At the time of this article, the death toll has already risen to more than 28,000 after devastating earthquakes hit the region of Turkey and bordering Syria on Monday, 6 February. Tens of thousands have been injured. The initial magnitude 7.8 tremor brought down buildings as people slept and was followed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hours later amid several aftershocks. The World Health Organisation said that nearly 23 million people could be impacted. Let us earnestly cry out to the Lord on behalf of those who are trapped, who have lost loved ones, who are injured, who are facing hopeless circumstances right now. Humanitarian help and rescue teams usually remain in an area for up to 3 months. The greatest need arises once they pull out of an area.  Prayer teams under the leadership of the Australian Prayer Network and CityHarvest have visited, prayed, and worshipped in a number of cities and towns in Southern Turkey over the years.

Please pray:

* for search and rescue teams as they continue to search for survivors. Pray for God’s supernatural intervention and help to save people.

* for international humanitarian teams to be dispatched to Turkey and Syria without delay, and for various nationalities to work well together. Pray for the effective provision and distribution of food, water and medical supplies to affected areas where people are in desperate need.

* for the setting up of safe shelters to house people amidst bitter cold and rain during the winter season. Ask the Lord for counsellors to help the survivors deal with the physical and emotional trauma they are experiencing after suffering great losses.

* for the church to become ‘salt and light’, visible on the ground in providing help, counsel, comfort and the gospel of God’s kingdom. Pray for the church to be strong, courageous and bold in this. Also pray for many instant miracles and healing to take place as they pray for and minister to victims.

* for the cleaning up of the rubble over the next months to be underway soon. Pray for help from abroad to assist in this process – financially, through humanitarian help, and especially medical supplies and the setting up of temporary hospitals and shelters. Please pray for the global church to establish projects that can reach out with tangible and sustainable help to the affected areas once these teams are pulled out.

Pastor Ben Gray has provided the following crafted prayer which we invite you to use for such a time as this.

In times such as this, remind us Lord that you are here regardless of circumstances. Help us, and especially our brothers and sisters in Christ who are caught up in this devastation (including those living outside the immediate devastation, who have family and friends caught up in it) to trust in the fact that you are still present – even in these moments. Strengthen the work of emergency teams and all those on the ground who are rendering aid. Increase the provision of relief, especially in Syria, where, due to the ongoing war, access to humanitarian aid and relief agencies is very limited. Make a way for them, we pray.

Be present O Lord in bringing comfort, relief, shelter, and human kindness to all who are caught up in this tragedy. Shield the people who are suffering, console and bring hope to all who are bereaved. In the midst of the despair and sense of hopelessness, please shine your light, and reveal your presence to them. Many have lost their loved ones – and some are still finding out that their loved ones have died. Lord, we know that Scriptures like Ecclesiastes 3:1 remind us there is a time and a season for everything – that includes a time for grief. Right now, many are grieving amid this devastation. Help them to know they are free to grieve what they have lost, even to ask you the “why” question. We know you are a good God who not only takes our praise, but also our grief, pain and trauma.

Lord, we lift up our fellow Christians, especially any we may know, who live and work in these areas. Give them wisdom and strength to render aid, comfort, and love to those in their communities who are traumatised through what has happened. Knowing they live in tough surroundings, where often they are the persecuted, reveal to them how to go about helping and rendering aid to those who are often hostile to Christianity. As we can all testify, reaching out and showing love to our enemies is never easy, however your Word commands us to do that. Therefore, give them an added dimension of your grace and favour at this time.

Dear Lord, you not only heard the Psalmist, David, sing your praises but you also heard his lament and grief and revealed your love to him. You also, through the Cross, experienced pain and grief and identified with our human weakness. Lord, at this time we ask you to show the grieving and suffering people in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria that you are the God who weeps, who knows and understands pain. And whether they are injured, traumatised or grieving, help them find a way through this painful experience, and at the proper time, guide them to see your redemptive purposes that you weave out of even the darkest and worst circumstances. May Your Kingdom Come, may Your will be done. Amen!

Two passages of Scripture to guide us in our prayers.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:4-6 NIV)

Source: Compiled by APN from various sources

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