Praying for Crisis Situations and Injustice
Prayer moves the hand of God and changes the course of history. Yet, we live in a world where tragedy, danger and death are a daily reality.
When the world is shaking around us, where do we turn? How do we pray?
How to pray for crisis situations
When crisis hits we all want to do something. We want to help. We want to pray.
Here are a few suggestions to inform your prayers in a crisis situation:
1. Get Informed: Gather the basics of the story. What’s happening? Where? Who is affected? Who are the key leaders and who will be responding with aid? What are the needs right now?
2 Pray for People:
Pray for those who are negatively affected. Pray for those who have their lost families, homes and hope. Pray for those who are still in danger.
Who are the lost, vulnerable and forgotten in that society?
3. Pray for the Circumstances:
What are the problems that only God can fix? Ask God to intervene.
4. Pray for those in Power:
Who are the decision makers that can impact the crisis - both the leaders in that country and those who can help. Pray for mercy, compassion and wisdom as they deal with the crisis.
5. Pray for the Church:
Who can spread God’s love and God’s hope in the situation? Pray for pastors, churches and non-government organisations that they would be equipped with all they need to bring aid.
6. Motivate Others:
If you are organising corporate prayer, find ways of making the story personal. Find individual stories (with pictures, if possible). Find connections you or your group may have with the situation. Help to soften people’s hearts by making the crisis personal enough to understand.
7. Share your Prayer:
Use social media to share your prayer and inspire others to add their ‘Amen’.
How to pray for justice
It can be a challenging and difficult process to try and work out how to pray for justice in our world.
Here are 3 simple suggestions to get started:
Start by asking God how you can pray for the issue you’re concerned about, The Lord's Prayer has a simple, effective framework to inform your prayers
"Hallowed be your name" - Begin with worship. Jesus is Lord, even in areas of injustice.
"Your kingdom come" - What does God's kingdom look like? How could His rule and reign change the lives
"Daily bread" - What are the practical needs you see?
"Forgive" - Who are the sinners and sinned against? What responsibility do we have to say sorry or to forgive? Pray for outbreaks of mercy
We have hope. God can - and does - change the world. Even the greatest injustice can be overcome by the power of prayer. God can make a difference, and often chooses to act through our prayer and action.
Ask the Lord for the gift of faith to see, pray and act for the redemption of the situation you’re concerned about.
We need to keep persisting in prayer even when nothing seems to be changing. There are many examples in the Bible and throughout Church history of major breakthroughs that required faithfulness through years of prayer.
If you want to commit to praying until you see change, here are a few suggestions to help you:
Hold a focused prayer day or week - Invite people to join you to pray together. You could also set up a justice-focused prayer room.
Use the Bible - Write simple prayers from a passage like Isaiah 58, which focus on the issue of justice.
Get Outside -Go to a place connected with the issue you want to pray for, such as a homeless shelter, hospital or government building.
Pray with others - Gather a group of like-minded people: praying together is one of the best ways to keep going.
Be responsible - Some issues of injustice involve crime or danger - ensure that you don't put yourself in danger while you pray.