How can I pray when bad things happen in the world?

A young woman prays about the bad things that happen in the world with her eyes closed and her hands clasped together
Picture by Stocksnap

This page will help you to pray for the world and for people who are hurting. You can read the whole page or you can click on one of these titles to jump to the part you want to read.

Why should I pray for the world?

What if I do not know what to pray?

How can I give my worries to God?

How can I trust God when bad things happen in the world?

A prayer for the hurting world

Why should I pray for the world?

Lots of things happen in the world every day. Some things that happen are good. But some things that happen are bad. Some countries are fighting in wars. Some people do not have enough food to eat. Some places have a lot of people who are sick or poor. 

Psalms chapter 9 says:

It may seem that those who are poor and needy have been forgotten,
but God will not forget them.
He will not leave them without hope.
Psalms chapter 9 verse 18, ERV)

The Bible tells us to help people who are hurting if we can. The Bible also tells us to pray for them:

First of all, I ask that you pray for all people. Ask God to bless them and give them what they need. And give thanks. You should pray for rulers and for all who have authority. Pray for these leaders so that we can live quiet and peaceful lives—lives full of devotion to God and respect for him.
1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 1-2, ERV)

So let’s think about how we can pray for hurting people in the world.

What if I do not know what to pray?

Two people's hands clasped together in prayer
Picture by congerdesign

Sometimes it is hard to understand what is happening in the world. Information on the news and on the internet can be confusing. We might hear lots of different things. It can be hard to know what is true.

But God knows everything. He understands everything that is happening. So when we pray to him we don’t have to worry about what to say. He knows what the world needs. He knows how to help the people we are praying for.

God knows everything about us too. He sees all our thoughts and feelings. That means we do not need to use lots of words when we pray. We can just say “God, please help.” Even if we make a mistake and say the wrong thing, God knows what we mean. We do not have to worry about saying everything. And we do not have to worry about saying the right thing.

God hears all our prayers. And he always understands. If you do not know how to pray to God, click here to find out.

How can I give my worries to God?

When bad things happen in the world it can make us feel worried. We might worry about the people who are hurting and in danger. We might worry that bad things will happen where we live too.

But we cannot change or fix any of these things. So our worries do not help us. They just make us feel tired and sad and afraid.

The Bible tells us what to do with our worries:

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.
Philippians chapter 4 verses 6-7, ERV)
A bearded man with tattoos holds up a heavy barbell showing how strong he is
Picture by Pexels

Have you ever seen a strong person lift something very heavy, like in this picture? Have you ever tried to lift something very heavy yourself?

Our worries can be very heavy. That is why we need to give them to God. He is very strong. He can hold our worries better than we can. And he can change and fix the things that we care worried about. So every time we start to feel worried, we can pray and ask God to help. This is the best thing we can do with our worries.

How can I trust God when bad things happen in the world?

When bad things happen in the world it might make us think that God is not good, or that God is not strong. He does not always do the things we think he should do. This might make us feel sad or angry.

Lots of people in the Bible said to God, “Why don’t you stop bad things from happening?” It is okay to ask God questions. It is okay to tell him how we feel.

We do not always understand why bad things happen. But one reason is that people do not always do what God says is right. God wants us to be kind and look after each other. But he also lets us to make our own choices. Sometimes people make choices that hurt one other.

God does not always stop bad things from happening. But the Bible says that one day he will fix this hurting world. He will make everything better. It will be a whole new world.

The book of Revelation in the Bible tells us what that new world world will be like:

Now God’s home is with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone.”
Revelation chapter 21 verses 3-4, ERV)

A prayer for the hurting world

Here is a prayer that you can pray when bad things happen in the world.

Dear Father God,
Thank you that you love all the people in the world.
Thank you that you care for the people who are hurting.
Please help the hurting people and give them what they need today.
I know that you that you are strong. I give my worries to you. Please help me not to be afraid.
Thank you that you listen to my prayers.

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Valley of Springs is the online home of Dan and Jo Acharya.

We write devotional blogs to help you grow in your faith and trust God in difficult times.

We also provide easy read Bible study and discipleship resources for Christians with learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities and special needs.

Jo is the author of ‘Refresh: a wellness devotional for the whole Christian life’ and ‘Living Well With God: easy read Bible lessons for people who find reading hard’.

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