Prayer to Change the World

Page 1


- Why The -

DEVELOPMENT GOALS? In 2000, the nations of the world, including the United States, adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at the alleviation of extreme poverty. The target for meeting the goals was set for 2015. In 2013, after remarkable improvement in many of the MDGs, the nations of the world met once again to discuss new goals for seeing an end to extreme poverty. Using information gathered over the MDG years as well as advice from practitioners and organizations working on the ground and those affected by poverty, seventeen new goals (SDGs) were created and will be finalized by in September 2015. These new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will carry us into 2030. It is all the more important to be praying for our leaders and practitioners as these programs are implemented and we seek continued improvement in the lives of people all over the world.

- Why Prayer? -

Prayer needs to be an important part of our efforts to overcome extreme poverty.

We pray for the SDGs because prayer: Brings our hearts closer to the heart of God, especially as it concerns the impoverished. God’s grace inspires us to strive for justice when we pray. Helps us remember that real people are behind every staggering poverty statistic. Sustains us in the struggle as we seek to overcome the injustice of global poverty. Empowers us to be powerful agents of social change. As we continue to understand the importance of prayer, we should also teach ourselves to pray with our actions. Living justly in a world where unjust actions are easy, commonplace, and commended is what we as Christians have been called to do. Let us not only quietly pray in our rooms for a change in the world, but loudly pray with our daily lives as we actively seek out that change. This guide is designed to encourage Christians across the country to engage in prayer with people around the world. By praying to accomplish the development goals our world leaders have set out to achieve, we are working to bring our hearts closer to God and His understanding of justice and grace. At the end of this guide, you’ll find interactive prayer activities for each subject the goals deal with listed. They are intended to invite participants to take time to reflect and engage with issues of global poverty, bringing them to God in prayer. Each activity includes brief instructions as well as materials required.

Goal 1: End Poverty in All Forms Everywhere 700 million fewer people are living in extreme poverty now than in 1990, but 1.2 billion people in the world are still living on less than $1.25 a day. People living in this extreme form of poverty are faced with multitudes of issues from chronic and preventable illnesses to increased vulnerability and inability to recover from natural disasters.


Target for Goal Bring the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to zero and build resilience within impoverished populations to recover quickly from situations such as natural disasters, loss of jobs, and illnesses

Pray Pray for justice for the most impoverished nations, and that people would be given opportunities to earn a better income and reach a point where they would thrive. Pray for our leaders. Pray that they would be filled with a passion to see an end to extreme poverty and that God would give them wisdom and guidance to see that passion come to fruition.

Meditation from Scripture Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,� but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:15-17

Goal 2: End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture Today, 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. People are considered food secure when they have all-time access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.

Target for Goal End hunger and reduce stunting, wasting, and anemia for children under five while adopting sustainable agriculture and fishery practices.

Pray Pray for the 209 million children who did not received the proper nutrition within their first 1,000 days of life, resulting in stunting, and that this irreversible and detrimental nutritional deficiency among children ends. Pray for the adoption of sustainable practices within agriculture and fishing can be achieved to ensure enough food for future generations.

Meditation from Scripture Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” 2 Corinthians 8:13-15

Goal 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being for All Ages The Indian Government describes the Malto tribe from North East India as “a primitive tribal group.� For generations they have been poor and exploited, with their people ravaged by TB, cholera and other results of poverty. Child mortality is up to 5 times higher here than in more developed parts of India.

Target for Goal End preventable deaths among infants and children under five, and decrease the maternal mortality rate. Increase the proportion of vaccinations among at-risk peoples as well as ending epidemics like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Pray Pray that we can achieve universal health coverage and access so that all people will have a chance to live a healthy life. Pray for an increase in the number of people trained as midwives and traditional birthing attendants. Pray for a cure to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases.

Meditation from Scripture Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

Goal 4:Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Life-long Learning Opportunities for All There are around 800,000 children working in Bolivia, many of them living on the streets. Most of these young people are illiterate and often get involved in criminal groups. In rural areas, nine out of ten girls drop out of school.

Target for Goal Ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, completes primary and secondary education with the ability to read, write and count well enough to meet minimum learning standards. Ensure that everyone has access to technical, vocational and tertiary (university) education in order to promote economic increases.

Pray Pray that girls’ education will be valued just as greatly as boys’ education. Pray that all people will have a chance to improve their livelihoods through furthering their education and skills. Pray that parents living in poverty will not be forced to choose between sending their children to school or sending them to work to enable the family to survive.

Meditation from Scripture And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52

Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls At fourteen, Phally was working two jobs while her brothers went to school. Now, with the help of a small loan and some training, she runs a successful grocery business in Cambodia, employs her brothers, and can send her own daughter to school. Empowering women is essential.

Target for Goal Prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, end child marriage, and improve healthcare and employment for women. Bring forth women's equal participation in all sectors of leadership, in political, economic, and public sectors of life.

Pray Pray for the 15 million girls between the ages of 10-14 who have been married in the last decade and pray that girls will be able to choose the time of their own marriage. Pray for equality for women at all levels: the ability to own and inherit property, the ability to sign a contract, the ability to open a bank account, improved job security, and better representation within elected governmental positions and leadership positions in economic and public sectors.

Meditation from Scripture There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Goal 6:Ensure Availability and Sustainable Managament of Water and Sanitation for All Every day Mame collects water for her family in Senegal. She’s lucky enough to live near a borehole. The average distance to travel for water in Africa is 6km. Some children spend up to six hours per day on this task, and women worldwide spend an estimated 140 million hours a day collecting water.

Target for Goal Provide universal access to safe drinking water at home, and in schools, health centers, and refugee camps. Also ensure universal access to sanitation at school and work as well as increased access to sanitation at home. Increase and improve water quality around world, by reducing pollution being put into our water sources.

Pray Pray that sanitation projects continue to increase and that the 2.6 billion people who lack access to adequate sanitation would no longer have to fear sickness and death that accompany this issue. Pray that everyone in the world would be granted access to safe water, and for improved water resource management so that continual access to clean water can be ensured for all.

Meditation from Scripture The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of waters, and the parched ground into springs. Isaiah 41: 17-18

Goal 7: Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable, and Modern Energy for All Sustainable energy affects all aspects of human development and is essential in improving agricultural productivity, access to clean water, adequate sanitation, education, and overall health within communities.

Target for Goal Ensure universal access to modern energy services while doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and renewable energy, while phasing out inefficient fossil fuels.

Pray Pray for universal access to electricity and that electricity networks become more reliable so that schools, health clinics, water and sanitation facilities among other institutions will be given greater opportunities to have an impact for the better. Pray for wisdom and guidance as new innovations in environmental sustainability are created and used.

Meditation from Scripture The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. Leviticus 25:23-24

Goal 8:Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Employment, and Decent Work for All Between 2015 and 2030, 470 million more people will be entering the global labor force. This increase and the growth in population worldwide will require significant changes and adaptations to sustain and expand the economy and improve livelihoods.

Target for Goal Increase the number of good and decent jobs while providing improved education and training opportunities for young people. Also, improve infrastructure and financial services to meet the growing demand of the increasing population.

Pray Pray for wisdom and transparency among leaders and decision makers as they look to improve infrastructure and access to financial services and they would be spurred into action. Pray for the continued job creation worldwide and increased opportunities for people to continue their education and training. Pray that those who become wealthy by taking advantage of workers would be brought to justice.

Meditation from Scripture Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Deuteronomy 24:14

Goal 9: Build Resilient Infrastructure, Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization, and Foster Innovation In Sub-Saharan Africa around 69% of people do not have access to any source of electricity. Access to usable roads, electricity, proper sanitation, and other forms of infrastructure are key to a flourishing society, and without them the society is not likely to attract sustainable business’s nor is able to take the necessary steps to alleviate poverty.

Target for Goal

Develop and maintain quality, affordable, and resilient infrastructures, create an inclusive and environmentally sustainable industrialization, and increase access to the market for small-scale industries in developing countries.


Pray that all people would have access to proper infrastructure in order that human beings would flourish, but also that business and the economy of these areas would be developed and sustained. Pray that more research and development can be done among all countries so that we can have more sustainable societies. Pray for big breakthroughs and innovations in technology to enhance financial, technological, industrial, environmental and health sectors.

Meditation from Scripture

Then I said to them ‘You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come; let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.’ I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, ‘Let us arise and build.’ So they put their hands to the good work. Nehemiah 2:17-18

Goal 10:Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries Inequality among the nations has grown exponentially within the last 30 years. ‘An average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $ 2,014 in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010 stood out against regional GDPs per capita of $ 27,640 in the European Union and $ 41,399 in North America (UN Statistic)’. Unfortunately, because this inequality is only getting wider, this means that where you are born can determine your life expectancy, income expectancies, and general well-being.

Target for Goal

Aggressively increase the incomes of the lowest 40% of the world population. Create an environment where all people can achieve economic growth. Enhance global policies in order to promote equal representation of and increase chances of developing countries succeeding.


Pray that each person living in extreme poverty would have a chance to be lifted out. Pray that laws, policies and practices that are discriminatory, on local, national and inter-national levels would be replaced with laws to help each person and country, especially in developing countries, succeed at economic growth. Pray that people will begin to invest in developing countries.

Meditation from Scripture

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. Colossians 3:9-11

Goal 11: Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable The number of people living in ‘slum conditions’ rose from 760 million in 2000, to 863 million in 2013. These settlements develop usually through use of land they do not own, and therefore they can be ‘swept out’ at any time. There is no access to transportation outside of normal realms, no proper sanitation, and no official justice systems (police, etc.).

Target for Goal Provide safe and affordable housing options for all people, and do away with ‘slums’. Expand public transportation methods, while fixing roads and enhancing other forms of transportation. Make cities more environmentally sustainable.

Pray Pray that all people would be able to find affordable, sustainable housing, and that slums would be a thing of the past. Pray that cities would be integrated, safe and environmentally sustainable. Pray that the world can change our set-in ways. Pray that public transportation would be enhanced, made affordable, and useful, especially in densely populated areas.

Meditation from Scripture He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4

Goal 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns Each year, wealthy consumer countries waste over 222 million tons of food, which is almost equivalent to the entire food produce in sub-Saharan Africa, which is just 230 million tons. Americans alone produced 251 million tons of trash, recycling only 87 million tons of this material, creating huge landfills each year.

Target for Goal

Achieve sustainable and efficient use of natural resource, while reducing waste generation through ‘reduce, recycle, and reuse’ methods. Reduce global food waste, reduce improper use and dumping of chemicals, and reduce market distortions that promote wasteful and inefficient uses of fossil fuels. Create cultures, through awareness and education that are built on sustainable development and environmentally sound lifestyles.


Pray that the general population would become educated and practice sustainable, anti-consumerist and environmentally aware lifestyles. Pray that companies would adopt practices of efficient use of natural resources, and sustainable environmental capabilities. Pray that the world would lower its use of toxic chemicals to make our products, and lower our unnecessary waste of food.

Meditation from Scripture

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothingand does not give him his wages, who says, ‘I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,’who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion. Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me?’ declares the Lord. But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence. Jeremiah 22:13-17

Goal 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change CO2 emissions have increased 50% since 1990. Here in the USA, we are 5% of the world’s population, and yet we contribute to 22% of the world’s carbon emissions. A 2 Degree increase in the world temperature would reduce crops productions by 15%, 10% decrease in stream flows, 200% increase of area burned by forest fires. Currently world temperatures are up 1.4 Degrees since 1880 (beginning of Industrial Revolution).

Target for Goal To halt and reverse the effects of climate change, especially on the world’s poorest through education of lay people and through policies of the governments.

Pray Pray that natural resources be managed transparently and effectively, ensuring access, as well as maintaining and improving the livelihood for future generations. Pray that our leaders would put in place policies and strategies to halt and reverse the effects of climate change Pray that people around the world would become aware and educated on climate change and creation care.

Meditation from Scripture Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Genesis 2:15

Goal 14:Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas, and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development Over 1 billion people around the world rely on the ocean for their main source of food. Today rapid rates of CO2 emissions are creating ‘ocean acidification’ as the high seas absorb about 25% of the emissions. Acidification kills many sea creatures including oysteys, clams and other shelled species, which cuts into a billion peoples food security.


Target for Goal Reduce the pollutions in marine ecological systems, hopefully reversing ocean acidification. Aggressively regulate harvesting, fishing, and protected areas in order to protect the marine species, and encourage biodiversity. Increase economic benefits for being environmentally efficient and sustainable in tourism, aquaculture and in fishing industry.

Pray Pray that policies would be made and regulated in order to protect and strengthen the ocean and its inhabitants. Pray that technology and research increases, and our personal choices would have positive and not negative effects on marine resources.

Meditation from Scripture Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and the Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the earth.’ Genesis 1:26

Goal 15:Protect, Restore, and Promote Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems

Every year, 12 million hectares (1 hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres) of land become degraded – half the size of the United Kingdom – losing opportunities to grow 20 million tons of food. Natural resources today are often used as if they have no economic value and without consideration to future generations. However, natural resources are becoming scarce in certain parts of the world and damage can oftentimes be irreversible.


Target for Goal Reduce deforestation and desertification, improve soil quality and reduce soil erosion, and safeguard ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity.

Pray Pray for the 1 billion people living in rural areas relying upon forest, wetland or mountain resources for their livelihood. Pray that they would be able to maintain livelihoods without causing a negative impact on the forest, and that institutions and corporations adopt sustainable methods within the forestry and terrestrial ecosystems. Pray that natural resources be managed transparently and effectively, ensuring access as well as maintaining and improving the livelihood for future generations.

Meditation from Scripture But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10

Goal 16:Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies, Provide Access to Justice for All and Build effective, Accountable Institutions at All Levels Over 2 billion people today are confronted by some form of extreme violence, and those living in conflict ridden areas are more likely to experience malnutrition, disease, and undereducation. Half of all child deaths occur in conflict affected areas.

Target for Goal

Stem the external stressors that lead to conflict, enhance the capacity, professionalism and accountability of the security forces, police, and judiciary, and ensure justice institutions are accessible, independent, well-resourced, and respect due-process rights. Free and universal legal identity, an increase in public participation in political processes, increased strength in local and national institutions for preventing violence and crime, and a reduction in bribery and corruption ensuring officials can be held accountable.


Pray for children who are especially vulnerable in situations of armed conflict and sometimes actively recruited and forced to participate in the violence. Pray for wisdom among world leaders as they work to decrease the number of violent deaths and reduce the stressors that lead to conflict. Pray for openness and accountability among institutions and corporations. That we would all engage in ethical business practice.

Meditation from Scripture If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Goal 17: Strengthen the Means of Implemantation and Revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Long-term growth requires stable financial systems, a global trading system aimed at sustainable development, crackdown on corruption within governments and multinational corporations, and transparent and effective data collection which is paramount in accountability.

Target for Goal Promote collaboration and access to science, technology, innovation, and development data. Implement reforms to ensure stability of the global financial system, and encourage stable, long-term private foreign investment while maintaining transparency and accountability.

Pray Pray for a willingness to share information and work together among governments, civil society, and the private sector. Pray for new partnerships to grow and thrive and that new innovations and technologies would be disseminated around the globe.

Meditation from Scripture One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. Luke 16:10 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30

Prayer Stations Guide This guide will help you set up the Sustainable Development Goals prayer station activities for group use. The activities become prayerful meditative actions for participants to engage, and learn about our world. Participants will be invited to reflect on the stations at their own pace, with the freedom to interact with as many of the activities as they wish. Place copies of the goal, information, prayers, and scripture at each station.

Focus: Economic Opportunity & Employment

Goals: (1)End Poverty, (4)Education, (8)Employment, (9)Infrastructure Take a piece of string and make a knot in it for the different kinds of jobs you’ve had in your life. Go back and for each knot you have made, say a pray for improved infrastructure and an increase in educational, training, and employment opportunities around the world. Preparations: pieces of cut up string

Focus: Human & Natural Environment Goals: (7) Energy, (12) Consumption, (13) Climate Change, (14) Marine Resources, (15) Terrestrial Ecosystems

Commit to take an action to save energy or to help the environment this week: replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, wash a couple loads of laundry in cold water instead of warm, shorten your shower, bike to work for a week, buy local etc. Write down the action and take it with you as reminder to keep you accountable to this change. Preparation: paper and pens

Focus: Health and Well Being

Goals: (2) Food Security, (3) Health Care, (6) Water, (11) Safe Cities Take some soil and put it into the pitcher of water. As more people add soil, think about the human contribution to the unsafe water. Preparation: Soil and clear pitcher full of water

Focus: Human Rights

Goals: (5) Gender Equality, (10) Inequality Countries (16) Just and Peaceful Societies, (17) Global Partnership Look through the newspaper and cut out words that relate to violence and peace, or cut out letters to create a word. Paste the words to two separate poster-boards. Take some time to ponder the difference between the two boards as more people add their words. Preparation: newspaper and/or magazines, scissors, glue, 2 poster-boards

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.