We’re on the brink of a global hunger crisis.
For the first time in six years, world hunger is on the rise. According to the World Food Programme, at the start of 2022, 276 million people worldwide were facing acute food insecurity where their lives or livelihoods were in immediate danger because of their restricted access to adequate food.
If the conflict in Ukraine continues, this number is expected to grow by 47 million hungry people, with the steepest increases in sub-Saharan Africa.
While it’s vital to help practically, it’s also important to turn to our God in prayer for food and lift up all those facing food insecurity.
We’ve collected resources to help inspire prayers for the hunger crisis. As the situation becomes increasingly severe, we need God’s mercy and provision more than ever.
1. Pray for those experiencing acute hunger
The number of people facing severe food insecurity has doubled—from 135 million to 276 million—in two years.
Ask for God’s comfort and miraculous provision as families try to survive with what little they have. Jesus offers provision in the most desperate situations. Pray particularly for children who are going hungry. Lift up Compassion’s church partners as they respond to meet urgent needs in their communities.
2. Pray for resolution to conflict
The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war is worsening the crisis, increasing the cost of living all over the world.
Please pray for the war in the Ukraine to cease. Ask that global food supply chains will be restored quickly.
3. Pray for areas impacted by extreme weather
Extreme weather and drought have collided with the impact of the pandemic, war, and rising inflation. For example, across the greater Horn of Africa region (including Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya), a terrible hunger crisis has been building following the worst drought there since 1981 – 13 million people are experiencing severe hunger every day.
Pray for rains to come and a successful harvest.Donate to our Food Crisis Appeal
We hope this collection of prayers for the hungry guides you as you spend time interceding for the hungry. Pray alongside Compassion’s staff members, graduates and church partners from around the world as they cry out to God on behalf of those most impacted by the global hunger crisis:
“Dear God, our hearts go out to all who have lost their homes, their crops, and their livestock. We understand there are so many mouths to feed, so many bodies to shelter, and so many children who are affected and dying prematurely but we trust in your mighty power. Isaiah 58:10 tells us that if we give ourselves on behalf of the hungry, then our light will shine in the dark. Even in these darkest moments, please God, help us be a light and relief to your people. ” – David Ouma, Compassion Kenya Food Security and Livelihoods Specialist
“Merciful God, our Lord and Father, I come before your throne of grace during this time of global food crisis. You are the greatest provider of all times, so Lord, I pray for food provision for each and every household currently in need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” – Gabriella Samaty, Compassion Photojournalist, Togo
“Father God, drought has hit our country very badly. Goods are scarce and what is available is not enough. Food has become so expensive. Lord, we pray for your mercy and provision.” – Susan, Compassion Kenya
“Lord, you are our refuge in times of need and in these times, where there’s so much conflict, fear, and uncertainty, we want to turn our eyes to you and put our faith in you alone. Amen.” – Betsy, Regional Content Manager, Peru
“Dear God, millions of children and families are forced to skip two or three meals per day in Burkina Faso because of poor rains last year and insecurity in their communities. You are Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides, please send support to send a daily bread to all affected children, youth, caregivers, and staff in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!” – Jehojakim Sangare, Compassion Photojournalist, Burkina Faso
“Lord, I ask you to provide through your Church for the millions of children worldwide who are wondering where their next meal is coming from. Help us to do all we can to create a more just world.” – Alex Clark, Volunteering Manager, Compassion UK
“Dear Father. How many people are suffering in this world? How many children and their families are living in a vulnerable way? It hurts my heart to know that when they sit at the table or on the dirt floor, they can only look at the sky because they have nothing to eat. It hurts my heart to know that unemployment and lack of opportunities close the doors to the possibility of at least eating a loaf of bread. I pray God continues to use Compassion, church partners, donors, and sponsors to continue to bless these children and their families. Amen.” – Yrahisa Mateo, Compassion Photojournalist, Dominican Republic
“Lord God, we pray in your Son’s powerful name for protection over children and their families living with acute food insecurity. Thank you for our church partners who are currently working to alleviate this suffering. Lord, help us be your hands and feet, going and serving where the need is greatest.” – Justin Dowds, CEO of Compassion UK and Compassion Ireland
“Heavenly Father, I pray that you would provide every household with their bread. Lord, thank you for using Compassion to be a beacon of hope for those who are in desperate need of help and hope.” – Tigist Gizachew, Compassion Photojournalist, Ethiopia
“Dear Heavenly Father! You are Jehovah Jireh, our provider! Your Word says that you feed the birds and clothe the flowers with compassion and love. How much more do you want to meet the needs of your children! Father, I pray for supernatural intervention during this crisis on behalf of those struggling to find food for themselves and their families. Amen.” – Fernando Sinacay, Compassion Photojournalist, Peru
“Dear Lord, we pray for people who seek food in extreme difficulty. Lord, we believe that you are the provider for us and for them who are in need. Open our hearts, oh Lord, make us learn to give more to others as we have gotten so much from you. Amen.” – Hutama Limarta, Compassion Photojournalist, Indonesia
In the Bible, in Matthew 25, Jesus is describing what the Kingdom of heaven will be like. The parable of the ten virgins tells us we are to be ready for His coming at any time. The parable of the talents informs us we’ve been given much to be used in His service.
Then comes Matthew 25: 31-46.
These verses aren’t a parable. It’s a description of what is going to happen in the future when Christ comes again. With all the nations gathered before Him, He will begin to separate them into two groups. One set for heaven on His right and the other destined for judgement on His left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
This passage is a clear commission to care for the hungry.
Though “brothers and sisters of mine” is a specific description of Christians, it reveals the heart of Christ for the poor, the needy and the suffering. Knowing the nature of Jesus, and the references to loving our neighbours who are in need throughout scripture, it would be safe to say we are to care for all people of faith and none who God has put in our path – that feeding the hungry, inviting the stranger, and giving the thirsty something to drink is a way of serving Jesus. When we look after the hungry, it is as if we are caring for Christ Himself.
We’ve also gathered a selection of scriptures on feeding the hungry to encourage us in our prayers for the food crisis. Whether it’s about how we treat those who are in poverty, or about God’s comfort that’s provided to those in need, the Bible is full of compelling hunger quotes.
James 2:15-17 “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Luke 6:21 “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
Proverbs 22:9 “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Isaiah 58:10 “…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God.”
1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”Support Compassion’s Food Crisis Appeal
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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.