Lenten Prayer and Fasting, Week One: God is Listening


Will you pray and fast with us this Lent? Each week, we will be posting a short devotional, prayer requests, and a recipe for a simple dish similar to what our children eat.

Here's how you can join us: Choose a day to give up a fancy meal and fast by preparing the recipe at the bottom of this page. Spend time that night lifting up the prayer requests for the week. If God leads you to make a gift as well, you can do so here

This week’s devotion comes from Jeff Davis, our senior director of administration and operations. Jeff is also a pastor at newlife church in Poulsbo, Washington.  
Have you ever been around a child who is trying to get her parent’s attention? Have you ever been that parent, whose child will try anything to get you to pay attention to her? If they're anything like my children, it’s a relentless pursuit until they finally have my attention.  

                                           Jeff and his daughter Grace, one of his three children.
I wish I could say that I’m the parent who always gives my undivided attention to my children. That’s not always the case, though. I get distracted. There seem to be other things that compete for my attention. I’ve missed some great opportunities to connect with my children because other responsibilities are pulling for my focus.
It’s not that way with our Heavenly Father. Scripture is quite clear that God never sleeps, and is fully engaged in His creation. We don’t have to work to gain His attention or to wonder if He wants to connect.
As you’re spending some time in prayer today, don’t forget God is listening. As you lift up our children, you are doing the work that God has asked us to do. As James, the brother of Jesus, tells us, pure and genuine religion involves caring for orphans and widows.  
As you pray today, lift up the specific care and attention the children we serve need. Ask God as you’re praying what action He would have you take to complement the prayer you pray today. God asks each of us to grow in our compassion. I heard someone say this week, "You can give without grace, but once you’ve fully experienced grace, you can’t help but give."
What would God have you give today? Whether it's time, a kind word, or a financial gift, take the time to give it.

Prayer Requests for This Week:

From Uganda:
Praise God for our first few weeks of secondary school at our ministry site! Please pray for our teachers and students as they settle into this new school year, and for our first-ever secondary school classes. Pray that the school would honor God and offer high-quality education. 

                                    The new multipurpose hall where our secondary school meets. 
From Malawi:
Pray for God’s healing hand on our children who have malaria. 
Please pray for a good growing season in Malawi, so the families in the villages we serve can have a good harvest to feed their children. 
From Sierra Leone:
Pray for an end to the Ebola outbreak. Cases have decreased in the last few weeks. Pray for this trend to continue. 
Pray for the Ebola orphans who will be entering our care in the next few weeks. Pray that our staff will be able to provide them with the spiritual and emotional care they need after living through such trauma. Pray that God would use the time they are with us to reveal Himself to them. 
From the Dominican Republic:
A team from Quest Baptist Church is serving this week in the Dominican Republic. Pray for them as they are meeting our staff and children, and getting a glimpse of what we do. Pray that God would grab their hearts and mobilize them to continued partnership with us!
From Haiti:
Please pray for one of our children, Steven, who is recovering from a case of pneumonia. 

This Week’s Recipe: 

Add some Caribbean flavor to your rice and beans this week.Check out this quick recipe for Coconut Rice with Black Beans.