By Toni Ford
A woman who often reads my column recently reached out to me for prayer. It seemed as life was bearing down on her, and she needed some extra encouragement and prayer. Before we prayed, I started by asking her questions about her own life, hearing some of her life story of where she had been and where she was today.
One of the things she mentioned was she is a wi-dow, due to the death of her husband a few years back, and her children do not currently live in the same town as her. So many times, this can make life a challenge, especially when you add health problems into the equation. Due to her circumstances, the woman questioned her significance and purpose in life. I was reminded immediately of the significance Jesus placed on widows in Scripture, which led me to researching all the places where widows are mentioned in the Bible.
For the widows who read my articles each week, I devoted this week’s column to you. It is my prayer that you would see how valuable and loved you are from the Father. Know that our Lord is not finished with you, but rather, there is great purpose for you on this earth. For those reading this column who are not widows, I would encourage you to continue reading while asking the Lord to open your eyes as He did mine to recognize the importance and responsibility we have to love, care, and pray for widows.
God mentions widows approximately 80 times in Scripture, which is evidence of His value and love for widows.
Psalm 68:5. “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” God is a defender of widows. He goes before you to defend you!
Deuteronomy 14:28-29. “At the end of every third year, bring the entire tithe of that year’s harvest and store it in the nearest town. Give it to the Levites, who will receive no allotment of land among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then, the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.” God made it clear that we are to give and help provide for the orphans and the widows. He will bless all our work, but only when we obey His command to care for the orphans and widows.
Psalm 146:9. “The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.” The Lord Himself is the protector for widows and orphans and the Lord brings confusion and frustration to the plans of the enemy against the widows and orphans.
Acts 9:39. “So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them.” The Lord has a purpose and plan for widows. Throughout Scripture they are seen as intercessors, sewing and making clothes for the apostles, and supporting them in their giving. We are never too old or too young to be serving the Lord!
I Timothy 5:3,5-7. “Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.” Here we read that both the church and widows have a responsibility before God to live and do according to His Word. As a church and as believers, we are to care for the widows. In turn, widows should seek the Lord and follow Him in what He is calling them to do, even if that means staying at home and praying for others.
Lord, it is obvious in Your Word how much you love the widow. It is also clear of our responsibility as believers to care for the widow. I pray today that you would be ever so near to each widow reading this column. May they sense Your presence wherever they are, and may they know that You are their defender and protector and that You do have a purpose for their life. Speak to them today and wrap Your arms of love and compassion around them each day. Thank You, Lord.
If you would like continued prayer, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!