In times of emergencies and disasters, including the ongoing crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, earthquakes in Afghanistan, and the war in Ukraine, children bear the heaviest burden.
At World Vision, we believe each child is made in the image of God and deserves dignity, care, and protection. Our hearts ache witnessing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in conflict zones, impacting not only the most vulnerable children but also women and men struggling through dire circumstances.
Knowing how to help those in need can be challenging. Through prayer, we can “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14, NIV). Join us in praying for places with critical humanitarian needs, where daily struggles for basic necessities affect children, families, and communities. Let us pray …
For peace in a hurting world
We’ve witnessed increasing conflict and violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, Ukraine — and the largest global food crisis in modern history. Also compounding the hurt in the world is the Middle East crisis. Our dedicated teams were already in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan and are providing vital support to vulnerable children, families, and communities deeply affected by the crisis.
Dear God, please guide us in our efforts to help bring relief to these troubled regions. Our world is full of hurting people and nations torn apart by war and violence. Please protect, comfort, and heal children and women and men who face unspeakable loss and profound emotional and physical challenges. Unite us in pursuing a world where all can thrive in Your peace, mercy, and abundance.
For restoration in northern Ethiopia
In the northern Ethiopian regions of Tigray, Afar, and Amhara, children and families face severe challenges, including alarming rates of malnutrition and food insecurity, exacerbated by persistent issues like drought, armed conflict, violence, and disease outbreaks.
Dear Father, we cry out for peace and stability for people affected by the hostilities in northern Ethiopia and facing ever-present dangers. We pray for humanitarian aid workers to swiftly reach those who are hungry and malnourished and facing severe food insecurity. We long to see people return to their communities and for the restoration of peace and safety for children.
For hope for Syrians displaced
Syria continues to experience one of the most challenging emergencies in the world. More than half of Syria’s population remains displaced within the country since the conflict began in 2011, leaving many children unfamiliar with a peaceful life. As of October 2023, approximately 7 million children in Syria need humanitarian assistance. The devastating February 6, 2023, earthquake has added more misery to the complex layers of suffering, with the loss of housing making Syrian children and women more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. In the winter months, hardships will deepen and needs will increase for those who are displaced within the country and far from home.
Dear Lord, bring hope to children and families who have lost everything to conflict in Syria. Many kids have lost their sense of childhood and their ability to go to school. We pray for You to comfort each and every one and surround them with physical warmth and well-being. For the families devastated by the catastrophic earthquake, provide aid workers with the ability to deliver vital assistance needed for their continued relief and recovery. May all the people affected find their peace in You.
For displaced Sudanese families
Sudan’s ongoing unrest has resulted in the displacement of over 5 million people since mid-April 2023. As of December 2023, the conflict has intensified the situation, putting over 6 million people on the brink of famine, according to the World Food Programme. Ongoing violence has exacerbated the hunger crisis and disrupted farming and livelihoods.
Prince of Peace, we pray for the restoration of peace and civility in Sudan so children can grow into all You intend them to be. We ask for an end to hostilities so the nation can begin its recovery and rebuilding. God, please help aid workers reach people who are hungry and starving. For malnourished children, we ask in Your name for immediate nutrition to restore their health.
For protection for Venezuela’s refugees and migrants
Venezuela has faced a decade-long challenge marked by political turmoil, economic decline, and severe shortages of food and medicine. As of December 2023, over 7.7 million people have sought better living conditions in other countries, placing immense pressure on social services in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
God, please protect people who have left their homes, especially children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. We ask in Your name to restore communities, reunite families, and repair this country.
For recovery in Haiti
Haiti is in a state of turmoil. One of the poorest countries in the Americas, Haiti faces political unrest, an upsurge in violence, fuel shortages, and high levels of food insecurity. Approximately 5.2 million people need humanitarian aid due to the mounting instability. In 2021 and 2010, deadly earthquakes devastated the Caribbean nation and deepened its dire humanitarian situation.
Oh, gracious Father, our hearts call out to You to heal this beautiful land. We lift up Haiti’s children and families who are suffering from disasters, natural and man-made. We ask that You comfort them with Your love, goodness, and strength.
For an end to war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine has driven 6.3 million people to seek refuge in other countries, as of December 2023. Children, enduring nearly two years of turmoil, have faced immense physical and emotional hardships. As of January 2023, over 5 million children were experiencing educational disruptions.
Dear God, we lift the people of Ukraine who have been affected by the ongoing war. We pray for an end to the conflict that has displaced millions from their homes. May peace prevail in the region, ending the suffering and allowing families to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Please guide leaders and nations to work toward lasting peace and stability in Ukraine and around the world.
Elizabeth Hendley of World Vision’s U.S. staff contributed to this article.