Pray Against the Effects of Poverty
We tend to think of Israel as “The Start Up Nation”, prosperous and free. But for many Israeli families the reality is much different.
Fully one in three Israeli children grow up in poverty. 469,400 families consisting of 1.8 million people were designated as under the poverty line in 2018. Some 841,000 of those people were children.
Think of the effects of that deprivation.
How even in the Holy Land a combination of a poor home and poor community can lead to a loss of good role models, a loss of hope and a loss of self worth.
The influences these children have in their formative years will affect them their whole lives.
Let us pray the remember the words of Hebrews 11:1,
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
And also that they remember God has a plan for them in the redemptive work he is doing in Israel in Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Pray for Healing in Their Families
Imagine what poverty does to a family. The duress of this terrible situation in their lives is unfathomable to many of us. So much financial stress and instability causes severe pain which affects day to day life.
Israeli parents under the poverty line are not there for lack of effort, they care about their children greatly but chronic unemployment takes its toll.
- Increased parental stress decreases the stability and guidance they offer their children
- Unfortunately teens are forced to parent themselves, finding ways to provide for their own emotional and material needs
- Grades and self worth fall as drug use, sexual activity and criminality rise
As families buckle under poverty, neighborhoods go with them. The “Ghettoization of Poverty” causes increased crime, decreased opportunities for good jobs and a generalized sense of hopelessness.
Here is what has been scientifically proven to fight this breakdown.
A commitment to family and shared religious values!
Let us pray, therefore, that the Jewish parents afflicted by poverty rally together with their children to maintain a strong sense of hope and commitment to prayer.
Pray for Their Mental Health
Can you possibly imagine a family struggling in poverty while rockets can drop and terrorist assaults can happen at any given moment?
While many families struggle to maintain a sense of stability and warmth, other families have buckled under the stress, leaving their children vulnerable.
According to the National Council for the Child,
“Neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse are the main causes why Israeli teens are experiencing mental health issues.”
These have added up to cause great torment among the children of Israel.
Sadly over the past decade, the attempted suicide rate among 14 year olds has increased 40%. That is 750 young people admitted to ER’s in a desperate attempt to save their lives!
Pray Against the Effects of COVID-19
This pandemic has made the effects of the above worse.
Parents lose their livelihoods, children lose the structure of the school and contact with their peers.
“New familial issues, including aggression, difficulties in the relationship between the child and parents, and the parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs, among other issues, were reported by 14.6% of youth in 2020, compared to 7.9% in 2018.”
“Instances of violence, negligence or sexual assault by their families have doubled, from 3.5% to 6%”
“Rates of anxiety, trouble sleeping and eating disorders have increased from 6.8% to 14.2%”
Pray for Their Schooling
As you can surmise all this has led to a real crisis among poor students. Educational issues among at risk kids doubled in 2020 from 6.7% to 12%.
As a result, this has led to,
- Conflict with classmates
- Chronic absences
- Uninvolvement in Studies
How can children without a good education escape poverty?
How can Israel remain strong if its people are uneducated?
How can we as Christians make a difference to make their lives better?