Covering the world in prayer: Pray for Southern Africa

Child with malaria resting head in mother's lap.

Pray for the work World Vision is doing in countries that make up the region of Southern Africa — Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Life is a daily struggle for many children and families in these countries.

LORD my God, I call to you for help, and you heal me.— Psalm 30:2 (NIV)

Pray for resilience as Angola and Malawi emerge from devastating food shortages.

Prolonged dry spells in recent years have caused widespread food insecurity in Malawi and Angola. In 2015 and 2016, Malawi had to appeal for international assistance after flooding and drought wiped out much of its food supply. In Angola, hospitals and feeding centers have struggled to care for more than half a million children suffering from malnutrition. Ask God to bring about spiritual and physical renewal among people who have struggled with hunger and that they will find resources to build back their livelihoods.

Dear Lord, everything in heaven and on earth is under Your control. Bring rain to dry lands and economic resilience to those struggling to feed their families.

Pray for women, who bear the brunt of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Eswatini.

Eswatini, formerly called Swaziland, has the highest rate of HIV prevalence in the world; about a quarter of the population is HIV-positive. More troubling, about 16% of children born to HIV-positive mothers in Eswatini become infected. Eswatini’s national rate of HIV infection is higher for women than men — 31% compared to 20% — in part because women are vulnerable to sexual abuse and often not free to make their own decisions about sexual activity.

To its credit, Eswatini is making a concentrated effort to reduce the infection rate, eliminate maternal deaths, and stop the transmission of the virus to babies by providing antiretroviral medicines to pregnant women and mothers. Ask God to be a refuge for HIV-positive women in Eswatini, especially those who are expecting a child.

Dear Lord, You are our strong refuge. Be that refuge for HIV-positive women in Eswatini, especially expectant moms. Protect the babies in their wombs from contracting the virus, and strengthen mothers’ immune systems to help them be healthy.

Pray for families who live with the threat of malaria in Mozambique and Zambia.

Out of the 212 million people who got malaria in 2015, 429,000 died. Most of those deaths — 92% — were in Africa. While the number of deaths remains devastating, there is hope. Malaria deaths have dropped significantly in recent years, largely because World Vision and other organizations are working together to distribute insecticide-treated bed nets.

Today millions of children and their families have nets that keep them protected from mosquitoes as they sleep. And millions more will soon have them as well. Thank God for the children who are alive today because they sleep under bed nets, and pray for those who still sleep unprotected every night.

Dear Lord, thank You so much for all the children who sleep safely every night under bed nets in Mozambique, Zambia, and throughout Africa. Please protect those who don’t have bed nets from the dangers of malaria, and equip organizations to quickly reach as many as possible.

Pray for stability in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has struggled with political and economic turmoil in recent years and is emerging from severe droughts. Poor agricultural policies, a declining economy, and high unemployment have contributed to the country’s ailing healthcare system. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is only 50 years, the eighth-lowest life expectancy in the world. About 1.3 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, and more than 1 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Ask God to grant the leaders of Zimbabwe wisdom and resources to govern well.

Dear Lord, You tell us in Proverbs to seek wisdom above all else. Put a fire for wisdom in the hearts and minds of leaders in Zimbabwe so they can implement solutions for their country. Provide for the nation’s families that do not have access to life’s basics.

Pray for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Despite claiming positive economic growth for more than a decade, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been plagued with violence and instability for a generation. About 77% of people living in the DRC live on less than $2 per day. World Vision is working to meet the needs of thousands of people in affected areas. Ask God to bring peace to this strife-filled country so families can focus on essentials like food, healthcare, and education for children.

Dear Lord, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have endured so much. Speak Your truth into the minds of everyone involved in this conflict. Turn their weapons into plowshares so people can return to their homes and children can be children again.

Pray for people World Vision serves throughout Southern Africa.

World Vision has a strong, ongoing presence throughout Southern Africa. Child sponsorship in these countries provides clean water, emergency food, access to education, maternal and child healthcare, training in sound agricultural practices, and more. Ask God to bless the children World Vision serves throughout Southern Africa as well as the staff who extend God’s love daily.

Dear Lord, we imagine nothing makes You happier than to see one of Your precious little ones growing up strong and happy. Bless each child in Southern Africa. Be an ever-present help to their parents. And lift up the World Vision staff members who work to serve You by serving them.

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