Praying for the Girl Child
09 April 2012
A CCTI prayer initiative for prayer for the girl child in crisis around the world.
Who Is She?
The term “girl child” describes a female child up to the age of 18. Usually the term carries with it negative images of discrimination and abusive treatment that are often prevalent in many developing countries. If they are allowed to be born, they stand the chance of death in infancy, either through murder, abuse, neglect or sickness. If they survive to the age of five, they face a life of servitude, submission, childbearing, brokenness, exploitation, violence, sexual abuse and discrimination. All of this takes place because they are female.
Culture. Many cultures believe that the girl child is inferior to the boy child. Because of this, she is more likely subject to drowning, aborting, and being denied the basic rights of childhood. Girls face and experience discrimination, sexual stereotypes, rejection, devaluation, and violence, often at the hands of the people whom the girl love and trust the most.
Abuse. Not only do girl children have less access to nutritious foods and health care, but they often undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), forced early marriage, and teenage pregnancy, which give rise to serious health consequences.
Neglect. Neglect is the greatest cause of sickness and death among girls between two and five years old worldwide.
Sexual Exploitation. Since their families are unable to care for them they are often forced into becoming soldier “wives,” temple “wives” or forced into prostitution and/or early marriages.
Education. Lack of education has a twofold consequence for the health of the girl child: her mother doesn’t know how to plan for adequate nutrition in the diet, and lack of sufficient knowledge prevents the girl child from obtaining a good job with an adequate salary to enable her to purchase nutritious food and raise her children.
(Phyllis Kilbourn, Shaping the Future: Girls and Our Destiny, Pasadena: William Carey Library, 4-5)
Nearly one out of every five girls who enroll in primary school in developing countries do not complete the basic primary education. (UNICEF)
Female mutilation is performed on 3 million girls in over 30 different countries, and is usually done between the ages of four and eight.
How to Pray for Her?
- That she would hear and understand how Jesus values and loves her. (Matthew 19:14-15)
- That she would be accepted and treasured within her culture as someone who has been created in God’s image. (Psalm 139:13-18)
- For her protection and loving care. (Psalm 5:11)
- That cultures will be transformed in their view of the girl child through the knowledge of God’s word. (Galatians 3:26-28)
- That she would feel that she belongs and is accepted within the family and/or community. (Ephesians 4:16)
- For adequate health care. (1 Timothy 6:17)
- For organizations to look after the rights of the girl child. (Lamentations 2:11-12, Psalm 18:16-19)
- That sexual exploitation and girl trafficking will stop. (Psalm 37)
- That she would experience restoration of her emotional losses (dignity and self-worth). (Psalm 6:2; 43:1-5, 80:3)
- For God to free her from any guilt and self-condemnation. (Hebrews 10:22, 10:39, Romans 6:16-18, Colossians 1:21-23)
Additional Resource: India’s Deadly Secret (ABC News)