21 October 2022

International Development Week: Pray with us

Benjamin Gilbert

People in Pakistan holding bags of food with The Salvation Army's red shield on them

Team Leader Benjamin Gilbert (International Projects Office) invites the territory to pray for the different aspects of The Salvation Army’s work with communities around the world this International Development Week (2430 October).

Working with our partners around the world as we seek to engage with communities experiencing extreme poverty, we face an increasing number of significant challenges.

Some factors that complicate this work are outside of our control, such as erratic weather patterns, war, economic pressures and political uncertainty.

The projects we support are tackling poverty in extremely complex environments and progress sometimes feels like ‘two steps forward, one step back’. Yet, even in the unknown, we can be sure of God’s unchanging love and his desire to touch everyone with his power and love.

Partnership is a central part of all that we do; we know that we are stronger, healthier and more effective together.

We need you to partner with us in prayer for the individuals and communities that we work alongside, for our colleagues and the projects we support, and that God will intervene when things seem humanly impossible!

Here are some specific things to pray for within each of our areas of work:


An estimated 40.3 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery and 71 per cent of trafficking victims around the world are women and girls. Within this area of work International Development UK are currently partnering teams in Bangladesh, Ukraine, Poland, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

  • Pray for healthy and robust networks between territories, strengthening links across them and offering repatriation opportunities to survivors of trafficking.
  • Pray for the zonal capacity strengthening initiatives that seek to support territories as they engage with anti-trafficking.
  • Pray that our project advisers who focus on this area are renewed in their strength and vision to see even more people rescued and supported out of trafficking.

Clean water

More than 2 billion people live in water-stressed countries and do not have access to safe drinking water. This is expected to be exacerbated in some regions as a result of climate change and population growth. Unsafe water sources are responsible for 1.2 million deaths each year. These deaths could be avoided if drinking water issues were addressed.

Someone washing there hands using an outside tap

Within this area of work International Development UK partner teams in Malawi, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, China and Tanzania.

  • Pray for more opportunities to reach families without safe drinking water and for the resources we need to work effectively with these communities.
  • Pray for wisdom to enhance the initiatives that The Salvation Army is doing to tackle this issue so that best practice is shared effectively and we work in a sustainable way.
  • Pray for more opportunities to partner and collaborate with other churches and organisations.

Emergency response

In 2021, 432 disastrous events were recorded that related to natural hazards worldwide. Overall, these accounted for 10,492 deaths, affected 101 million people and caused approximately $252 billion of economic losses.

Over the past 10 years, more than half the world’s population lived in direct contact with, or proximity to, significant political violence. The number of forcibly displaced people around the world increased from 42 million in 2008, to 89.3 million at the end of 2021.

Within this area of work, and in the past two years, International Development UK has partnered teams in Kenya, India, the Caribbean, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, Mozambique, Ghana, the Philippines and Pakistan.

  • Pray specifically for Ukraine and the many refugee families fleeing the conflict.
  • Pray for the officers, staff and volunteers involved in the frontline of the Ukraine response – for strength and unity as the war is so prolonged.
  • Pray for smooth transitions as projects move from a disaster response to longer-term programmes.

Food security

It is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, in part due to lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on global food security.

Nearly one in three people in the world (2.37 billion) did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – and the trend is moving in the wrong direction with more people facing inadequate access to food.

Within this area of work we partner teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for our project leaders who are contending with the increasing challenges of climate change and its effects on vulnerable food markets.
  • Pray for the corps that are involved in crop demonstration plots and training, that they will be able to engage with individuals who will be receptive to new farming technologies.
  • Pray specifically for opportunities for more funds in this area to tackle the increasingly challenging need of food insecurity.

Gender justice

Domestic abuse is a universal issue, not bound by social status, wealth or gender. However, most victims are female, with one in three women around the world experiencing intimate partner abuse or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

A woman using a weaving loom

Within this area of work International Development UK partner teams in Argentina and Bangladesh.

  • Pray for wisdom and sensitivity when speaking about the emotional and physical abuse, as it can trigger painful memories and responses.
  • Pray for the provision of resources needed for follow-up care and holistic support to each individual.
  • Pray for family members indirectly impacted by domestic abuse – children, relatives, friends – that they will be included and not left alone.

To further guide your prayers, Prayer Matters will include prayer prompts from Major Heather Poxon from 24–30 October.

Written by

A photo of Ben Gilbert

Benjamin Gilbert

Team Leader, International Development

This article was originally printed in Develop magazine. 

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