The Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: How to Pray and Help

Residents stand in front of a collapsed building following an earthquake in the town of Jandaris, in the countryside of Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin in the rebel-held part of Aleppo province, on February 6, 2023. – Hundreds have been reportedly killed in north Syria after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that originated in Turkey and was felt across neighbouring countries. (Photo by Rami al SAYED / AFP) (Photo by RAMI AL SAYED/AFP via Getty Images)

Most of you have likely heard of the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria this past week. As of today, the death toll is above 30,000. I have been in a sizable earthquake in Central Asia in the past and can only begin to guess the terror and trauma that so many millions have experienced as cement buildings came suddenly crashing down while they slept. Now, as we enter the second week after the earthquake, it’s likely to fade out of the news cycle. However, praying and supporting the relief work going on is just as important as ever.

Send Relief is a trustworthy Christian organization that we have partnered closely with in the past, even for this very thing, providing relief in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes. Financial support through them will get to those in need, through their trusted partners on the ground. I have seen firsthand how their work can result not only in caring for the suffering after a disaster but can also lead to chances for the suffering to also hear the gospel. If you’ve been unsure about where or how to give, consider giving through Send Relief here.

They’ve also listed some pressing prayer needs on their website, which I will list here as well. May God answer these prayers, be merciful to so many who are grieving, and shine the light of the gospel even through this tragedy.

  • Pray for the millions of people displaced from their homes and sleeping in the streets across Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria. Pray for the people who have no place to go and weathering the cold in search of shelter. Pray that the Lord would be their stronghold in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9).
  • Three major airports were damaged in the earthquakes, which has severely limited international rescue and relief efforts. Pray that roads and runways would be opened soon so that help can arrive swiftly.
  • In Syria, the areas impacted were already experiencing severe shortages of food, water, electricity and heat. With over four million internally displaced peoples in the affected region of Syria, the casualties are expected to be great. Pray for the few believers in this area to show the love of Christ to their neighbors.
  • In Turkey, pray for the local churches and believers to respond as the hands and feet of Christ. Pray for Turks who are feeling lost and hopeless—that the God who Sees would meet them where they’re at and reveal the unending love of Christ.
  • Pray for one church in Southeast Turkey whose building was destroyed by the earthquake. Praise the Lord that the church is not a building, but the people of God! Pray that God strengthens them as they rebuild and that the body of Christ would grow in numbers and strength.

Once again, here is the link to Send Relief’s website where you can give or access more resources for prayer.

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