses and care for their families.
Jose Luis once tried to migrate because economic prospects were so limited in his Honduras community. But he heard about new farming techniques being used in his village and returned. Now he’s prosperous and hiring other people to harvest for him. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Pray that hardworking farmers will become resilient, so they have plenty of food during lean seasons.

COVID-19 has not only had an impact on people’s physical health but also their economic situation.

About 97 million more people are living on less than $1.90 a day because of the pandemic, increasing the global poverty rate from 7.8% to 9.1%. Globally, three to four years of progress toward ending extreme poverty are estimated to have been lost.

World Vision’s community-led THRIVE model — Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments — addresses underlying causes of vulnerability for farmers, since the journey upward from extreme poverty to one of improved well-being is not without interruptions. Resilient families can withstand or recover quickly from droughts and other emergencies, adapting to a changing environment.

Merciful Provider, watch over farmers and their crops, especially during times of vulnerability. We pray for You to help farmers become economically empowered by learning and practicing effective farming and selling techniques, so they don’t experience loss or waste.

Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. —Proverbs 24:14 (NIV)

Pray that women will be equipped to start and grow their businesses.

Through microloans, savings groups, and training, World Vision is focused on especially teaching women around the world about best practices in operating small businesses, such as tailoring, mat weaving, or selling crops they grow. As women gain confidence and contribute to the family income, they are able to positively influence decision-making on important issues such as nutrition, children’s education, healthcare, and child marriage.

Alpha and Omega, thank You for generous donors who help equip women and men with training and microfinance support to start their own businesses. Bless these small business ventures so families can live healthier, more secure lives. Help women become voices for improvement in their families and communities. 

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” —Proverbs 31:17 (NIV)

Because of World Vision’s agricultural training, Joyce’s father has been able to grow healthy vegetables despite drought conditions.
Nine-year-old Joyce proudly displays some of the greens that her family grows in their garden. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Pray for World Vision to create more opportunities for economic empowerment.

World Vision’s fully integrated, proven approach to economic empowerment equips hardworking men and women to move from surviving to thriving. Ask God to continue to equip World Vision to provide the basics parents and caregivers need to provide for their families.

Almighty Lord, thank You for providing life-changing opportunities for families that struggle in extreme poverty. We pray for You to equip World Vision and its partners working in Your name to reach even more families, that they may be economically empowered. We ask that You help them to experience the fullness of life You intend for them.


“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” —Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)


Laura Reinhardt of World Vision’s U.S. staff and Fred Ouma of World Vision’s Uganda staff contributed to this article.

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