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Where Needed Most5 min read


How to pray for the world’s tough issues

Kelsey Campbell
Mar 14, 2020

These days it seems like the world is spinning out of control. There’s a lot of pain, fear, and evil. But just because there are struggles doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to make a difference. It just means we should be praying even harder and more fervently.

But besides praying for God’s will to be done, how are we supposed to pray for some of the hardest situations that plague our world?

Below are some of the fiercest challenges facing people today and how you can pray for each issue.

Christian persecution

It’s interesting that persecuted Christians in countries like Iraq, North Korea, and Nigeria don’t always pray that their persecution will end. They just pray for strength, endurance, and that they’ll receive Bibles so they can draw comfort from God’s Word.

And you can pray for them in the same ways, as well.

As Christians, we know we’re going to face trials. We’re guaranteed it, actually (2 Timothy 2:13). So, when you’re praying for persecuted believers, pray that God will give them peace and strength during hard times.

Pray that they will finally receive access to Bibles even though they’re rare in most persecuted countries. And pray that Christians will be brave enough to share their faith and their Bibles with family and friends.

And don’t just pray for the Christians — pray for those who are hurting them, too. Through your prayers, their abusers may eventually turn to Jesus.

Global hunger

Every year, around 3.1 million children die from hunger. That’s more than the entire population of Chicago. Knowing that fact can feel pretty overwhelming. But our God still performs miracles. And maybe He’s calling you to act and pray for people who are starving to death.

Pray for countries suffering from droughts and famines. In countries like Guatemala located in the dry corridor, El Niño has wreaked havoc for over a decade — causing difficult crop conditions. And Guatemala is just one country that is suffering. Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia also face challenges growing food.

Please pray for families who are struggling to survive without access to nutritious meals. Pray that God will bless their areas with rain. Pray for parents who are forced to watch their children go hungry. And pray that people will be moved with compassion to send food and help before time runs out for starving boys and girls around the world.


Violence and natural disasters can make our world feel like it’s being ripped apart at the seams. But you’re still in control of how you respond to threats of war, the refugee crisis, earthquakes, and hurricanes. You can still pray.

When you see a headline about bombings in places like Syria, pray for the victims who’ve lost their homes and belongings. Pray that any injured people will find inexpensive medical care. And pray for the salvation of those who are hurting innocent people.

Also continue to pray for the families who have been displaced. Every day they must relive the trauma while struggling to survive in a refugee camp.

When stories about a natural disaster like wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, or earthquakes dominate the news, pray that emergency aid will arrive quickly. And even months or years later, remember victims like those who are still trying to rebuild following Hurricane Dorian. Don’t forget about them. Continue to pray.

Sexual slavery

In places like the red-light district of Thailand and in the Banchara community of India, girls feel forced to provide for their families any way possible — even by entering the sex industry.

No girl chooses this way of life because she wants to. She feels like she has no other option.

Girls who come from poverty often have no education, so they have few other job opportunities. Since women in these cultures are typically the breadwinners, these girls feel obligated to sell their bodies in order to provide for their families.

But by praying, you can help break this vicious cycle of sexual slavery. Pray for girls who feel the need to leave school in order to find work. Pray that parents will no longer pressure their daughters into entering the industry.

Pray for the customers, that they’ll be convicted and will stop abusing girls. And pray for the owners of the bars in the red-light district who profit from this abuse.

* * *

The weight of the world’s problems may seem like a burden too heavy to bear. But, as we lift up these concerns in prayer, we’re ultimately casting these cares at the feet of Jesus. And we know He will help deliver people from their suffering.

So, will you dedicate yourself to praying for tough subjects starting today? Our world can’t get any better without God’s help. And now is the perfect time to intercede for those who are suffering.

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