If there’s one thing I know for sure right now, it’s that the world wasn’t meant to be like this.
Nice, France. Orlando. Dallas. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. These names, and too many others like them, are my nation’s newest synonyms for tragedy. For the friends and family of those who have died, they represent moments of agony that can never be unwritten. For those whose race or sexuality or occupation has given them reason to fear the same kind of violence, they are threats, reminders that catastrophe is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Even for me, though these names are little more than headlines to weep over and shake my fist at, they still leave me reeling. They make me wonder how much longer the world as I know it can possibly survive. They make me wonder what I can do, how I should respond, if I too am complicit in this violence.
But you, God, know these names better than all of us. They’re not just names to you. You’ve studied every detail of every life damaged or lost in these tragedies. You’ve numbered the hairs on every head, gathered every tear. The people I’ve only ever known as victims, you’ve known all along as reflections of your own image.
You know far better than I that the world wasn’t made for hatred and pain. You’re the one who knew our human race from the very beginning, the one who breathed life into our dust and called us very good. You know just how beautiful we were intended to be.
So if my heart is breaking right now, surely your heart must be breaking too.
I pray to you not as someone distant and aloof, but as someone near to me, near to us, even in the midst of chaos. I don’t have to shout to get your attention. You are close enough to hear my broken whispers. No matter how strong or weak I feel, no matter how much or how little
I can muster, I’ll start by whispering this:
Give us peace.
You are the sovereign ruler, the mover of mountains, the victor of impossible victories. You are Lord over earthquakes and tsunamis, over nations in turmoil and terrorist plots, over starving children and fleeing refugees and prisoners tortured for their faith. You speckled the sky with stars and set the earth spinning like a top. You own everything, control everything. Your hand allows each mind to think and teaches each heart to beat. There is nothing you can’t do. So I pray, even though it seems impossible:
Give us peace.
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.
Even now, in the midst of the darkness, I believe you are at work. I believe you have the power to fashion something new and beautiful out of our disastrous ruins. Give me patience as you work. Don’t let me rush so quickly into peace that I fail to learn from the chaos. If you’re revealing ugliness in my nation and world so that I can begin to address it and transform it, don’t let me be content to simply sweep it under the carpet. I want more than a temporary cease-fire of my own making. I want true peace, lasting peace.
If tragedy and chaos persist, keep me from apathy. Give me a heart that loves deeply enough to break again and again. Give me a passion for peace that only burns brighter as time goes by.
Thank you that your love has never stopped blazing. Thank you that no matter how many times our human race falls, you have never fallen into apathy. When we are faithless, you remain faithful.
One day, I know, you’ll give us a perfect peace that lasts forever. One day every sorrow will be erased and every tear wiped away. One day pain will be locked in a heavenly museum and hatred will be the stuff of history books.
But I dare to ask for peace sooner than that. I dare to believe, along with King David in
“I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
I dare to plead with you in the name of Jesus, in the name of the one who suffered so I could plead with you:
Give us peace.
Gregory Coles is an author and an English instructor at Penn State University. Learn more at www.gregcoles.com.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersThe Prayer of JabezShort PrayersThe Lord’s PrayerThe Prayer of St FrancisSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerSinner’s PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessIntercessory PrayerIrish Prayers and BlessingsAdvent PrayersChristmas PrayersThanksgiving PrayerHoly Week Prayers for Each DayEaster PrayersPrayers for My HusbandPrayers for My SonPrayer Quotes
Now available is our new Daily Prayer devotional! An easy way to find start your day with prayer, read today’s prayer and sign up to receive by email.
Today is Wednesday, and it is pray for the world day. I am in!
It has been about a month now since I asked all of you who read daily to begin doing this. You may ask, what is my prayer going to do? You and I do not know, only God knows, but one thing that I am certain is that the more we pray on the behalf of each other and the world in which we live, the more light energy takes form and bring good and pleasant things. Meditation or prayer in silence is even more potent, there is a shift happening, and we need to protect each other, even those we do not know. We do so through prayer.
Thanks for all the people who participate, and for the one who scoff at this post and do not, one day you will be awakened to what Obara Meji is trying to do, my little contribution, yes, the day will come when you realize that this was/is needed.
We pray for Kenya, Lebanon, Iraq, Nigeria and Paris!
Today at 12 noon any where you are in the world, please say a prayer for our world, our earth for which we reside. There is something happening, something we all cannot see and do not know about. The best way for us all to send out our prayers is to quietly speak the divine which is within all of us quietly ( I meditate, this is the way I heal). There is no need to pray and sweat like bible wielding Pastors or even to shout loudly. Just a quiet meditation, even for a minute for all the problems the world is facing. Family, we must think of the future generation and what they will be facing.There are so many things happening and perhaps it is best we do not know, but this is not to say that we all as a collective cannot change the outcome of what is brewing or what is to come unbeknownst to us. We have so many non physical helpers, who will quickly help, if we only send out the signal, through vibrations and frequencies released through our prayers and meditation. We must create a reality for the earth that will bring it to a place where it is a pleasant experience to live here.
It’s 2018 – a new year. And since it’s a new year, many people are reflecting on the past and preparing for the future. This is the season of resolutions, planning, and looking forward to what God has in store over the next 365 days. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about how you can improve your professional and personal lives? Maybe you’ve already made some resolutions in hopes of getting healthier, finding a more satisfying career, or improving your relationships.
All of these are admirable and important goals. But Christians shouldn’t only be focused on improving their professional and personal lives. They should also strive for spiritual growth since the spiritual underlies everything else. Spiritual health is the foundation for a happy life. And once we experience spiritual vitality, much of our professional and personal lives will fall into place.
But how can we improve our spiritual lives? Looking into the events and life around us it seems that our slogan should be: Prayer is the door to success in 2018.
Prayer – The Foundation of the Spiritual Life
Before we make any progress in the Christian journey, we need to realize that prayer is the door that allows us to enter into the spiritual realm. We communicate with God through prayer. Our spiritual eyes are enlivened and focused through the discipline of prayer. And every other spiritual practice – whether fasting, celebrating Lord’s day, communion, or any other – begins with prayer.
Prayer is the door to success in 2018
So as you begin 2018, keep the following prayer points in mind so that you can start the year with a healthy and robust prayer life. If you get that spiritual foundation laid, you’ll be well on your way to a better year over all.
Kingdom Prayer Points
When the disciples came to Jesus and asked for him to teach them to pray, he responded by giving them a prayer that has become known as the Lord’s prayer. It’s significant that one of the first requests Jesus encourages his disciples to make his for God’s Kingdom.
After asking for God’s name to be made holy, Jesus prays, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). This is the number one prayer priority for Christians: that God’s Kingdom would extend to the ends of the earth. As Christians, we recognize that God didn’t send Jesus into the world simply so we could live in fleeting happiness and pleasure. He sent him to establish his Kingdom. This is nowhere more clear than when Jesus ascended to the Father and commissioned his disciples to go and preach the Gospel.
This commission is in effect with each one of us. We’re all called to go and share the good news of the Kingdom. But even more basic than that, we’re called to pray for the Kingdom to come. This is why, earlier in his ministry, Jesus encouraged his disciples to “beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38). As Christians, we have a responsibility to make the Kingdom of God a matter of serious and consistent prayer.
This year, make it a point to pray for more than your personal needs. Pray for God’s Kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Just like Jesus asked.
Let’s Pray this Year for the World:
- For peace around the world. Chaos and dramatic events fill our world; if there’s ever been a time when our prayers have been needed, the time is now. Let’s be sure to remember those people who are enduring violence and war in our prayers.
- For religious minorities Freedom of religion is restricted in many nations around the world. Because of this, countless Christians are suffering for their faith and experiencing persecution. Let’s pray that God would relieve this persecution so that they can worship freely.
- For people who live in poverty and hunger. More than a billion people on our planet live in poverty. Let’s open our hearts and minds and pray for those people, especially children, so that they might receive peace, dignity, and wholeness in their lives.
Local Prayer Points
Each of us resides in a particular city and a particular nation. We encounter particular people as we go about our daily lives of working and shopping. And every person we come across is in need – whether spiritually, physically, financially, or in some other way.
Just as it’s important for us to remember God’s Kingdom all around the world, it’s also important for us to remember his kingdom in our backyards.
One of the best ways that you can keep your local community in prayer is by keeping your eyes open. If you don’t already, read your town’s local newspaper and pray for the people you find there. Let your mayor, city councilmen, governor, senators, and congressmen receive your prayers. Pray for the policemen and firemen in your community who face dangers every day to keep others safe from harm. Pray for the local business owners in your community.
And as you go about your days, pray for those that you see. Pray for the clerk at the grocery store and the cashier at your local fast-food restaurant. Let each and every face that you meet be an opportunity to intercede on behalf of your community.
And after you’ve spent some time doing this, go out on a limb and begin asking people how you can pray for them. We’ve found that this opens numerous doors to not only pray but also to share the Gospel.
Let’s Pray this Year for the Local Community:
- For local politicians and government leaders. These people face difficult challenges and decisions each day and the future of our nations depends on them. Mention them in your prayers, asking God to put their actions in line with the Word of God. May they seek the ways of justice and righteousness.
- For people who we know who have strayed from the faith. Let’s keep them in our prayers so that they might rediscover belief in God’s mercy and find peace in his presence. Our prayers can help them become fully-devoted Christians again.
- For people in our communities that we see every day. So often we lack compassion, love, and forgiveness. Let’s pray for our neighbors, co-workers and other community members that they might live in love, forgiveness, and unity.
Personal Prayer Points
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he didn’t only tell them to pray for God’s Kingdom to come in the earth. He also encouraged them to pray for their personal needs. He said, “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11-13).
As you enter this new year, set aside time each day to pray for yourself. Ask God to meet your needs. Regularly seek forgiveness when you fail to live up to the calling he’s placed on your life. And ask for his supernatural protection and guidance.
But don’t stop there. Ask God to be at work in the life of your family. Your parents, children, spouse, siblings, and friends all need God’s provision, protection, and leading. Make intercession on their behalf a regular part of your prayer life.
Let’s Pray this Year for Personal Need and Family:
- That God would make us bold to proclaim the name of Jesus and share the Word of God with others. Let’s pray that God would help us to be strong and to keep our Christian witness clear in every situation – even when we face opposition.
- For the ability to forgive. We live in a fast-paced, stressful world where we often feel insulted and hurt. This can easily lead to unforgiveness and even bitterness. Let’s ask God for the ability to control our emotions, to forgive, and to have unconditional love for the people we meet. Even those who have hurt us.
- For God’s protection for our family members and other loved ones. Each and every day, our families face difficult situations in which we need to choose righteously. Let’s ask God to guide us and protect us from bad influences and poor decisions.
In the coming year, we hope that you’ll not only make resolutions to lose weight, get a better job, and spend more time with your family. We hope you’ll resolve to cultivate the greatest relationship you have by praying for God’s will to be done in the world, your community, your family, and your life. Follow prayer points for year 2018. If you will, you’ll be well on your way to a blessed 2018.
Also read: SEVEN REASONS TO PRAY DAILY