Prayer For Foreign Domestic Workers (26 May)
Sing: The Servant King
Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Search your heart and pray as the Spirit leads
O great God of highest heavens, You Who is most worthy of praise and exaltations would send Your beloved Son Jesus to seek and save the lost. He came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Such a king no one can expect! Such a God no one can fathom. Who would think that a great God would come for ones such as us! How great is Your love, O Lord! Father when we think of what true service is, it is humility that often comes to the forefront of our minds. Humility is even more glaring when one comes from so high to be so low. No one can be higher than You, Lord. But Jesus, You took on the nature of a servant. It’s one thing to serve but yet another to become so obedient to the point of death and that on a cross! Lord, forgive us. We fail to grasp the extent of Your sacrifice and love. Help us see what You see in us. Help us see each person with the love of the Lord.
Thank You, Father, for the over 1 million international, migrant, foreign domestic workers who are in our midst. Singapore grew with new migrants to what it is now. The internationals in our country also play a key role in keeping our economy going and growing. So many of them have left familiar cultures and customs to come to our mosaic nation with much sacrifice. Many of them work very hard and long hours in difficult conditions…a majority outdoors and some indoors too. Separated from their loved ones, with limited resources, perhaps without a faith in our great God, they may be feeling even more fearful and helpless. What makes it even more painful is if they work under unsympathetic, abusive or demanding employers. Lord, please protect them regardless of the dynamics and relationships. Please create an awakening that both sides, the employers and the employees, need to work with one another for better understanding, and out of integrity, kindness and compassion. Shield both sides from being greedy, selfish and difficult. Create bridges to help them see from the other perspective.
Lord, many Singapore homes have dual-income home earners who juggle with being busy in the office and with care-giving for their parents and the young children. Our intense pace of life often means stretching ourselves to keep things all going well and smoothly. For those who are able to afford it, extra help is often engaged in hiring foreign domestic workers. They come from all around Singapore like Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China, and elsewhere. Many foreign domestic workers came in hopes of finding gainful employment for the betterment of their own families. Likewise, they were hired for the betterment of our families. In that sense, help both sides create a climate of trust, respect and care for the other’s good. New persons, new situations, new dynamics and other matters can cause some turbulence in the families until everyone gets to know each other better. Stability in each home will take awhile to calibrate, to settle into a new norm. Remove doubts and suspicions on both the part of the employers and the employees but rather guide them to set up healthy and reasonable boundaries in work and living arrangements. Help Christian employers to see potential opportunities to point them to Jesus. Help them also be good witnesses as employers. Not everyone is blessed to have great rapport so easily. For some, it is more strenuous and tiresome as the foreign domestic workers have a different frame of mind, lack of educational opportunities and limited exposure. Thus, let the employers with gentleness, patiently coach and use creative ways of communication, and grant the domestic workers leeway to learn from their mistakes. Over time, may the working arrangements become clearer and the relationships deepen in rapport. So let mercy, grace and trust abound, dear Lord!
Thank You, Lord, that You have blessed us with so much! To many who see our comforts, convenience and cares, we are wealthy. We have little lack. Thanks to good financial management, investments and stability, we have come a long way, and in comparison to many around the world, we have so much more. We repent and seek Your forgiveness for we have allowed some of our migrant or domestic foreign workers to go hungry. How can we allow those who do manual labour to not have essential basic nutrients at their expense for our own gain? Holy Spirit, convict us where we have neglected, ignored or turned a blind eye to their basic needs. We have caused undue suffering in mistreating them. We have created fear instead of faith, even if not in You Lord, but in the good of mankind. It is painful and horrifying that some foreign domestic workers are treated as disposables and replaceables. Free us from exploiting one another for selfish purposes. While good help is hard to find, good employers are also not easy to locate. Father, let Your children rise above the low standards of the world and be as Christ to these workers. Grant that all efforts are given to look into the welfare and wellbeing of these workers so that even their families overseas will have peace of mind.
These Circuit Breaker days make it very challenging for all to be under one roof as a family, let alone for foreign domestic workers who may feel that they don’t belong, or need a break, or need someone who hears their cries and woes. Many foreign domestic workers need their own social network…either via the various social platforms or in their gatherings on their off days. Father, we know that for them to be cooped up indoors, they need boundaries for work and needed rest. Please protect their days and nights for good rest. Please help them to keep the peace too and not feel isolated or restricted. Grant that their employers will not request unreasonable help from them as we know some who have to work day and night to help with aging parents. They, too, need their sleep to be alert and attentive. They, too, can experience burnout. Please comfort them with the comfort that only You can give. Meet them in their dreams as they sleep at night. Speak words of hope and healing to them to soothe their fears for themselves and their loved ones. Help them understand that to stay indoors is also for their own good and to go out only for essential services. Protect their families overseas as they will be grieved too when anyone is suffering or hurting. The jobless situation is prevalent all around the world and so without an income, getting basic needs also can add to the stress as we hear of many pawning their jewelry and selling off their belongings. O Lord, help! Covid-19 has created a tornado to spin life out of the norm. We will need to repair, rebuild and restore our economy and lives. Lord, while we endure these uncertain days, and as we go about our daily affairs, grant that all employers and employees, whether at home, in the marketplace or in church, will exercise a posture as such: In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty, and in all things, charity to the glory and honour of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!