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Pakistan floods: how you can pray

A guide for individuals, groups and churches to pray for people affected by the devastating flooding in Pakistan.

Written by Rachael Adams and Gideon Heugh | 30 Aug 2022

Iqbal’s home has been destroyed by the devastating floods. | Image credit: Tearfund local partner

Monsoon floods on an unimaginable scale have devastated Pakistan. A third of the country is under water, and more than two million homes have been destroyed. More heavy rainfall is forecast for the coming weeks – meaning the situation could become even worse.

With huge numbers of people in desperate need of food, shelter and safe drinking water, it can be hard to know how to pray. But prayer is powerful and can make a difference. Please join us in praying for the people of Pakistan.

This guide is divided into two sections: the first giving you suggestions about what to pray for, and the second providing different creative prayer ideas for you and your church, group or family to use.

Countless families have lost everything in the worst monsoon flooding in more than a decade. | Image credit: Tearfund local partner

What to pray for…

There are five areas we can focus our prayers on: for people affected by the floods; for those responding to the crisis; for God’s power and love to be revealed through the church; for vulnerable children and adults and about the climate crisis.

Pray for people affected by the floods

  • Pray for those who have lost their loved ones. Ask God to draw near to them and comfort them in this time of grief.
  • Pray for provision of clean water, food and safe shelter for people who have lost their belongings, homes, livestock and livelihoods. Ask God to give them courage and strength during these challenging times.
  • Pray for protection from illness as flooding brings the risk of waterborne diseases. As people are forced to sleep outside or in tents, ask God to keep people safe from attacks and from mosquito and animal bites.

Pray for those responding to the flooding

  • Pray for wisdom and energy for local, national and international leaders as they respond to this crisis.
  • Ask God to free up resources to enable them to quickly help those in need and to provide long-term solutions to survivors, especially those who have been made homeless or who have lost jobs.
  • Lift up Tearfund and our local partners as we respond; as places become inaccessible, pray we’ll be able to reach everyone in need.
  • As the crisis continues, pray for strength and energy for healthcare workers and other first-responders who are working around the clock to help.

Pray for the church

  • Pray that the entire church in Pakistan will be resourced to serve people who are suffering.
  • Pray for church leaders – many of whom have lost their homes and church buildings too – and who are still living out God’s call to care for anyone in their community in need.
  • Pray for the church in the UK to come together to speak up for the people of Pakistan, and to use its resources and influence to help those who are suffering.

Pray for vulnerable adults and children

  • Pray for people who have mobility issues, for whom escaping from the floods will be more difficult. Pray that they will be given the support they need.
  • Pray for protection for pregnant and nursing mothers, and for their babies
  • Pray for unaccompanied children – those who have become separated from their families or orphaned. Pray that God's angels will surround, guide and protect them.

Pray for action to tackle the climate crisis

  • Pray for the heavy rainfall to stop, for flood waters to recede and for no more landslides.
  • Lament the injustice of the climate crisis – how it’s affecting people living in poverty, like those in Pakistan, the most.
  • Pray that wealthier countries will honour the pledge they made at previous UN climate talks to help lower-income countries adapt to the climate crisis.

Mr Urs and his children in their home, which is partly under water. | Image credit: Tearfund local partner

Ways to pray…

Pray using a map

Use an internet search engine, globe or an atlas to find a map of Pakistan. This web page features a map of affected areas.

As you look at the map, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal a particular location to you.

Once you have chosen somewhere, lay your hand above it on the map. Pray for that location and the people there. Ask God to reveal specific things you can pray for, or use the first part of this guide to help.

If doing this activity as a group, you could take it in turns to choose a location to pray over. If you’re using a physical map, you could keep it up as a reminder to pray and add Post-it notes throughout the week.

Pray while sharing a meal

As you sit down to a meal – either with yourself, your family, or your church group – set aside a few minutes to pray for Pakistan.

Reflect on the needs people might have. Pray that they will be fed and nourished. If there is a traditional prayer of grace that you say, think about how you could adapt this to pray for the people of Pakistan.

Homes have been completely destroyed by the floods. | Image credit: Tearfund local partner

Pray using scripture

It can be helpful for us to remind ourselves of who God is and what he is capable of – especially in the face of huge disasters like this. Reciting and praying scripture can help us to see God as powerful and remind us of his love for everyone.

Pray the following verses from Psalm 46 over the situation in Pakistan. As you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to draw out words or phrases to you. Use these as prompts to continue to guide your prayers for Pakistan.

‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.’

You can also choose different Bible verses for this activity.

Pray with art

The floods have pushed people further into poverty. Many families often did not have the income to meet their basic needs before the disaster hit, and so, with no savings to fall back on, the situation becomes even more desperate.

For this prayer activity you will need some paper and art materials – such as crayons, paint or colouring pencils.

Once you’ve gathered what you need, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and speak to you. Bring your attention to the people of Pakistan, and then let the Holy Spirit lead you as you draw or paint whatever comes to mind.

If you’re doing it as part of a church, once you’ve finished you could add it to your church noticeboard to encourage prayers. If you’re doing it individually, consider putting it somewhere to remind you to continue to pray.

Reflect on the challenges of people who are vulnerable

Disasters are even worse for people with additional needs. The following prayer exercise helps to focus your prayers on specific groups of people, who are made more vulnerable by the floods. If you’re doing this activity as a group, you may want to split into smaller groups and divide this list between you.

  • People with disabilities
  • Pregnant women and new mothers
  • People with mobility issues
  • The elderly
  • Women and girls
  • Children separated from their families or made orphans
  1. Begin by welcoming God’s presence.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in prayer for one of the groups above. Reflect on the challenges that these groups could now face because of the flooding.
  3. When you encounter a challenge this group may face, pray for God’s power to help them to overcome it. Pray for provision where there is lack. Pray that they won’t feel alone. And pray for opportunities and support to help them to recover and flourish.

Many families have been forced to camp on the side of roads now that their homes have been destroyed. Lachmi (right) shares how the floods have been affecting her. | Image credit: Kachhi Community Development Association

Thank you

Thank you for joining us in prayer for the people of Pakistan. Let us continue to pray and act on behalf of people suffering from the devastating effects of the climate crisis.

Written by

Written by  Rachael Adams and Gideon Heugh

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