Prayer for a Hurting World

God, Devotional , Theology

Contributed by: Compassion Canada

 

3 Day Prayer Plan

Praying through scripture is a great way to refresh your prayer life. This 3-day plan centres on God’s heart for a hurting world and offers practical ways to pray through His word. 

 

Day 1:

Today’s Reading: Matthew 5:3-10

Photo: In Indonesia, nine-year-old Compassion-sponsored child, Grace, prays with her family.

 

Today, we are praying through the Beatitudes, the famous words of Jesus that open the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. The Beatitudes are subversive statements that show just how radically counter-cultural Jesus’ kingdom is.

Let the words of Jesus lead you to pray powerful, kingdom-minded prayers.

Pray:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, bless those who are in need with provision, and help each of us recognize our need for You. Though global poverty rates may seem insurmountable, give us the perspective of Your kingdom, and help us to have Your heart for the poor.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Bless those who are mourning loss of any kind—including mothers who lose children to preventable causes and children who are orphaned by violence and disease. Help us transcend isolation or distance to draw near to each other and mourn with those who mourn.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Bless those who humbly serve our communities, Lord—from our elected officials to our frontline workers. Help us humbly serve them well as their customers, clients, friends, family and community members.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Bless those all over the world who hunger—whether they hunger for belonging, friendship, faith or actual food. Help us to see and act on ways we can fill up those around us.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Lord, bless those who work in healthcare and provide healing and mercy to the sick—our doctors, surgeons, nurses, technicians, paramedics and more. Be merciful to them. Grant them rest, peace and protection.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Bless our children. Grant them the understanding to cope with all the overwhelming needs of the world around them. Protect them and give them peace. Help every one of us to be more childlike.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Bless those who give their time, resources and energy to seek the peace of their city. Show each of us how to be peacemakers, Lord, and may our peacemaking cause our neighbours to recognize You.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Bless those who continue to do what is right even when it’s hard. May we all be open to discomfort, for the sake of loving our neighbours in the way of Your kingdom. 

Amen.

 

 

Day 2: 

Today’s Reading: Psalms 23

Photo: In Ethiopia, 10-year-old Compassion-sponsored child Kalkidan prays and reads scripture.

 

Today, we are praying through what is perhaps the most famous of all the Psalms. Psalm 23 can lead us into prayers of thanksgiving and lament. It acknowledges the pain of suffering, the goodness of God and the hope of eternity. 

May these words lead you to pray honest, perspective-shaping prayers.

Pray:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

God, thank You for taking care of us. For providing for us. For granting us rest. For restoring us each day. Thank You that in You, we have access to peace that surpasses all understanding.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Lord, our world has walked through many dark valleys in recent days. We have lost so many lives to a global pandemic and other crises in our world. The shadow of evil looms. 

Yet thank you that we need not fear, even when the world around us is scary, because we are always in Your presence and You are with us.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Thank You for Your comfort and guidance in times of uncertainty. We can walk forward with confidence, knowing that You are by our side. 

We thank You for overflowing abundance—that as we remember to take care of each other, of our local and global neighbours, we have enough.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

God, thank You for the hope of eternity. What a gift it is that even right now, we can experience your goodness and love, and that your goodness and love will never end. 

Help us to reflect Your goodness and love to the world around us. We pray that everyone would know the abundant and eternal life that is found in You. 

Amen.

 

 

Day 3: 

Today’s Reading: Matthew 6:9-13

Photo: In Mexico, six-year-old Arath prays at his local Compassion centre.

 

Today, we are praying through the Lord’s prayer—the words Jesus taught us to pray. The powerful simplicity of Jesus’ words continues to be transformative, whether you’ve heard them hundreds of times or just once. It is so strikingly beautiful that we are invited into personal, relational conversation with our God. 

May these words lead you to pray simple, expectant prayers.

Pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Lord, we praise You, for You are El Shaddai, God Almighty. We are thankful that we can always trust in You—Your holiness, faithfulness, goodness and mercy. You are sovereign, Lord. We declare the power of Your holy name over our world.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord, we pray for the ways of Your kingdom to prevail in our world. Help us, Your people, to be ambassadors of Your kingdom, to be doers of Your will on earth as it is in heaven. In the face of fear, may we be people of courage. In the face of uncertainty, may we be people of peace. In the face of need, may we be people of action, compassion and love.

Give us today our daily bread.

God, thank You for providing for us. For those of us who face economic uncertainty, we pray for provision. Help us to trust You as Jehovah-Jireh, our God Who Provides. Out of that trust, may we learn to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. When we have much, open our eyes to how we can share with those in need.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Lord, open our eyes to how we fall short. Forgive us when we selfishly look out only for ourselves and our own, when we forget to trust You, when we criticize rather than contribute.

Help us to extend grace to one another. May we carry one another’s burdens and lift each other up in prayer and in practical ways. May forgiveness lead us to the freedom to love widely and radically.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

God, there is an ever-looming temptation to despair in the face of the overwhelming evil and need in our world. Deliver us from evil, Jesus. As we face down the brokenness of this world, grant us the gift of lament and lead us in the way of hope. 

Amen.