Pray for Widows

Abandoned. Lonely. Destitute. She waits … but for what? Not the children she raised to adulthood, who feel no obligation toward her. Not the community at large, to whom she is “socially dead.”1 To them, she is no one.

She is a widow.

Her heart still grieves the loss of her husband, but her body is forced to go on … or starve. She is weary—weary of being despised, of struggling to provide, of facing the future with no one on her side. Her community tells her she is worthless.

She believes them.

And she is just one of more than 258 million widows worldwide. 2

Join us this month as we pray for these precious women and those ministering to them.

1 Gorney, Cynthia, Kathryn Carlson, and Amy Toensing. “For widows, life after loss.” National Geographic. January 24, 2017.

2 “International Widows’ Day.” United Nations. Accessed March 5, 2024.

Pray for Provision

The United Nations estimates that nearly one in ten of the millions of widows worldwide are living in extreme poverty.3 For these women, finding food is a daily challenge. Elderly widows often have no right to a pension and no strength to work for their bread, forcing them to subsist on almost nothing.4 Young widows often have children to provide for—a difficult task for women who have typically not received enough education to get a good job.

Pray God will provide for the daily needs of widows in poverty, bringing them food to satisfy their hunger as He does for the birds of the field (see Matthew 6:26). Pray His provision will help them understand His love.

3 “International Widows’ Day.” United Nations. Accessed March 5, 2024.

4 “Explainer: What You Should Know About Widowhood.” UN Women. June 21, 2021.

Pray for Safety and Protection

In cultures where GFA missionaries work, women abandoned by their husbands are often treated as if they are widows. As a group, widows and abandoned women are some of the most vulnerable people on earth. Some are left at the mercy of family or community members who mistreat, shun and even abuse them physically or mentally.5 Some are entirely alone in the world, at risk from predators who would take advantage of them financially or sexually as they struggle to survive.6 All of them need the aid of the Defender of widows (see Psalm 68:5).

Pray God safeguards the women who are in these difficult situations. Ask Him to guide compassionate people to assist and protect them. Pray that these women come to know Him as their Defender.

5 “International Widows’ Day, 23 June.” United Nations. Accessed March 5, 2024.

6 “International Widows’ Day, 23 June.” United Nations. Accessed March 5, 2024.

Pray for the Church

In biblical accounts such as those of Ruth, the widow whose son Jesus raised to life, and the widows fed by the early Church, we see how God made a way for vulnerable women—comforting them, providing for them, giving them a place among His people and protecting them. In most cases, He uses His servants to show these women His love, instructing us to “plead for them” and “visit them in their trouble” (Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27).

GFA missionaries and local congregations seek to carry out these instructions by welcoming widows in Christ’s name, providing food and shelter and empowering these women to make a living.

Please pray God will provide the resources necessary for GFA missionaries and local congregations to care for the widows in their communities. Pray He gives them His heart for these women and blesses them as they minister. Pray also that as His people welcome widows, these precious women will know Christ’s heart and walk with Him.

Pray for Hope and Emotional Healing

For many widows, life is bleak. The struggle to survive often leads to anxiety over the future and hopelessness for anything better. These burdens are often in addition to the grief of losing—or, in some cases, being abandoned by—a spouse. The emotional scars run deep for these suffering women.

Pray God will send these women hope and they will know “the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in … the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79 NASB1995). Pray He will heal their hearts from the grief, loss, trauma and anxiety they’ve suffered.

Pray for Sisters of Compassion

Sisters of Compassion are women missionaries who have received specialized training in addition to their regular Bible college education, equipping them to serve the last and least of society, which includes widows. Often, these sisters seek out the widows in the communities they serve and are sometimes the only visitors these women receive. They help sick widows care for themselves and their homes, they listen and offer companionship, and they pray—doing everything they can to be the hands and feet of Christ to these suffering women.

Please pray God will fill these women with compassion, just as Christ had compassion on the bereaved widow he encountered in Luke 7:11-15. Pray God will give these sisters the grace they need to continue serving, even in sad and difficult situations. Pray also that through them, many women will come to trust the greatest Servant of all.

  Print these prayer requests out for your convenience.

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