Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prayer for the New Year

Fireworks to bring in the new year (Sydney, Australia)

Lord, as we embrace the New Year, may we turn our hearts toward you. All around the world, people are considering resolutions, fresh starts, new ideas. Heavenly Father, may your children seek you more intimately this year, more faithfully, more concertedly. May we strive to walk in the abundant life you have for us (John 10:10), embrace the grace you lavish on us (Ephesians 1:4-6, 2 Corinthians 12:9), and both discern and pursue the purposes you intend for us (1 Peter 4:10-11, Jeremiah 29:11). Please humble, forgive, guide, and draw us close to you this year. Teach us to number our days, that we present to you hearts of wisdom (Psalm 90:12). In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Prayer for Oaxaca
Lord, thank you for the HOPE found in Jesus. Today we pray for the people of Mexico’s poorest state: Oaxaca. Lord, we pray against the plagues that often accompany poverty: violence against women, inequality, mistreatment of children, corruption, unemployment, low literacy. We pray for Oaxacans to find hope in Jesus, and to have hope for their future. May they not be bound by poverty, but find the faith and grit to provide for and love each other, to implement ideas for business and art. May Christians reach out to their neighbors and coworkers. We pray for the work of Fuentes Libres as they not only provide microloans to women beginning businesses, but as they try to create the hopeful environment that motivates and frees those hindered by their circumstances. We pray in Jesus’ powerful name, amen. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Prayer for miners

Guo Xulei/Xinhua via AP
Lord, thank you that 11 workers have been rescued from the mine that collapsed in the eastern province of Shandong, China. We pray for the 18 workers who remain trapped. Give rescuers efficiency, perseverance and success as they continue their efforts. Hold back the continued hail of rocks in the destroyed mine shaft, so those at risk can be rescued soon and without injury. Lord, we pray for miners around the world. With the ever-present threat of cave-ins, gas explosions, fires, chemical leakage, electrocution and more, miners face danger daily as they seek to provide for their families and bring natural resources to the surface. Regularly convict their employers of the need for safety and conscientiousness. Help the miners to stay alert and exercise diligence. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen. 

Prayer for Anna Erickson

Martha Erickson at her daughter's hospital bedside
Lord, our hearts break as we think of Anna Erickson today. Life can change in a moment. Lord, you saw little Anna fall and hit her head in Nairobi on Christmas Day. You watched her normally healthy body’s reaction to the head trauma. You were with her in that pain. Now beautiful, vibrant, joyful Anna fights for her life. Thank you that the doctors were able to remove the blood clot. Now we pray for a miracle, Lord. We plead with you to restore activity to her brain stem. We ask for total healing. We ask for protection and support for her entire family as they keep vigil. Thank you for those rallying around the Ericksons in prayer and encouragement around the world. We enter that prayer circle, joining our hearts in faith and trust, asking you to restore Anna to her family. And we treasure our loved ones, holding them close, realizing we can never take them for granted. In Jesus’ trustworthy name we pray, amen.

Healthy Anna

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Prayer for those affected by the Paraguay River flooding

Photo by Juan Andrés Del Puerto González

Lord, thank you for our homes. They are usually safe, secure places. We pray for the 70,000 Paraguayans who evacuated their homes as the Paraguay River rose to nearly 24 feet today. We pray for those living in the low-lying slums, whose homes may not be there when they return. We pray all evacuees will experience the hospitality of friend and stranger alike as they seek refuge. Please provide peace, provide for their very practical needs, and cause the real meaning of Christmas to shine in the tent communities springing up in this emergency. May we keep our eyes open to those in need as we celebrate this joyous season. In the name of the Christ-child we pray, amen.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Prayer for women suffering from obstetric fistulas

Lord, today we pray for the hundreds of thousands of women in developing countries suffering from obstetric fistula [learn more here:]. We ask that you heal them not only from their great physical trauma, but also from the deep emotional trauma stemming from both the injury and the loss of their babies. Lord, help communities stop ostracizing these women and, instead, to reach out with compassion. May someone share with these women their intrinsic value as your precious children. Bless the work of the Worldwide Fistula Fund and others who provide medical care and healing for these women. And may many people learn of these organizations’ work so donors will provide funds for the surgeries that will help these broken women return to a more normal life. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Prayer for the Salvation Army’s efforts

Lord, thank you for the work of the Salvation Army around the world. Before human trafficking became a well-discussed topic, you were already using the Salvation Army to help victims for more than 100 years. Thank you for their work with not only human trafficking victims, but their social work, disaster response, addiction dependency programs, sports ministry and so much more. Please bless these ministry efforts! At this time of year we particularly ask you to bless the bell ringers around the world as they help raise funds for the poor in their communities. Motivate us to give generously to brighten the Christmas season for those in need. And may the Gospel be spread through the Salvation Army’s massive, worldwide ministry. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prayer for Operation Christmas Child deliveries

Volunteers praying together as shoeboxes are sent on their way.

Lord, as Operation Christmas Child boxes are delivered around the world, we ask your richest blessing on the entire process. Please protect and guide those traveling to deliver the boxes, and may your love emanate through them. May each box provide joy to its recipient. May children’s longings be fulfilled as they receive items even “better” than they imagined. May some children even receive the items they dreamed they would never have, yet always wanted. Please use this joyful experience to reach deep places in these children’s hearts, so they will sense your love and care for them and be drawn to know you more, including through “The Greatest Journey” discipleship course. May thousands of children come to know you through the program this year, and please bless the givers who reached out to children in this way. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Prayer for people in hospitals at Christmastime

Today, Lord, we pray for people facing the prospect of spending Christmas in the hospital. We pray for parents watching their children slowly slip away (and vice versa), despite Christmas pictures taped to the wall and carols playing in the background. We pray for friends and strangers alike to remember the single people and families confined to hospital beds and facing hospital menus instead of family feasts. Send angels to administer comfort. Send disciples clothed in hospital garb to share words of peace. Fill these patients and their loved ones with the HOPE found in the Christ child. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Prayer in the aftermath of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s earthquake

Lord, today we pray for Afghanistan and Pakistan as they deal with the aftermath of Monday’s earthquake. Most of all, they grieve hundreds of lost lives, including 12 school girls crushed as they tried to evacuate their school building. They have homes and buildings to rebuild, messes to clean up, rescue efforts underway. Give them strength and hope in the midst of these monumental tasks. Send help their way. Be among them. Lord, we know this earth tends toward decay. We long for the day when it will be made new. In the meantime, we think of promises like Isaiah 54:10: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” Despite this recent disaster, may the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan experience this divine love and peace. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Prayer surrounding the San Bernardino aftermath
Lord, our concern for the situation in San Bernardino, California, continues. We grieve the loss of life and the many injured. We are saddened that a misdirected religious conviction would compel a man to kill his own coworkers. We are disturbed to see a marriage focused on violence and destruction. In the midst of this, we praise you for your goodness even as we struggle with the senseless act of violence. We ask for truth to be revealed. We pray that neither the desire for political correctness nor the fear of the unknown would corrupt people’s judgment, emotions and words. We ask for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing for those involved in the shooting—the wounded, first responders, investigators and more. Please glorify yourself in this painful situation. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray, amen. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Prayer for Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram
Lord, today we pray for Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram. Thank you that their intelligence agency recently apprehended nine of these extremists. May they celebrate this accomplishment and use it as further motivation in the fight against terror. Lord, we do pray against the work of Boko Haram. Their evil beliefs and actions are atrocious and grievous. We pray for the thousands of girls and women who have been kidnapped by, raped and forcibly married to Boko Haram fighters. Please protect their minds, so they do not assimilate into Boko Haram’s violent culture. Please minimize the damage to their bodies and souls. Please bring them to safety soon. May their government not give up hope and continue to rescue as many as possible. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Prayer for Food for the Hungry and Renovare staff
Heavenly Father, today we pray for the 2000+ Food for the Hungry staff members who are working strategically to end poverty. Thank you for their tireless ministry to the poorest of the poor. Bless their efforts to provide food, but also to empower the impoverished to develop their own food and resources. Bless their efforts to give those in need dignity and a sense of who they can be in Christ. Lord, we also thank you for the ministry of Renovare, which is providing spiritual formation resources for the FH staff. May the encouragement, development and resources they provide better equip FH staff as they continually live and serve in sad, hard situations. May both FH and Renovare staff members develop rich inner lives, sustained by your Spirit through your Word and prayer. May they be spiritually fruitful and multiply. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Prayer for HIV-positive children in South Asia
Lord, today we pray for the HIV-positive children in South Asia. These children suffer not only from lack of medication that would prolong and improve their lives, but are also neglected by family members and medical workers who are afraid to touch them. Lord, please spread accurate information in this part of the world so caregivers learn that HIV cannot be spread by casual touch. Compel families to keep and care for these children, rather than abandon them. Inspire local leaders to include these children in educational opportunities. And, Lord, bless One HIV Children’s Home. Help the 30+ children who live there experience love, provision, safety and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they receive care. Provide for the home’s needs, and inspire others to create additional homes for these vulnerable children. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Prayer for impoverished Cambodia
Today we pray for Cambodia, one of the poorest nations in the world. Lord, rally your people to provide access to clean drinking water and education for Cambodian children. Bless the efforts of organizations helping provide food and agricultural projects. We pray especially for the projects with long-term vision for empowering the Cambodian people. Thank you for John Coale and Greta Van Susteren’s efforts to help the specific villages of Yeay Ort and Chouk Chey, which were dangerously short on food and employment due to drought. May these villages thrive with their new irrigation system and mushroom spore business. Protect them and other poor villages from the hovering sex traffickers who would gladly take their children. Finally, Father, we ask for the spread of the Gospel in this mostly unreached nation. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Prayer about tensions between Turkey and Russia

Turkish F-16

Lord, we are concerned about Russia and Turkey after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet. Father, please keep passions in check. Please keep leaders calm and objective. Lord, we are concerned about the tension between these two nations. Help their leaders and people recognize the greater good in keeping peace, rather than retaliation. May the truth come out about what actually happened. May necessary confessions take place. May these two nations choose to resolve their differences so they can focus their attention on bigger concerns. May your ambassadors use any influence they have in whatever positions they hold in order to point people to truth and to you. Finally, we ask for peace for the family of the pilot(s) killed. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Prayer for South Sudan, the world's most fragile state

Photo by Samer Muscati/Human Rights Watch
Lord, we have not forgotten South Sudan. For so many years people tried to get help for those who lived in southern Sudan. The crises were heart-breaking. Now that South Sudan has become its own nation, so many people have forgotten it, though it is currently considered the world’s most fragile state. We are so sad that half of South Sudanese children are malnourished. We are grieved about the armed conflict that happened along ethnic lines in 2013, as well as the continuing violence. Lord, please provide food for these children and their families. Please bring healing to the countless girls and women who have been sexually assaulted during these conflicts. Work in hearts to combat ethnic hatred. Bless Emmanuel Christian College and other institutions having success diminishing prejudice and violence. Bless the churches that run refugee camps for some of the hundreds of thousands of refugees. Thank you for drawing people to you and increasing church involvement. Reveal to us if there is any way we should personally help. For now, we pray for South Sudan, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Prayer for a grieving Beirut

Hasan Shaaban/Reuters
Lord, today we pray for Beirut, Lebanon. This bustling city was recently shaken by its worst terrorist attack in decades. Lord, we grieve for the 45 lives lost. We grieve with the wives, husbands, parents, children… the many people whose hearts are shattered after losing their loved ones in such a heinous way. Lord, we are thankful for Adel Termos’ heroic actions in tackling the second suicide bomber in order to minimize the damage. May his wife, daughter and son remember their father as a hero. Bring them comfort. Bring the entire city and nation comfort—not only from the loss of life but also to those who feel the world has neglected them. Lord, shine your light in the midst of this dark time. May your children in Beirut find opportunities to share the hope found in you. Reveal yourself within the city of Beirut today, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

For more information, visit  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prayer for French survivors’ long-term healing

Lord, this morning the terrorist attacks that rocked Paris and the world are still at the forefront of our minds. We are praying for the people of France. We are praying for justice. We are praying for those who lost loved ones. We are part of the solidarity reflected all across social media. Yet we know, Lord, that the solidarity and resolve will soon fade, while, for many, the psychological and physical injuries will not. So this morning we take a moment to consider the future. We pray for the long-term healing that will seem elusive to many who witnessed and experienced the carnage of November 14, 2015. We pray even now for medical professionals of all related specialties (mental health, physical therapy, orthopedics, etc.,) to feel called to work with these survivors. We pray for the survivors to find the inner strength and hope to persevere on their journeys toward healing. And we pray for at least one Christ-follower in each survivor’s life to regularly come alongside him or her to point to HOPE, even when suffering seems overwhelming. Reveal yourself through this journey. Glorify yourself through healing. In Jesus’ powerful name we pray, Amen. 

How "Praying to Change the World" Began

Bryan Loritts challenging us in our prayer lives. 

"If God answered all your prayers, would the world change, or just your world?" 

I was jotting down many notes during the powerful message on prayer Bryan Loritts was delivering to our audience of camping ministry professionals. Quotes like: 

"The prayerless person is the functional atheist who keeps his eyes on this world, not the one to come." 

"Fundamentally, prayer is much more than petition. Fundamentally, prayer is experiencing and encounter." 

"Prayer is oftentimes more about the journey than the destination." 

and several more. 

But the question about changing my world versus changing the world gripped me. 

My prayer life is very much about providing a platform for God to glorify Himself. I faithfully pray for many people and situations. Yet even my treasured copy of Operation World ( has been collecting dust in recent months. 

I had to face it: I could definitely pray more for the bigger, wider world on a more consistent basis.

The wheels in my mind started turning: back to Operation World? Subscribe to some sort of simple, world-focused prayer list? Was there such a thing? There must be...

Then the idea came to me:  I can do that. I can create a simple, world-focused prayer list. 

How many people want to pray for the world on a regular basis, but don't have the discipline to create structure for it? How many are overwhelmed by a 978-page volume like Operation World

I will write simple prayers a few times each week, and these can provide starting points for anyone who wants to change THE world, rather than simply THEIR world. 

If you'd like to join me in changing the world through prayer, subscribe to my blog on the upper-right corner of this page, and you will receive the prayers via email a few times per week. (Or you can revisit this page, of course.) 

The prayers will be simple, but the God who hears is in the business of moving mountains. May He magnify Himself as we pray together.