How do you pray when the world is on fire?


Western Europe


A woman offers a prayer after lightning a candle for hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, at a synagogue in Berlin. Photo AFP, John Macdougall

How do you pray for these conflicts when right and wrong may not be clear? The CNEF provides Christians with guidelines.

Several global conflicts are dividing Europeans to the core. This polarisation is also reflected in the churches on the continent. Prayer is not only effective but also our responsibility, our contribution in these sad times, the National Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF) writes on its website. In addition, it is "a defensive weapon, peace, transformation and reconciliation."

First, the CNEF advises people who pray for conflicts, such as the one in Israel or the war in Ukraine, to put their binary views on the matter aside. "A conflict cannot be summed up as a struggle between the camp of good and that of evil", the organisation points out. "Recent and older history has shown that wrongs are sometimes shared, and the origins of a conflict are often complex. Let's find out about the reality of the situation."


In addition, praying Christians should not politicise their prayers. Even though politics and religion are often inseparable in a current conflict, people should choose their words in prayer carefully, especially when praying out loud.

Also, Christians should be careful "not to fall into excessive and unbiblical spiritualism regarding the reasons for these conflicts and the identities of the different protagonists", CNEF suggests.

Especially the conflict in Israel leads to much speculation about prophesies being fulfilled. Some Christians see the conflict as a spiritual battle in which Israel represents the good and Hamas the evil side.


The CNEF also publishes an example of a prayer in times of conflict. It consists of several elements: praise, thanksgiving, asking for forgiveness, and intercession.

Christians should always remember, the CNEF concludes, that "the only one Who can bring real and lasting peace between people is Jesus Christ, Who changes hearts and not a peace treaty or agreement, which can be torn up at the first opportunity."



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