Here are four different ways of praying that you can use as you pray for our world:
Pray by fasting
Fasting is a form of prayer that’s been around for thousands of years. It involves purposefully giving up something that you’ll miss in order to shape your focus.
- Choose what to fast from. First, choose what to fast from. Food is the most common choice, but you could also fast from TV or social media. Make sure you consider your health and consult a doctor if needed.
- Then, decide how long you want to fast for. Challenge yourself but don’t be unrealistic. You could start with missing just one or two meals on a particular day, then repeat that on the same day each week.
- Use the time that you would have spent preparing and eating food, or scrolling through social media, to focus on God. When you notice that you’re longing for whatever it is you’re fasting from, use it as a reminder to focus on one of the areas of prayer listed above.
- If you’re doing this as a church or a small group, think of ways you can encourage each other throughout the day. This could be by sending each other Bible verses or sharing what God has been speaking to you.
Pray using scripture
The Bible can help guide us in prayer – especially in tough situations when it can be difficult to find the right words.
Choose one of the following passages of scripture to read through, or pick your own: Matthew 6:6-13; Isaiah 61:1-4; or Luke 6:20-26.
- Slowly read the passage through and familiarise yourself with it.
- Read it again. You may want to speak it out loud. Think about the specific needs of the people you are praying for, those who are becoming refugees and the role of the church in this region.
- Pause and ask the Holy Spirit to highlight a word or line to you. Ask God why. Continue to listen to God and to the Holy Spirit. This may be through pictures, words or more scripture. If praying as a group, share with each other how God is speaking.
- End by thanking God for what He is doing.
Pray with a map
Use an internet search engine, globe or an atlas to find a map of the nation(s) affected by conflict. Google Maps can be a useful tool for this.
As you look at the map, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal a particular location to you. Lay your hand above the chosen location on the map. Pray for that location and the people there. Ask God to reveal specific things you can pray for.
If doing this activity as a group, you could take it in turns to choose a location to pray over. If you’re using a physical map, you could keep it up as a reminder to pray and add Post-it notes throughout the week.
Pray by lighting a candle
Jesus is the light of the world. Amid the darkness of conflict around the world, lighting a candle can become a powerful symbol of an eternal truth: love is stronger than hate.
Find a quiet place where you can relax and light a candle safely. If you can, turn off all other lights. Part of prayer is listening out for how God is already at work.
- Welcome God’s presence. This could be by saying ‘God, you are here’ as you breathe in, ‘and I am here with you,’ as you breathe out.
- Spend time in thanksgiving for who you know God to be. You may want to play a worship song during this time, or read passages from the Bible about God’s goodness and mercy.
- Ask God to reveal to you how he is already working in the situation. Be open to hearing God through pictures, scripture or words. You may want to write these down or paint a response. Commit what God is saying to prayer.
- If you’re with other people, set a time limit for the above and create space to feedback and encourage one another, before returning to pray.
- End with another time of thanksgiving for what God has shared. Commit to continuing to join in with God to bring his Kingdom.
Thank you for joining us in prayer for the world. Let’s continue to pray and act together on behalf of people suffering the effects of violence everywhere.