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 do not share this blessing. Every year we recognize this reality with World Water Day on March 22. This is a day to champion the right of people everywhere to have access to affordable, safe, convenient drinking water.
… I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.—Matthew 25:35 (NIV)
In West Pokot County, Kenya, 5-year-old Kamama never liked going to the river to gather water.
“It was too far,” Kamama says. “I wanted to stop.”
Thankfully she has. Kamama, now a sponsored child, lives in a community served by World Vision’s Mtelo water project, which opened in 2015. Today, they have a gravity-fed water system that supplies clean water to about 800 households as well as schools, churches, and a health center.
She now walks about 252 yards round-trip to the closest water point, and it takes her less than seven minutes. Because there is clean water nearby, she is seldom sick, she bathes every day, and her mother has the time and water she needs to grow fruits and vegetables.
While Kamama’s village has been transformed, the struggle to find clean water continues for countless children and families elsewhere. Join us in prayer for people around the world who lack this most basic necessity for health and life.
Pray for the thirsty.
An estimated 844 million people around the world don’t have access to clean 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, better livelihoods, 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. …” —Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)
Pray for the global will to ensure everyone has safe drinking water.
People in wealthier countries often are 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 others’ need for water.
“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. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 40 billion hours are lost every year due to time spent collecting and transporting water.
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.
Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children younger than 5. About half of childhood malnutrition is related to water, sanitation, or hygiene issues, too. 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 poor water, 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)
Pray for people to discover the Source of living water.
“I was once a person of little faith,” says Memory Handenda, a mother in the Twachiyanda community in southern Zambia. “But after my prayers, and this water came out, then I became a person of a lot of faith. We believed that, indeed, God exists.” World Vision rejoices with Memory, but many people still live without faith and hope.
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 strengthening Memory’s faith by answering her prayers. Show all of 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 brings clean, accessible water to millions of people every year.
World Vision is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new person every 10 seconds and three new schools every day with clean water.
We believe the global water and sanitation crisis can be solved within our lifetime. That’s why we’re focused on providing clean water and sanitation to every man, woman, and child in every community we work in, including the most vulnerable populations in some of the hardest-to-reach places.
Please pray for our ongoing efforts that are bringing clean, sustainable water — and renewed health — to children, families, and communities around the world.
Faithful God, give wisdom to Your followers at World Vision as they seek to bring clean water and other life-saving interventions to millions more families. 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 crisis 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 are 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 demonstrate Your steadfast love. We ask You to ignite passion in people’s hearts to help bring clean water to people who desperately need it. Remind those of 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)
What you can do next
- 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 4, 2019, to provide life-changing clean water to one person in need. You’ll walk or run with the picture of the 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.
Chris Huber, Denise C. Koenig, Kathryn Reid, and Laura Reinhardt of World Vision’s staff in the U.S. contributed to this article.