Romans 12:12 (NLT)
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Prayer has a distinct relationship to all Christian duties and graces. It is not possible for us to carry out the holy commands of our Lord Jesus unless we are abundant in supplication. The Romans at the time that Paul wrote to them were subject to persecution, and in this verse he mentions two remedies for impatience under such afflictions, remedies which are equally effectual under all the trials of life. [C.H. Spurgeon]
In 1949, a Catholic priest known as Abbe Pierre, started the Emmaus Communities, now a ministry to homeless men and women across Europe. This unique ministry restores the dignity of homeless men and women, also called ministry "companions," by asking them to serve others.
It all started with Abbe Pierre's first companion in ministry, a homeless man named Georges. After Georges' release from prison, his family couldn't cope with his reappearance, so they told him to leave. Homeless, unemployed, and on the verge of suicide, Georges came to Pierre and asked for help. Much to Georges' surprise, Father Pierre asked Georges to help him instead. Father Pierre told Georges that he was overwhelmed with meeting the needs of homeless mothers and their children. So Pierre challenged Georges to turn his life around by serving the less fortunate.
Georges became the first "companion" for Emmaus, helping Father Pierre build shelters for the homeless mothers and their children. In the ensuing years, like Georges, every companion was invited to serve others as they received help. Initially, all the companions collected second-hand goods and prepared them for resale, thus earning the name "the rag pickers." Later in his life, Georges said, "Whatever else [Abbe Pierre] might have given me�money, home, somewhere to work�I'd have still tried to kill myself. What I was missing, and what he offered, was something to live for." These sentiments became the unofficial motto for Emmaus�give the poor a reason to live, not just things to live on.
In her book, The Gift of Thanks, Margaret Visser notes that this ministry restores dignity and breathes new life into the poor because "members [of the Emmaus community] turn to those who have nothing [the homeless]�and ask them to give." [Margaret Visser, The Gift of Thanks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), p. 373]
We are told to be patient when in trouble and to keep on praying for we can rejoice in our confidence and hope in The Lord. For The Lord will lead us and encourage us so that we may do the same for others.