Carers Week takes place from 8-14 June.
“There is an estimated 9 million carers in the UK, many looking after a friend or loved one who has a physical or mental disability, or just someone who needs that additional support as they get older. 3 in 5 people will become a carer at some point in their lives and yet, for many, this role is one that goes without recognition or reward.” It was estimated in 2013 that nearly a quarter of a million children are involved in caring for a family member.
“Research released for Carers Week 2019 (10th – 16th June) also reveals unpaid carers feel what they do in life is significantly less worthwhile compared with the rest of the population, with those struggling financially over a third are less likely to feel that the things they do in their life are worthwhile. This is despite the vital support carers provide their loved ones and their enormous contribution to society”. Not having enough time, or money, to participate in leisure activities, as well as the stigma of being a carer, means one in three unpaid carers (35 per cent) are always or often lonely, compared with just one in twenty (five per cent) of the general population”
Take a moment to think about the carers you know, or know of, in your church family, circle of friends, in your community, among work colleagues. How might we care and pray?
Care – if someone is in a caring role, they may not have someone to look out for them and can feel isolated and lonely. Think of ways you could encourage – a regular email, letter, phone call, a bunch of flowers, or an offer to help with something practical, lending a book/magazine etc.
Pray – for carers in your church/every church to be noticed and affirmed as are other ‘frontline workers’ ; pray for resources for Christian carers to be equipped in their faith journey when they may not be able to attend regular church events (even on zoom!); pray for them to be strengthened and equipped by the Holy Spirit as they love and care; pray for them to have friends who can understand; encourage them to be part of a prayer duo/prayer triplet on a regular basis.
And for those we know/know of in a caring role who do not yet know Jesus, pray for ways to share your spiritual story and offer to pray for them in their situations.
Jane Holloway is the National Prayer Director for the World Prayer Centre.
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