Pray for peace
This month, as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, join us in praying for places around the world today where peace is in desperately short supply.
Suggested prayer points
Pray for Syrian refugees.
Since civil war broke out in March 2011, more than 408,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon to escape the violence. An additional 2.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance within their own country; at least 1.2 million are displaced inside Syria.
Unlike most refugee situations, Syrians in Lebanon aren’t living in camps. Instead, many are staying with host families or in rental accommodations. Some, though, are living in abandoned buildings or tents. World Vision is operating Child-Friendly Spaces in Lebanon to give refugee children a safe place to learn and play. Ask God to be an ever-present source of help for these families, both those who have fled violence and those who have opened their homes or provided resources to their Syrian neighbors.
Lord, You tell us in Psalm 34:14 to “Turn from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” The refugees from Syria and the Lebanese families who are assisting them are seeking to pursue the way of peace. Bless their efforts, and provide a way for Syrian families to return home.
Pray for child refugees and aid workers in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In the lush Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), ongoing political upheaval and civil war have drained the nation’s food supply. About 70 percent of its people are undernourished and struggling to survive. More than 390,000 people have fled their homes to escape the conflict between government forces and a rebel group called “March 23.” Children are hiding in forests to avoid being kidnapped by armed groups that would force them to join the fighting.
Most of the estimated 110,000 refugees arriving in neighboring Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda are younger than 15, and many are facing the added trauma of separation from their parents and family. The ongoing violence has forced humanitarian groups, including World Vision, to suspend life-saving programs in parts of the DRC and launch responses in Rwanda and Uganda. Pray for the safety of these precious children, their parents, and the aid workers helping them.
Dear Lord, the children of the DRC live in danger. Keep them safe as they travel to refugee camps or relocate within the country. Help children to reunite with their parents and family soon, and be with the aid workers who are working to make a difference for children and families.
Pray for Christians in Palestine.
The Arab Christian population in the Israeli and Palestinian territories is declining. Messianic Jews in Israel face significant challenges. In the Palestinian territories, Christians are major providers of social services and education, promoting peace and reconciliation among Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Pray for churches in the Holy Land — both in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza. Pray that Christians will remain strong in their faith and continue serving as peacemakers in the midst of conflict.
Dear Lord, bless the church in the Holy Land. Though their numbers are small, they are doing a mighty work. When they are tired and discouraged, bring refreshment and encouragement. Help them remember that if they don’t give up, they will reap a harvest of blessing at just the right time. And bring Your peace to the city of Jerusalem.
Pray that Pakistani children can safely attend school.
Under pressure from the Taliban, hundreds of Pakistani schools have been forced to close in recent years, disrupting the education of both boys and girls. Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari agreed to a plan that will ensure Pakistan's 5 million out-of-school children have the opportunity to return to their studies. Pray all Pakistani children will have equal access to education.
Dear Lord, children need an education to have the full and abundant life You came to give them. Be with the leaders of Pakistan as they map out a strategy to educate all of the nation’s children. Allow Your light to shine in the hearts and minds of Pakistan’s people.
Pray for an end to gang activity in Central America.
Drug trafficking, gang activity, easy access to guns, and an ineffective justice system have contributed to high levels of crime and violence in Central America. Even people living in small towns fear being robbed, threatened, extorted, or kidnapped. More than 900 gangs operate in Central America today, with an estimated 70,000 members. Pray for the work of World Vision’s Culture of Peace program, which helps young people find their identity in Christ — not gangs — and teaches them vocational skills so they can better resist the temptation of easy money from criminal activities.
Dear Lord, thank You so much for the gift of Your Son. Through Him, we truly become a new creation. Bless the work of Culture of Peace programs. Help young people who participate see themselves the way You see them.