A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5
Picture the desert of Beersheba. Under a bush is a dying boy. He cries because his throat is burning with thirst; he cries because his father has sent him away from home; and he cries because his mother is sitting at a distance no wanting to see when he dies.
The boy cries… In heaven the Father to the fatherless and the defender of widows hears his cry and sends an angel with a message of hope to the mother. “Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there” (Genesis 21:17).
Then God opens her eyes and she sees a well of water. God not only gives them water in the desert, but also the promise that he will be with them. Hagar, the Egyptian handmaiden despised by her mistress Sara, and Ishmael, the child conceived because Abraham and Sarah did not wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would give them a child, have been sent away from home, because now rules the Child of Promise.
It’s a complicated story; but we see the mercy of God for a “widowed” woman and a “fatherless” boy. God also made Ishmael into a great nation, because he was Abraham’s son. But it was from the descendants of Isaac that our Savior came.
For sure it was distressing for Abraham to send Ishmael away; but Sarah did not want Ishmael to inherit along with her son Isaac.
And God told Abraham to listen to Sarah. The patriarch had taken matters into his own hands to fulfill God’s promise that he would be the father a great nation, and that he would bless all the nations of the earth. Ishmael lost his father, but years later must have returned home because the Bible states that when Abraham died he was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael (Genesis 25:7-9).
Ishmael wept bitterly in the desert. His father had abandoned him. But the Father of fathers, the heavenly Father, did not abandon him. God protected this child and made him a great nation. It wasn’t Ishmael’s fault that he was in a desperate situation in the desert. He was the product of bad decisions.
Today, many children suffer because of bad decisions their parents have made. What can we do to remedy this? Maybe we can’t “remedy”; but we can ease the pain.
Pray is something we all can do.
I have my Bible in a long list of people for whom I pray, people loved by our heavenly Father but generally despised by society. Many do not know what a happy home is. I’ll give you the list so that you too can pray. Maybe God will put on your heart to do something special for some of these people, very loved by our Father, though they do not know it or will not admit it.
Pray for these:
Children nobody prays for
Children abused by loved ones
Children who are molested
Children who are victims of incest
Children and youth from broken homes
Children in foster care
Parents who have lost custody
Parents whose children have died
Grandparents raising grandchildren
Victims of divorce
Lesbians | Homosexuals
Victims of abortion
Potential suicide victims
Families in unsafe neighborhoods
People with emotional problems
People in nursing homes
Anybody considered “unlovely”
This is an initial list. Make it according to the needs you see in your environment. Prayer is powerful. Through prayer we can see changes in families, communities and nations. With healthy and strong families there will be a strong and prosperous nation.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Psalm 33:12
Print this page: A Prayer List
Cut the page in half to have two lists. Fold the cut sheet; on one side you have my suggestions and on the back you can make your own prayer list.
May God help us to look beyond our own front door, to all the suffering and anguish that surrounds us, so that we can extend Christ’s compassion to the needy! The Father to the fatherless, the Defender of widows is working in the world through the hands and feet of his caring children. Prayerfully ask what you can do as an extended arm of his love.