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Prayer and possibility: take five to pray today

Got five minutes to pray? Here are key things you can pray for that will make a difference to people living in poverty.

Written by Rachael Adams | 14 Apr 2023

A metal cross in the foreground with praying hands in the background

 Finding time to pray can transform your own life – and the lives of others too | Image credit: Margaret Chandler/Tearfund

Finding time to pray can be difficult. Whether it’s commuting, childcare, work or other life commitments, it can be hard to find space for yourself – and for God. Praying for an end to extreme poverty can then seem like a daunting task, when you’re short on time, overwhelmed by the needs of the world or unsure of where to begin.

Your prayers make a difference in the lives of people around the world. This is why – if you can carve out five minutes to pray – we can help you with key things to pray for that will help to transform the lives of people living in poverty.

Pray with us

Below are seven simple prayers, broken down into important issues. The prayers will each take between one and two minutes to pray, giving you three minutes to either ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to pray further or spend this time listening to God – turning it into a two-way conversation.

Why not set yourself a challenge of doing one a day for a week, and see how you get on? You may find it becomes a helpful routine for you. You can also adapt these prayers to focus on specific countries or situations.

As you take five to pray today, we pray that you feel God’s presence. Thank you for praying with us.

A prayer for the hungry

Dear God,

Just as you provided manna in the desert for the Israelites, please provide nourishing food for all who need it. Let no one go hungry. Bless the crops in the ground, so that harvests will be plentiful again. Where people are sick from hunger and malnutrition, heal and comfort them.


A prayer for work

Dear God,

We pray for opportunities for people to break free from poverty by finding meaningful jobs – jobs that will allow for people to not only survive, but to thrive. We especially pray for those whose current jobs don’t allow for ends to meet. We pray these new opportunities will come quickly for those in need.


A prayer for clean water

Dear God,

We lift up communities who don’t have access to clean water or safe sanitation. We pray for protection for women and children who are forced to walk long hours to collect water. And we pray for healing for people who are sick from waterborne illnesses. Bless and resource the work being done by charities to ensure access to clean water and safe sanitation.


A prayer for safe shelter

Dear God,

We pray for provision of safe shelter for those without, particularly those forced from their homes by conflict and disasters. We pray for your love and presence to fill each room. We pray especially for children, that these new homes will be a play of safety and joy for them. We pray that everyone will feel welcomed and supported.


A prayer for people’s mental health

Dear God,

Where poverty is making people anxious, afraid and lonely, please bless them with peace and with community. We pray for those who feel marginalised and who don’t know where to turn to get help. We pray that support will reach them and that they will be able to overcome poverty and other challenges. We pray they will feel comforted and able to do things that bring them life and life to the full.


A prayer for peace

Dear God,

We pray for protection and provision for people living in areas of conflict and for those who have been forced to flee their homes. God, bring peace to places of conflict. Heal relationships between people and between warring groups. We pray that the church will continue to open its doors to shelter people and to promote peace.


A prayer for hope

Dear God,

Where poverty has robbed people of their hopes and dreams for the future, we pray that you bring fresh joy and opportunities to them. Where children cannot afford to go to school, we pray you will make a way for them. We pray that your church will continue to be salt and light in communities and help people to lift themselves out of poverty and flourish.


Written by

Written by  Rachael Adams

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