Matthew 25: Prayer for clean water for the thirsty

An estimated 785 million people around the world don’t have access to basic drinking water. Join us in prayer for children and families who are thirsty and lack this most basic necessity.

Next to air, water is our most essential necessity. Here in the United States, most of us are blessed to have abundant, clean water to drink and use for cooking, growing food, washing clothes, and flushing toilets. We seldom worry that the water we drink could make us sick — or even kill us. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people don’t share this blessing. Every year we recognize this reality with World Water Day on March 22. This is a day to champion the rights of people everywhere to have access to affordable, safe, and convenient drinking water. Join us in prayer for clean water for the thirsty.

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.—Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

Pray for clean water for the thirsty.

An estimated 771 million people around the world don’t have access to basic drinking water. Clean water helps free children from deadly, preventable diseases. It liberates women and children from long hours spent gathering dirty, contaminated water. Clean water restores health and opens the door to education, a promising future, and the kind of life God intends for His children.

Loving God, we ask for Your blessings on children, mothers, fathers, and communities who are thirsty. Purify, protect, and multiply their water sources. Strengthen their resolve so they may fully enjoy the benefits of clean water — essentials like education, gardens of fresh produce, and good health.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.—Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)

Pray for the global will to ensure everyone has safe drinking water.

People in wealthier countries are often unaware of life-threatening issues surrounding water in developing nations. Through the efforts of organizations such as World Vision, more people are realizing that hundreds of millions of people face serious illness because they lack access to clean drinking water. Ask God to create compassion in hearts and connect people in developed nations with organizations that can help them get this life-giving resource.

Heavenly Father, remind us of Your command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Don’t let us rest until we know we have done everything we can to meet this necessity for others.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.—Mark 12:30–31 (NIV)

Pray for women and girls who daily carry water over long distances.

Women and girls have transported water from distant sources for millennia. In Genesis 24, Abraham’s servant first saw Rebekah, Isaac’s future wife, at a well. Jesus also met the Samaritan woman at a well. In most of the developing world, women and girls disproportionately bear the burden of collecting water for their families.

Transporting water from distant sources is no less difficult now than it was then. The process consumes precious time that could be used for more productive activities, such as farming or going to school.

Ireen, now 9, walked for water three to four times a day. Throughout the course of her daily water-collecting journey in Malawi, she walked about 6 kilometers, or 3.7 miles, the average distance women and children in the developing world walk every day for water.

Nine-year-old Ireen collects clean water from the borehole that was drilled in her village by World Vision.
Nine-year-old Ireen collects clean water from the borehole that was drilled in her village by World Vision. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Atlas Productions)

Now Ireen walks less than four minutes for clean water right in her village.

Dear God, You promise in Psalm 23 to be close beside us and protect us even as we walk through the darkest valley. We claim this promise for women and girls who trek to get water for their families. As You walk alongside, strengthen them, and protect them.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.—Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

Pray for improved health.

Every day, more than 800 children under age 5 die from diarrhea caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 297,000 children per year.

Ask God to protect children from the dangers of unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene.

Great Healer, You are good and merciful. Touch precious little ones endangered by dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene. Give them Your strength to fight off the illnesses that wrack their bodies. Lead their communities to discover clean water sources close by so they can enjoy better health.

The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.—Psalm 65:9 (NIV)
Liddah Manyozo used to walk long distances to gather clean water at least three times before she headed to school. Now she works so that other young girls don’t have to do the same.
Liddah Manyozo used to walk long distances to gather clean water at least three times before she headed to school. Now she works so that other young girls don’t have to do the same. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Pray for people to discover the Source of living water.

Liddah Manyozo, 37, is a World Vision technical advisor to a team of drillers who help empower communities across Malawi with clean water. She is one of the strong women working in Ireen’s community to help them get lasting access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene behavior change promotion — and assistance through sponsorship.

For Liddah, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with an emphasis on nutrition, finding clean water is not just a technical exercise, but a spiritual one. “God created water,” she says, “and when we are drilling, we make a deliberate effort to seek guidance from that same God to provide water.”

We are grateful to You, Lord, for being our Source of living water — the One who satisfies our soul’s deepest desire with the joy of salvation. Thank You for Liddah’s faith that is apparent in her work. Show us that faith doesn’t come from answered prayers, but rather from the “confidence in what we hope for” (Hebrews 11:1). Open people’s eyes to recognize You as the only Source of living water for their parched souls. Let them be refreshed in Your love when they enjoy clean water to drink.

My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.—Psalm 63:1 (NASB)

Pray for World Vision’s ongoing work that helps millions of people every year get access to clean water.

World Vision is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and one new person with handwashing promotion as well. We believe we can help solve the global water crisis within our lifetime, and we’re focused on ensuring that every man, woman, and child, in every community where we work, has access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene behavior change promotion. Please pray for our ongoing efforts to empower children, families, and communities around the world with clean, sustainable water — and renewed health.

Faithful God give wisdom to Your followers at World Vision as they seek to help millions more families get access to clean water and other life-saving interventions. Thank You for equipping people who love You as they bring new health and opportunities to the world’s most vulnerable. Like Isaiah’s vision of water in the desert, we hope to see no child die of diarrhea, no mother spend hours transporting water, no school without proper toilets and sanitation, and no one drinking unsafe water.

Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.—Isaiah 35:6 (NIV)

Pray for World Vision’s donors and partners.

World Vision recognizes that the visionary achievements of ending the global water and sanitation crises by 2030 cannot be accomplished alone. We are privileged to partner with individual donors, foundations, corporations, national and local governments, and other humanitarian organizations to accomplish this life-saving work.

We’re grateful to You, God Almighty, for passionate donors who understand and care about the needs of people in developing rural communities worldwide. These gifts enable life-giving water projects that show Your steadfast love. We ask You to ignite passion in people’s hearts to help people who desperately need clean water. Remind us who have safe water to always give generously and freely to help make this blessing available to others.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.—Matthew 6:10 (NIV)

Help fight the global water crisis

  • Learn more about clean water and how you can be part of the movement to end the global water crisis by 2030.
  • Walk or run the Global 6K for Water on May 21, 2022 — right from your own home or neighborhood — to provide life-changing clean water to a person in need. You’ll walk or run with the picture of a child receiving clean water through World Vision’s water projects.
  • Take the week-long Matthew 25 Challenge that will help you and your family step out of your comfort zones and engage in God’s love for “the least of these brothers and sisters” who Jesus calls us to care for in Matthew 25:35-40.
  • Give a monthly gift to provide clean water to communities lacking it. Your ongoing gift creates lasting change in a community.


Kari Costanza, Denise C. Koenig, and Laura Reinhardt of World Vision’s U.S. staff contributed to this article.

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