I don't know about you, but when something as huge and tragic as this week's earthquake in Haiti happens, I feel pretty overwhelmed. The whole thing is just so big that I hardly know what to pray beyond "Lord, have mercy!" And that's a perfectly good prayer that God honors. But I know that there are more specific things that I can pray--things that our merciful, all-wise Father wants for the hurting Haitian people--and I want to be partnering with Him on these things, too.
To help myself and others like me who find it challenging to pray in the midst of enormous tragedy, a few years ago I asked the Lord to give me some Scripture-based prayers for just such times. He did. The result was the bookmark prayer guide, "Prayers of Hope in Times of Calamity." It includes prayers like these:
Dear Lord, if these hurting people have not called on You before, may they begin calling on Your name right now; may they find You to be their refuge and strength, a very present help in their time of trouble (Genesis 4:26; Psalm 46:1).
Loving Father, draw the children involved in this tragedy to Yourself. Let them come to You without hindrance. Strip away any foothold in their lives that Satan may try to gain through this tragedy. Rather, use it to refine their faith in You. (Matthew 19:13-14; Luke 17:1-2; Ephesians 1:27; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
Stir Your body to action, Lord Jesus. Surround these hurting people with those who will minister to them. Send believers who will offer food, visits, and other ministry in Your name. Prompt Your people to reach out and offer the comfort they themselves have received from You. Give them opportunities to share the reason for the hope they have (Matthew 25:37-40; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 3:15).
If you're like me and could use some focus and depths as you pray for Haiti, perhaps these prayers, and the others on the prayer card will help you. You can see the entire prayer card by going to "Prayers of Hope in Times of Calamity" and clicking on "Read a sample chapter."