Our world is broken. We only have to turn on the TV or switch on our phones to see news alerts showing us the latest tragedy. And there are many more stories that don’t get media attention. But God is at work in the midst of the chaos. And through prayer we can join him in bringing healing to our broken world.
But how do we do this? The term many Christians would use is intercessory prayer, which simply means praying to God for other people.
The Bible is full of examples of people praying to God on behalf of others. And we can be encouraged because many of these stories include powerful answers to prayers.
In the Old Testament, the prophets – Ezekiel, Joel, Deborah, Habakkuk, Samuel and Hosea, to name just a few – all interceded for nations. They called for, among other things, forgiveness, judgement, mercy, and an end to drought.
In the New Testament, Paul repeatedly asks for prayers and also teaches that we should ‘carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:2).
The Gospels make it clear that Jesus wants all people everywhere to experience the love of God and life in all its fullness (John 10:10). This includes every aspect of our being: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.
But in this broken world, not everyone is able to live life to the full. Poverty, conflict, the climate crisis and other disasters have robbed people of hope, health and opportunities. We know God’s plan is to restore this world and so, as Paul urges us to, let us pray for people who are struggling, that they may have life in abundance.
God is already at work. And we have the privilege of being able to partner with him by praying on behalf of our global neighbours.