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Pray for the thirsty

A woman gathers water from a stale pool in Ghana. World Vision later helped drill a well in her community. Photo: ©2007 Esperanza Ampah/World Vision

A woman gathers water from a stale pool in Ghana. World Vision later helped drill a well in her community.
Photo: ©2007 Esperanza Ampah/World Vision

Next to air, water is our most essential need. Here in the United States, most of us are blessed to have clean, abundant water to drink and use for cooking, growing food, washing clothes, and flushing toilets. We seldom worry that the water we drink could make us sick — or even kill us.

Around the world, hundreds of millions of people do not share this blessing. Each year we recognize this reality with World Water Day. This is a day to champion the right of people everywhere to have access to affordable, safe, convenient drinking water. Join us in prayer for those who lack this most basic need for health and life.

Suggested prayer points

Pray for children’s health.
Today and every day, an average 4,000 children will die from waterborne illnesses. When children have only unsafe water sources, conditions such as diarrhea can bring illness and even death. Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children younger than 5. Ask God to protect children from the dangers of unsafe water.

Dear God, touch these precious little ones. Give them Your strength to fight off the illnesses that wrack their bodies.

Pray for those who daily carry water over long distances.
Women and girls have transported water from distant sources for millennia. In Genesis 24, Abraham’s servant first saw Rebekah, Isaac’s future wife, at a well. Jesus also met the Samaritan woman at a well. Transporting water from distant sources is no less difficult now than it was then. The process consumes precious time that could be used for more productive activities, such as farming or going to school. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 40 billion hours are lost every year due to time spent collecting and transporting water.

Dear God, You promise in Psalm 23 to be close beside us and protect us even as we walk through the darkest valley. We claim this promise for those who trek to get water for their families. Stay close to them, strengthen them, and protect them.

Pray for those struggling to recover from drought in Africa.
Lack of water also triggers widespread disaster. The Horn of Africa recently experienced a 70-percent decrease in rainfall, producing the driest 12-month period in 60 years. We praise God that rains began again in December. World Vision continues to help families recover by providing food, clean water, and medical care to hundreds of thousands of people, but many remain vulnerable. Now, lack of rain also is contributing to a food and nutrition crisis in West Africa. Pray for adequate rains throughout Africa.

Dear God, the elements are in Your control. We thank You for an end to drought in the Horn of Africa. We pray that families in West Africa also will have enough rain to grow food crops.

Pray for a global will to ensure all people have safe drinking water.
People in wealthier countries often are unaware of life-threatening issues surrounding water in developing nations. Through the efforts of organizations such as World Vision, many more people are becoming aware of the hundreds of millions of people who face serious illness because they have no access to clean drinking water. Ask God to connect those in developed nations with organizations that help them make a difference and save lives.

Dear God, remind us of Your command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Don’t let us rest until we know we have done everything we can to meet this basic need for others.

Pray for World Vision’s ongoing work that is bringing clean, readily accessible water to millions.
Since 1985, World Vision has helped provide safe water to more than 10 million people in greatest need. Yet much work remains to be done. Please pray for our ongoing efforts that are bringing clean, sustainable water — and renewed health — to children, families, and communities around the globe.

Dear God, give wisdom to Your people at World Vision as they seek to bring clean water and other lifesaving interventions to millions more families around the globe. Thank You for equipping those who love You as they bring new health and opportunities to the world’s most vulnerable.

“My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” ~Psalm 63:1 (NASB)

These prayers originally appeared in the World Vision magazine.

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