If you have not experienced it yourself, it is pretty impossible to imagine what goes through the hearts and minds of people facing a sudden natural disaster. The number of natural disasters worldwide is more frequent than ever before. How do we pray about disasters and for those in need?
Disasters can be critical spiritual turning points for those affected by it.
The following are a few guidelines on how to pray for victims of a natural disaster whether it be a flood, fire, earthquake, mudslide, tsunami, etc. Disasters can be critical spiritual turning points for people. Some may turn to God while others might turn away from Him completely, and this is why we must pray in great earnest into such situations.
Pray for the Church:
- For believers everywhere to consciously and practically prepare themselves to be ready, should any disaster have a direct influence on them, their loved ones or their community.
- That they will have such an intimate and established relationship with the Lord that they will not feel overwhelmed, but have a clear understanding of exactly what to do to help and support others in need.
- For churches to consider strategies to manage in times of disaster as part of normal ministry, as well as to prepare their congregation on how to minister to and help people both practically and spiritually in such a situation.
Practical prayer for issues on ground level:
- Pray especially for victims who lost a loved one to be able to find rest and comfort in God. Ask that non- Christians will be able to meet someone who can share the gospel with them, and that they will be really open and receptive.
- Pray for those who have lost a home, possessions and because of the destruction, they also lost their job.
- Ask for God’s grace upon communities, that strong Believers will arise and play a significant role in portraying God’s hope for the future and encourage people to stand together in rebuilding their communities.
- Pray for sufficient medical supplies and personnel to be deployed to disaster areas within a very short while and for as long as it is necessary.
- Pray for search companies, for God’s guidance to find people trapped under rubble, mud, etc. and to be able to safely and quickly remove them from difficult situations.
- Ask for the quick arrival and effective distribution of food and clean water to disaster victims. Pray that food and water will be provided for as long as necessary.
- Pray for God’s grace and protection against any outbreak of viruses or sickness among people, animals or crops just after a disaster. Ask that suitable cures for such tendencies will be developed and be ready for application in every situation.
- Pray for the necessary financial aid towards a disaster-struck area for the rebuilding of infrastructure and livelihood.
- Pray for Spiritual work done in a disaster area:
- Ask for opportunities for aid workers and Believers who might be victims themselves, to encourage, befriend and share the hope of Jesus Christ with disaster victims.
- Ask for the corporate local church in a specific disaster area to take up responsibility in helping, feeding and teaching people amidst the situation.
- If there are no active prayer groups going, pray for prayer groups to be established right after disaster strikes.
- Also that these groups will grow as people gather before the Lord to cry out to Him for help and the salvation of the people in their community.
- Pray for the Church worldwide to become more visibly involved in the long-term assistance of people who suffered natural disasters.
Ongoing prayer strategy:
Pray for believers to acquire a greater awareness of where in the world disaster has struck and to pray focused and effective prayers into such situations, keeping themselves updated on the progress made and new needs of people as they arise.