Ninety percent of world trade is carried out in part by about 1.5 million seafarers from almost every nationality. In all likelihood, you can see several items right now that were once in a cargo container handled by seafarers.
Life at sea can be very challenging for the average international seafarer. Besides the physical demands of their jobs, seafarers face the risks of storms, pirates, limited medical care and so on. These men and women are also in greater danger of being exploited, including by not being paid as agreed and even by being abandoned at a foreign port. Many crews are multi-national; many crew members speak different languages, which makes effective communication difficult.
International seafarers have social, emotional and spiritual challenges as well. They are often away from their families most of the year. Technology has made staying in touch with loved ones easier through mobile phones and the internet, but loneliness, depression and strained relationships continue to be common.
At many ports around the world, Christ-followers assist and encourage seafarers by offering both practical and spiritual support – internet access and phone cards, transportation, legal and medical assistance, counseling and prayer.
“And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:41): Lord Jesus, protect seafarers from physical harm and from unjust treatment. Let them know the constant peace and shelter You provide.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Psalm 97:1): Great I Am, we rejoice that You reign. As seafarers sail over the oceans, may they join the sea creatures and the waters in exalting You. May praise to You be lifted up from every port and aboard every ship.
Ask God how else to pray.
Find a map of global shipping routes. Find a route that one of your possessions may have taken.