Before we launch into learning about and praying for this week’s nonprofit, I wanted to share with you all what a tremendous blessing each of these visits have been for me. I have come away each week profoundly impacted by the heart of the staff and employees of those ministries to do what God has called them to do and by the work of grace that God is doing through them. Two weeks ago, when we visited The Lovelady Center, our prayer time ended just as their Friday morning devotion time was beginning. They started off by singing along to a recording of “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave. Most of us from the prayer time were on a sort of balcony, looking down into the main meeting area, and so we could see all of these ladies who have come from very hard places singing their hearts out to that song. It was an incredible moment I won’t soon forget. That, my friends, is the power of the Gospel on display!
Today we will be praying for WorkFaith Birmingham, founded by Keith Stanley in September of 2013. WorkFaith Birmingham is a Christ-centered initiative designed to help churches join together to address urgent physical and spiritual poverty in the urban areas of Birmingham.
Vision: To create a city where all people can utilize their God-given capabilities to provide for themselves, their families, and others in need while living a life of integrity.
Mission: Helping adults in transition develop confidence and life skills to become employable.
Specialty: They specialize in helping adults in transition develop confidence and life skills to become employable – essentially helping them build a new life of work and faith. There are 4 basic keys to their process:
- Equip the unemployed to get/keep a job.
- Develop a biblical work ethic/worldview.
- Connect them with potential employers.
- Develop support systems for long-term growth and health.
In 2014, WorkFaith Birmingham graduated 67 students. 58 of those graduated are now employed, which is an 87% success rate!
Eph. 2:8-10 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Dear Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that You have a plan for each one of us. You created us for a purpose, and Job 42:2 says that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. We praise You because You are the Sovereign Lord who has ordained all of our steps. Thank You for the gift of salvation, for creating us in Christ Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for also gifting us talents and spiritual gifts to enable us to fulfill the calling You have for each of us.
Lord, this generation and this culture has largely been deceived into thinking that work is a bad thing. We have all sorts of things we’re encouraged to pursue in order to escape work. Yet, even before the Fall, when Creation was unblemished by sin, You gave Adam and Eve work to do. So work isn’t a burden, it’s a privilege. That truth, however, is getting lost. Lord God, we pray that You would open the eyes of the hearts of people to the truth that work is a privilege and a blessing to be enjoyed. Others want a job, but lack skills, knowledge, education, and other hindrances, and so we thank You, Lord, for raising up an organization like WorkFaith Birmingham to not only address those hindrances, but also to teach them the truth about Your design for work.
We pray for each person who comes into their program to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ – to know the One who rescued them while they were yet His enemies. We pray that You would use this ministry to instill in them a biblical view of work, and to overcome the challenges that have been holding them back. We pray, Lord God, that You would break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness off of individuals and families, and even off of whole neighborhoods and communities. Establish these men and women on the path You have ordained for them.
We also pray for Keith Stanley and the leadership team and staff for WorkFaith Birmingham. Help them continue to walk in humility and grace towards every individual and situation they face. We pray for wisdom and discernment for them as they walk with their clients and make decisions on behalf of the ministry. We pray that You would also equip them with more finances, more volunteers. Lord, it was such an encouragement to me the first time Eph. 2:10 clicked for me, and to realize that I don’t have to scramble to figure out what I’m supposed to do for the Lord, because You had already chosen the works You wanted me to do. I pray that the staff and volunteers would be reminded that You have already ordained not only their “good works”, but also the good works of each person who comes into their program. Give them creative ideas, solutions, and resources to fulfill all that You have planned for this organization. Meet their every need as only You can, Lord. Amen.
Thank you for joining us for our prayer journey for the non-profits in our city and surrounding areas. Feel free to leave a comment with your own prayers, Scripture passage, or ideas/questions. God promises to hear and answer us when we pray together! Praise the Lord!