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Aluel sits outside a makeshift home with her child in South Sudan

A prayer for flood victims

Join us in praying for those affected by flooding

Flooding is a natural disaster which is becoming more and more frequent due to the climate crisis. We see flooding at a range of levels around the world, and every year many countries are negatively affected by flooding.

In Pakistan recently we have seen flooding on a massive scale; at one point one-third of the country was underwater. These floods caused thousands of deaths and an even higher number of injuries. Over half a million people moved to temporary camps. The DEC called for donations to help those affected by the floods in Pakistan.

In this article, we wanted to share a prayer for those who have been affected by the flooding, and also look further into the effects of flooding.

A prayer for those affected by flooding

Prayers for those who have lost 

Heavenly Father, as we try to comprehend the destruction that flooding causes to people’s lives, our hearts grieve. We ask for you to be with all who have suffered loss in floods. For those who have lost homes, we pray for shelter and community. For those who have lost livelihoods, we ask for financial security. For those who have lost loved ones, we pray that they know comfort in their mourning. 

Prayers for those providing help 

Lord God, we pray you give strength to all those who are providing support to those affected by floods. For governments, for emergency services, for faith leaders and for neighbours. Give them all the endurance, resilience and compassion they need. We pray especially for those who sacrificially help others whilst also coping with their own loss. 

Prayers for the world’s response 

Lord, we pray for world leaders as they decide how to respond. We pray that you stir hearts into generosity. We pray that our leaders will know humility and courage as they wrestle with the climate crisis that has contributed to flooding. 

Prayers for the floods to subside 

And Father God, author of creation who shaped this earth, by your power and might may waters subside quickly and land be restored.  


READ MORE: Prayers for the hunger crisis 

Flooded homes in South Sudan
Houses and crops are destroyed by floods

What effect does flooding have?

  • injury and loss of life 
  • destruction of property and displacement 
  • a breakdown in the food supply 
  • pollution and spread of disease

Injury and loss of life 

It’s staggering how quickly a flood can happen and for many people this can lead to injury and even loss of life. People may find they get trapped within buildings due to the quick-rising water levels or, due to the movement of debris and even larger items, are unable to swim to safety. 

Destruction of property and displacement 

One of the most long-lasting effects of major flooding is the destruction of property and displacement of residents. For homes on low-lying ground, even a small flood can cause property damage and a large flood can destroy homes completely. Equally, when flooding is consistent in a certain area, it can cause mass displacement as residents look for somewhere safe to live. This is something we’ve seen in Pakistan this year, where over half a million people were forced to flee their homes in search of safer grounds. 

READ MORE: The realities of housing for children in poverty 

A breakdown in the food supply 

Flooding can also cause a breakdown in the food supply, not only destroying food stocks in the area that’s flooded but often wiping out crops that are being grown and even livestock. In the short term, it can mean that there is a lack of food as areas are cut off, but in the long term, it can have a big effect on the output of crops produced and cause long-term hunger. 

Pollution and spread of disease 

Floods can wash an array of chemicals and sewage across an area, and into drinking water sources. Rubbish is also picked up then dumped when the waters disperse. Both things are a quick way for pollution to spread and can also lead to the spread of disease, especially waterborne diseases.

Natural disasters prompt South Sudan's women to be resilient

“The last floods were catastrophic and destructive, but this recent one took me by surprise,” shares Ator Duer, a 32-year-old widow and mother of six. She said she was not prepared for additional hardship in her life. 

Ator was referring to the severe flooding that swept into her community during December 2021 and impacted more than 835,000 people across South Sudan.

Her group of 25 farmers had planted sorghum, a type of grain, in May after the start of the rainy season. They anticipated a good harvest. “Besides the group farm, I cultivated [areas] around my home. But the flooding started and all became a waste,” she adds.

Keeping her children safe

Ator remembered how the rain poured hard and filled up the swamps around her community. She recalled that it continued for about four hours that night.  

“At about five in the morning, my children shouted with fear as water spilt into the room. It only took minutes for our possessions to be swept away. The only thing that mattered was for me to take my children to a safe place,” she shares. 

World Vision staff in the area responded to the affected people in the community with tarpaulins for temporary shelters, blankets and sleeping mats. “My children and I camped along the main road. World Vision came to support as I tried to do casual jobs to feed my children,” she says.

South Sudanese woman walks through a flooded field holding watering cans in her village
Ator collects the flood water to irrigate the village's farms

How World Vision supports children around the world 

It’s our mission to support children around the world living in the harshest and most dangerous conditions, and that means helping children who are affected by all manner of climate disasters, including flooding.  

In some programmes this includes building resilience and ensuring training so communities know how to deal with sudden flooding, in order to save lives.

READ MORE: Pray for the world 

Thai school children holding a hand-drawn map of flood risk areas and safe spots in their village.
These Thai school children drew a map to learn about the flood risk areas and safe spots in the village

Equipping children to protect themselves from sudden flooding

Children living in Thailand are learning how to prevent and prepare for disaster at school. 

“I do not like the rainy season because when it rains heavily and continuously for days on the mountains, a heavy flash flood from the mountain will strike,” Cho, a sixth grader, explains. “We face floods almost every year.” 

World Vision Thailand is working with the community to build children’s disaster preparedness and learn how to stay safe. Now there is a Community Disaster Management Committee based at the school which ensures children know what to do in case of an extreme flooding. 

Bow, another student, shares their response: “When a flash flood hits the village and school, we children must rush away from the canal area and stay put at home. If the water level goes high, we will evacuate to the second floor of the school. During evacuation, we will bring along life-saving supplies like dried food, drinking water, medicine, clothes, and personal necessities.” 

Learn more