As a part of Prayer Week, on Wednesday, we will pray for the Poor and Vulnerable in Manchester
While there is much to celebrate about Manchester, what is, unfortunately, and undeniably, true is the existence of great poverty and scarcity. In 2011, Manchester was named the Capital of Child Poverty. More than a twentieth of the city was listed in the top 1% of the most deprived areas in England. Suburbs such as Gorton, Wythenshawe and nine other Greater Manchester constituencies were identified in the top 30 poorest constituencies in the country. Manchester has much to celebrate. But that does not mean that poverty is not rife.
Similarly, homelessness is also a major issue of the Greater Manchester area. As of January 2017, there had been 189 people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester, up 41% from 2016. Of those 189, 78 are in Manchester, up from 70 the previous year. Since 2010, numbers have gradually risen year-on-year, and have now quadrupled in the Greater Manchester region.
As Christians, we are called to pray for, help and support the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. So that is what we want to do. On Wednesday of Prayer Week, we want to pray for the poor and the vulnerable, in Manchester, in England, and for those around the world. We want to see the poor lifted out of poverty; we want to see the rich embrace generosity. We want to see people be open-handed with their money, their time and their resources, to help those more disadvantaged, and for God’s Kingdom to move.
Here are some things to be praying for today:
Oasis Centre – Victoria Armstrong runs the Oasis Centre based in Gorton, helping some of the poorest in Manchester. We want to pray for God to move within that organisation as they help people get back on their feet, train them to prepare for work and provide them with the opportunity to find housing and a support network in their local community.
A Cold Winter – Winter is the hardest time of the year for the homeless. It is bitterly cold at night, the rain soaks everything and illness and other health problems can run riot as a result. We want to pray that God can supernaturally break into what can often seem like a hopeless situation, that He provides shelter and food and support to those who need it most, and that the organisations and charities are able to have a real impact within the homeless community.
Social Action – Please pray that God inspires people to work with organisations and charities to help the last, the least and the lost. Pray for fundraising efforts, for time and energy to be given to those who need it, and for an influx of willing and skilled volunteers throughout the year.
Written by:Andy Dowdeswell