Helping The World’s Needs When There Are a World of Needs at Your Feet

How can we help when we can't go or give the way we want?

I open my news scroll to grab highlights as I sip my morning coffee. Flooding. Fires. Earthquakes. Wars. Political shambles. So, is Jesus coming back yet, or what?

My heart stirs with the desire to help—to jump in our mini van and go! Sort donated diapers, serve hot soup, pray with people, share the gospel with the hopeless—something.

Yet here I am—placed by Jesus to be present where I am—training hearts of my two boys and tending to the needs of my baby girl. Sometimes life just seems off kilter. When there is urgent need for serious help, here I am teaching boys how to negotiate with one another over sharing a hot wheel.

When we want to help, but are out of reach, what can we do?

Helping the World

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1) Pray.

Prayer is the go-to, the first-response, the on-the-scene help. The supernatural power of prayer is more than we even comprehend. And the amazing thing? We can pray thousands of miles away and the outcome of our prayers physically touch people where our hands can never reach.

And if you don’t know what to pray, just start with honesty. “God, I want to pray for all those hurting right now, but I don’t even know what to pray. Spirit, please help me have ideas of how to pray.”

Then wait. Listen. Then pray what comes to mind. There is no wrong way to pray as long as we are sharing our hearts with the Father.

2) Research.

Who is helping in hands-on ways? What churches or organizations are meeting needs you wish you could meet yourself? Is there any way they can use your help? As you research, pray for each person or organization you learn about. Remember, prayer is powerful and effective.

3) Ask God,

“Is there something you want me to do?” The needs in the world are more than any one of us can tend to, but God is the Great Shepherd. He is at work in the world in more ways than we can ever comprehend and he has something we can all do to serve beyond ourselves. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can do our part.

4) Obey.

What is it that you think God wants you to do to help? Is there anyone you need to talk to before you act (like a spouse or other family members)?

Then do your part. It may be small or large, but it is whatever part God has for you.

Sometimes obeying God makes us look responsible more than heroic. But it is glorifying to God just the same.

Instead of me abandoning my responsibilities, I’m praying. And our family is giving our best where we believe God is leading us.


So, we may not be able to scrap going to work and the kids’ school to help strip homes muddied from flooding, but we can:

1) Pray.

2) Research.

3) Ask God.

4) Obey.

May the Father be glorified by our willingness to serve Him in the way He leads.


God, there is so much going on right now in our world. The needs seem to topple us over even before we reach out to help. Please, oh God, be merciful and protect people in the fires and storms. Please, oh God, settle my heart and lead me in how to pray and how to help. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.


Question:Do you know of anyone we can pray for affected by the fires and storms and floods? Please share their names. To leave a comment, just click here.

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