Covering the world in prayer: Pray for South America

Baby on mother's back in Bolivia. Pray for South America.

Please pray for South America with us — for World Vision’s work in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil. While many of these countries are still recovering from years of internal violence and political instability, each faces unique challenges today.

Pray for emergency responders.

World Vision worker helps a person in Chile. Pray for South America.
Theo, a teenager in Chile, serves as an emergency-responder volunteer with World Vision. (©2014 World Vision/photo by Diego Rivadeneira)

South America is prone to frequent natural disasters, so governments and development organizations throughout the continent often rely on first responders from affected areas. Since 2012, World Vision has partnered with churches, civil service, and governments to train thousands of youth to respond to disasters. Pray for the trainers to effectively teach skills and knowledge. Pray that God uses the young people in big ways during an emergency.

Dear Lord, strengthen trainers to teach effectively. You have given youth a heart for serving their communities. When disasters strike, bring them clarity and courage, so they may help when needed most.

Pray for peace and reconciliation in Colombia.

Children create a mural about peace in Colombia. Pray for South America.
Colombian children create a mural about peace. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Sebastián Gutiérrez)

As many as 5.7 million Colombians have been forced from their homes over the past 20 years due to ongoing violence between the government and armed groups. This slow upheaval created a culture of fear and violence in a nation where nearly one-third of the population already lives in poverty. Hope is on the horizon with a government- and militias-signed peace agreement in place and rebels turning in their guns. But decades of displacement are not easily undone.

World Vision provides internally displaced people with food, household items, and personal supplies. We also work with the government to empower youth in the National Peace Builders Movement. Pray that respectful treatment of all parties will come from signed agreements between the government and armed groups.

Jesus, You call us to love our neighbors and to pray for those who persecute us. Prompt remaining hostile factions to stop the violence and work for peace for the good of Colombia. Give displaced families grace to forgive those who caused their suffering. Thank You for generous donors who are providing for the needs of those living in poverty.

Pray for education and youth empowerment in Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.

Children in school in Ecuador. Pray for South America.
Children go to school in San Lorenzo, Ecuador. (©2014 World Vision/photo by Jon Snyder)

Ecuador and Peru have seen significant economic improvements in the past decade. Chile has had political stability for years. Yet, all three countries struggle to build adequate school systems. In 2012, striking Peruvian teachers demanded system-wide reform to improve teacher training, raise standards, and increase pay. In Chile, private schools are improving, while public schools get worse, and its higher education is among the most expensive in the world.

In each country, World Vision provides further learning opportunities and resources for college for thousands of students. Through church and community partnerships, World Vision engages youth to become leaders in and advocates for their communities. Pray that government leaders will make tough budgetary choices to improve their national education systems. Pray for youth to find their passion and trust God to guide them.

Heavenly Father, You are truly the Great Teacher. As students seek opportunities for livelihoods, please provide ample resources to complete their studies. Humble the nation’s leaders to make difficult but productive decisions, so wealthy, middle-income, and poor students may have equal opportunities for quality education.

Pray for midwives in rural Bolivia.

Newborn baby in Bolivia. Pray for South America.
Pray for improved health for infants and their mothers in Bolivia. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)

In the poorest areas of Bolivia, many women die in childbirth or from complications during pregnancy because no one is qualified to help. Nationwide, about 206 women die for every 100,000 births — tragedies that can be prevented by having a trained midwife in each community. World Vision trains, certifies, and equips midwives to prevent maternal and child deaths. Pray for improved access to health services for families in the most remote, rural parts of the country.

Lord God, please provide sufficient resources for governments and development organizations to train midwives and provide life-saving services for mothers and children.   

Pray to end a culture of violence in Brazil.

Boy who lives in one of the most violent cities in Brazil. Pray for South America.
Pray for Marcio, who lives in Salvador, one of the most violent cities in Brazil. (©2012 World Vision/photo by Gidalia Santana)

As many as 160 people are murdered each day in Brazil. While the nation’s economy has grown in recent decades, millions of Brazilians still live in sprawling slums, or favelas, where much of this crime happens. World Vision promotes a culture of peace through health, education, and economic empowerment programs throughout the country. Pray leaders will value integrity over corruption as they fight crime and seek ways to lift people out of poverty.

Lord, inspire compassionate people to wade into the dangerous places to help desperate families rise out of oppressive poverty and darkness. Empower leaders at all levels to resist the enemy’s temptation to steal, cheat, or lie in the fight against rampant crime. Bring Your peace to this land.

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