I am so thankful, Father, for the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, who are providing hope, help, and a future to the hungry, homeless, and hopeless in Southeastern Idaho through the power and love of your Son, Jesus Christ.
In your mysterious providence, you have allowed a COVID-19 pandemic to bring about social isolation for all our residents. So many resources have been closed to them. For the past weeks, they have been cut off from Idaho Falls Probation and Parole, the Idaho Falls Public Library, the new possibilities of job hires, face to face interactions with some of their mental health counselors, and vital opportunities for permanent housing. Essentially, they have been quarantined, almost like jail, but not quite. It has been tough.
But we thank you, gracious Father, that none of them so far have been struck down with the coronavirus. Your mercies are new every morning! Great is your faithfulness!
I pray that during this time of social isolation these men and women will be drawn to you as the strong shelter in any storm. They have weathered many storms in their lives, but often done alone, clinging to destructive addictions. Wave after wave crashes over their heads where they feel like they are constantly on the ground and never able to get ahead of the pounding surf.
But God, guide them to you, the Lighthouse! Help them to see your light in the fearful darkness of the storm. No darkness can overcome your light, which pierces through the thick, murky depths of any despair or hopelessness. Save them, Lord, from their sin! Rescue the perishing! And then by your grace, give them the ability to navigate future storms in your peace and strength. I pray that they walk in your joy.
For the struggling in our community, I ask God that you would deliver them from their bondage to idolatrous addictions. Move men and women from the streets into safe shelter, and those in the safe shelter to good jobs, and those with good jobs into permanent homes. We desire them to be free, independent, and giving citizens in our city but totally dependent upon you every day, Lord God Almighty—their Creator and Redeemer.
Dear God, in every person we meet, “no matter how destitute” they are, may we see “enormous untapped capacity” in each one made in your image. May “we find it, be inspired by it, and build upon it.”
Dear God, I pray for the staff of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. Thank you for protecting them from the virus. Fill their cups to overflowing. Bless their spouses. Take care of their kids. Shower their families in your love. Provide for them in miraculous ways. As you took care of the children of Israel in the desert millennium ago, lead and guide the brothers and sisters of IFRM.
I thank you, God, for them. Give them wisdom as they follow Robert Lupton’s Oath for Compassionate Service as laid out in his book, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those Who They Help.
- Never do for the poor what they have (or could have) the capacity to do for themselves.
- Limit one-way giving to emergency situations.
- Strive to empower the poor through employment, lending, and investing, using grants sparingly to reinforce achievements.
- Subordinate self-interests to the needs of those being served.
- Listen closely to those you seek to help, especially to what is not being said—unspoken feelings may contain essential clues to effective service.
- Above all, do no harm.
Lord, I ask that you encourage all the IFRM staff as they balance your grace and truth. Be their shield and strong tower. They give so much and expect so little in return. Reward them with a double portion of your presence and power. Hear their prayers in tangible ways! Lift them upward and inward to your heart!
Dear God, I thank you so much for each one in Southeast Idaho who has partnered with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission by supplying financial and food donations. I thank you, God, for the local churches, Christ’s Bride, who have made IFRM as one of their very own arms extended to the needy. Unite us all together as one loving Body in this city.
I thank you for the army of volunteers who have helped in so many ways. When this coronavirus cloud passes over, please bring back to IFRM the volunteers to accomplish your good purposes in our city. Bring new ideas to our minds. Revamp old patterns and ruts. Revive the joy of volunteering in ministry for you. And for today, Lord, watch over them and their families. Keep them safe.
God, I thank you for our IFRM donors. I pray that they would rejoice over the outcomes, not just in the future of eternity but right now. Give them a vision of what our city would sadly look like if there was no Idaho Falls Rescue Mission in the downtown area. Show them the bountiful fruit abounding in men and women’s lives through their giving. Help us, Lord, to unite with their hearts as they exhibit big, open hands for the poor, the abused, and the addicted in our city. Help us to cheer on the things that you have placed upon their hearts. Strengthen our relationships with existing donors and give us new donors, Jehovah-Jireh! As Steve Thomas of Oneicity.com would joyfully, contagiously exclaim, “It’s all about relationships.” Help us, Lord, to meaningfully cherish the great gift of every relationship in this season of COVID-19.
And dear Lord, I ask that in your mercy, you could bring Jason Gray to Idaho Falls on Friday, May 22, for our IFRM Community Night of Worship. Being a month away, I do not know presently how all this might work; but I trust that you are in charge of every future week of our calendar in May. We worship you.
Expand your Kingdom in this river city through the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. To you alone be the glory.
In Jesus’ name,