How to pray for a hurting, and hurtful, world

I first blogged about this prayer on September 11, 2013,  on my blog dealing with addiction.    With the recent terrorist attacks and the calls for Christians to pray for those in power, those affected, and those who have caused and plan to cause pain, I thought it worth sharing again.

The Mercy Prayer is a prayer I learned while at Pure Life, developed and taught by Rex Andrews.   This prayer has transformed my life in numerous ways, from finding freedom from compulsive behavior, getting through a bad day, and even growing to love those who hurt me.  The reason is because this prayer, if prayed often, helps to transform one’s mind from being consumed with self to one that is consumed with the thoughts of God – and God’s thoughts towards others are driven by mercy (see Hosea 6:6 and Matt. 9:13).   God’s will for you and I is mercy.

What is mercy?  Rex Andrews defines it as the following:

MERCY is God’s supply system for every need everywhere. Mercy is that kindness, compassion and tenderness, which is a passion to suffer with, or participate in, another’s ills or evils in order to relieve, heal and restore.  It accepts another freely and gladly as he is and supplies the needed good of life to build up and to bring to peace and keep in peace. It is to take another into one’s heart just as he is and cherish and nourish him there. Mercy takes another’s sins and evils and faults as its own, and frees the other by bearing them to God. This is the Glow-of-love. This is the anointing.

You can see by this definition why Jesus is God’s grand display of Mercy.   He took upon himself our sins as his own and bore them to God.


This is why praying the following mercy prayer is so important.  It nurtures within our minds – long corrupted from habitual sin, pride, and pleasing ourselves – the mind of Christ, who, though in “the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant…”(Phil. 2:5-8).     When we pray the prayer of mercy we are “renewing our minds” (Rom. 12:1-2) to be like that of Christ, and laying our flesh aside in favor of the life of the Spirit.

When I am stressed, angry, when my will is being crossed, when I don’t know how to pray for someone who comes to mind, when temptation arises, or when I have free time and don’t know what to do with myself, I pray this prayer.    When you ask me to pray for you, this is what I am most likely praying.  When my enemies seem to be rising up against me and I know my only weapon is prayer, I pray this prayer.    Learn this prayer and pray it. It will change your life!     But first, a warning…..


This is not a prayer that anyone, in their natural state, desires to pray.   It will make every part of your flesh scream against it and devise excuses to avoid it.   But I wonder what would happen if we put these words to use as our united petition to God regarding the pain we so often see around us today.  Not only in the streets of Paris but in our own backyards, in our churches, in our homes.

In the blanks below, what if we inserted the names of our national leaders?   What if we inserted the word “refugees” or even the word “terrorist” or “ISIS”?   What if you inserted the name of the person or entity which fills you with the most fear or anger?

Pray this prayer.  Pray it often.   Pray parts of it or all of it.  Pray, and watch how God moves when his people pray mercy over all his works (Psalm 145:9).

Mercy Prayer

1) Lord, I thank You for_________.

I thank You for saving him/her/them. Thank you for what You have done and are doing in his/her/their life.

2) Make__________ to know Jesus (more). Help him/her/them to increase in the knowledge of God. Destroy speculation and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and help him/her/them to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

3) Make__________ poor in spirit. Bring him/her/them down Lord, but please do it gently. Help him/her/them to see their neediness. Help him/her/them to see themselves in light of You. Put him/her/them in their rightful place Lord.

4) Fill ___________ with Your Holy Spirit. Immerse him/her/them in Your Spirit Lord. Come to them in power and in might. Baptize him/her/them in fire Lord.

5) Life___________.

Life him/her/them according to Thy loving-kindness. Pour out Your life giving mercies into his/her/their soul.

6) Bless__________. Lord, bless him/her/them in everything he/she/they touches. Bless him/her/them spiritually, physically, and financially. Bless their loved ones. Do for him/her/them Lord, instead of me.

7) Mercy__________.

Flood him/her/them with need-filling mercies. Pour them out in super abundance. Find and meet every need in his/her/their life as You see it Lord.


3 thoughts on “How to pray for a hurting, and hurtful, world

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