remember the poor

Day 13: Remember the Poor

13 May 2022

3.3 MINS


In all that we do, we must recognise our common humanity.


“They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor,
which was actually what I was eager to do.”
– Galatians 2:10


Paul writes these words after a description of the tensions that needed to be resolved about the focus of the mission he was engaged in. In this context, he is being examined by the ‘pillars in Jerusalem’ — the Church leaders. His preaching is examined and affirmed.

Yes, there were differences between Paul and the leaders in Jerusalem. No doubt these differences caused frustration and irritation for all. At the end of the debate, however, there was an expression of relationship and unity. There was a realisation that God was at work in their different approaches to the sharing of the Gospel.

The outcome was that Paul was confirmed in his ministry… with one stipulation. He was asked to remember the poor, and, in response, Paul indicated his joy (eagerness) to do this.

In any election, we are forced to make choices. We know that there are people of faith in the different political parties and that each is there trusting that God has placed them there for a reason. The partisan contrasts are made much of, and attacks become personal.

May we pray that, beyond the polarising differences and contrasting opinions, there can be relationships of warmth, respect and affirmation of the common humanity we share. Australia does not need entrenched division; we need to affirm our common humanity – the fact that we are all created in the image of God.

Remembering the poor is often uncomfortable. We may feel awkward when faced with the reality of another person’s needs. We have opinions about why one person is in need and another is not. We may be tempted to debate whether the poor are actually poor or not.

Such debates do not matter to Paul. It was the ‘one thing’ asked of him – to remember the poor. His response in some ways is surprising — ‘What I was already eager to do.’  It was at the core of Paul’s ministry.

How can we, as a nation, move forward and remember the poor together? In what we do and the decisions we make, how can we give the marginalised and those living in poverty our eager attention?

Beyond our partisan debates is the reality of people living with less: people trapped in poverty overseas due to war, natural disasters or dysfunctional governments. Others are trapped in cycles of dependency and addiction. Australia’s First Peoples are marginalised in terms of land, access to housing, employment and health care.

Let us with prayerfulness and with eagerness, vote in solidarity with the poor. There is a spiritual truth that Australia will be renewed to the extent that those in pain, poverty and suffering are healed and cared for.

We pray that, beyond this election, the incoming government will attend to the reality of those living in poverty and do so with joy.



Gracious God,

Your goodness and grace are with us in every moment and every day. You surround us all with so much and often we take this abundance for granted.

We confess our hesitation to remember those living in poverty and seek Your wisdom as to how we can remember those living in need in our daily life and decision-making.

We pray for justice for Australia’s First Peoples and for the healing of our nation. May we as a nation be known for our compassion and care for those who have less.

In Christ, we pray,


Author Bio

John Gilmore is the President of the National Council of Churches in Australia and a Reverend in the Churches of Christ. He is also the Executive Officer of Global Mission Partners, a Christian aid organisation that is committed to seeing lives changed around the world and local communities supported through relief and development, church partnerships, Australian Indigenous ministry and youth advocacy programmes.

21 Days Prayer Points

  1. Pray that God would rule over this election, that righteous leaders would be elected to govern this nation in truth and justice because, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.” Proverbs 29:2
  2. Pray God’s blessing upon all our current parliamentarians and leaders, including their families and all the candidates of all the parties standing for this federal election. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
  3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer and unity across the Body of Christ in Australia, that people will wake up to the dangers facing our nation and respond in prayer. Ephesians 5:14
  4. Pray for a Revival for Australia, Spiritual Awakening and Transformation for our nation, and the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16

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