This post originally appeared here on the blog in March 2011 when there was a big slow-down in adoptions in Ethiopia.  In light of the current climate surrounding international adoption in general, these suggestions for specific ways to pray couldn’t be more relevant.  These prayer guidelines come from Tom Davis at Red Letters

How Can I Pray?

1. For God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God is in control. For those of you who are facing being stuck, remember that God is in control.

2. For God to breakdown strongholds of the enemy.

Every child deserves the right to grow up in a health family, and adoptive families provide that for thousands of children each year. Pray that God would demolish the strongholds that are set up against adoption.

3. For God to fulfill His promises.

God defines Himself as the Father to the Fatherless. He declares He will set the lonely in families. He warns those who would interfere with His plan to bring justice and mercy that is due to them. Find the orphan scriptures, pray them to God, and ask Him to fulfill those promises to the children of Ethiopia now.

4. For the courts and judges and government officials making this decision.

Ask the Holy Spirit to permeate the courtroom and convict the hearts of the judges and other government officials. Bring the power of the Holy Spirit into these discussions and proceedings–not that we would get our way–but that God’s perfect will would be fulfilled in these decisions.

5. For the children and families

That God would shorten their wait times. Fortunately, God is bigger than these obstacles. Pray that waiting children would receive comfort. And pray that waiting families would experience peace, grace, and love from those around them.

While things are uncertain, our best response today is prayer.