prayerdiary Summer 2012
One Voice Seeking justice and combating poverty
Olympic prayers Lifting up London 2012
Harvest home Sowing seeds of prayer for Uganda www.tearfund.org/praying
Ideas for small groups
Welcome ‘Thanks be to God for his wonderful gift: Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He is the object of our faith; the only faith that saves is the faith in him! Our Father in heaven, we pray for our brothers, sisters and children, especially for those living with HIV. Father, we request you to send your healing power for those who are living with HIV, because we trust and believe in you only.’ Alex, Tearfund WASH Officer, Omdurman, South Sudan We wanted to share this inspirational prayer from South Sudan with you because it demonstrates how, as people praying for poverty and justice across the world, we are united as ‘one voice’ – an expression we use regularly to reflect our prayer across the world. Although we may live in surroundings and circumstances very different from Alex’s, we are united with him through Jesus, and we share his concerns for people living with HIV. It’s also encouraging to hear from people and groups who use the Prayer Diary to inspire their devotions. Tearfund supporters Carol and Gareth from Northern Ireland contacted us to let us know about the prayer group they’ve been running for 25 years! They told us how the Prayer Diary ‘continually enthuses us and reminds us of why we keep doing it’. Although thousands of miles apart, Alex in South Sudan and Carol and Garth Williams in the UK are connected through God’s Holy Spirit, and share his concern for the world’s poorest people. With one voice, they declare God’s kingdom on earth through their prayers and actions. If you have a prayer or story to offer, we’d love to hear from you, and we plan to publish some in the next Prayer Diary. Contact Tearfund at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 355 8355.
‘Thanks be to God for his wonderful gift: Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.’ 2
With each week of prayer, you will ﬁnd a Welcome to the weekend box which links to the week’s theme. Some of these are creative prayer ideas, while others suggest activities or resources that will help you engage further with Tearfund’s work. You might like to use the Prayer Diary individually or in your church home group, reading through the prayer requests and doing a creative prayer activity together. We’d love to know how you get on, so please do email us with your feedback prayer.coordinator @tearfund.org
Tearfund We are Christians passionate about the local church bringing justice and transforming lives – overcoming global poverty. And so our ten-year vision is to see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty through a worldwide network of 100,000 local churches. Audio and Braille versions of the Prayer Diary are available, free of charge, upon request. You can also order more copies of the Prayer Diary for your church or group and sign up to receive extra copies. Please call Supporter Enquiries on 0845 355 8355 summer 2012 prayer diary
Contents BLESSING OPPRESSED PEOPLE Prayer spotlight on Thailand and eastern Myanmar
HEAL THIS LAND Offering up creation and God’s people in prayer
BE A REFUGE Lifting up refugees and displaced people
AGAINST ALL DISASTER How to pray for devastating natural disasters
JUBILEE FOR ZAMBIA Inspiration from Lawrence Temfwe from Zambia
LOCAL AND GLOBAL Celebrating Tearfund’s work in Northern Ireland
ROOTED IN PRAYER How to tackle strongholds through prayer
TRANSFORMING KNOWLEDGE Praising God for publications that change lives
REFLECTING ON HAITI Lifting up the work of Tearfund and partners in Haiti
COMMUNITIES ENVISIONED Giving thanks for the church empowering communities
SMALL GROUP PRAYER REFLECTION Ready-to-use prayer session for church groups
BRINK OF DISASTER Lifting up the Sahel area of Africa in prayer
FINISHING THE RACE Prayer focus on the London 2012 Olympics
DEVELOPING LIFE RHYTHMS How to develop dedicated daily devotions
ONE VOICE, RICE & BEANS! Celebration of Tearfund’s One Voice prayer week
FOREVER ENDURES Look back on answered prayers across the globe
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER Giving thanks for progress against poverty
HARVEST HOPE Praying for hungry families in Uganda
prayer diary summer 2012
Prayer dates for your diary 2 – 3 June
World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk
World Refugee Day
18 – 19 June
20 – 22 June
Rio+20 UN summit on Sustainable Development
22 – 27 July
XIX International AIDS Conference
27 July – 12 August
London 2012 Olympics
29 August – 9 September
London 2012 Paralympics
National Day of Prayer and Worship at Wembley Stadium 3
BLESSING OPRESSED PEOPLE: 3 – 9 JUNE This week, our spotlight is on the border areas of northern Thailand and eastern Myanmar (Burma) in the Mekong Sub-region. The region as a whole, through which the Mekong River flows, includes parts of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan province. We pray for the church as it contends with the area’s diverse and protracted problems. Andrew Philip
THURSDAY 7 JUNE
One of the difficulties facing MMF staff in their work helping migrant workers is dealing with officials and police officers who want bribes. Corruption is widespread in many areas where migrants live. Pray that MMF staff have wisdom to confront these practices without compromising their integrity.
FRIDAY 8 JUNE
Last year, an earthquake Low-paid worker delivering water in central Yangon, the capital of Myanmar. brought misery to a dozen
SUNDAY 3 JUNE
More than 2 million migrant workers from Myanmar live and work in Thailand. They come to escape poverty and repression and are vital contributors to economic growth in their adopted country. Yet, they can find themselves being exploited in Thailand. Pray for economic and social justice for such people.
MONDAY 4 JUNE
The Mekong Minority Foundation (MMF) is a Tearfund partner working to help migrant workers in northern Thailand. It challenges poor working conditions, unjust employment practices and abuses of human rights, lifting its voice for people who would otherwise go unheard. Give thanks for its courage and the material and spiritual aspects of its Christian witness.
TUESDAY 5 JUNE
When migrant workers leave Myanmar, their families often come with them. But, without birth certificates and other documentation, their children are not able to attend Thai schools. MMF is filling the educational gap by running a learning centre for 30 youngsters. Praise God that this centre is also protecting these children from trafficking and abuse.
WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE
When migrants are injured at work, MMF staff undertake hospital visits to offer support. MMF has formed good relationships with local hospitals, which has resulted in greater cooperation and invitations to work with medical professionals. Give thanks that compassion is bearing amazing fruit.
Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Imagine being a stranger in a strange land, trying to escape poverty and lack of opportunity. How would you want people to treat you? As you reflect on this week’s prayers, ask God to give you more of his heart for the plight of such people.
isolated villages in eastern Myanmar. Hope came in the form of local churches who, with assistance from two Tearfund partners, offered the basic essentials such as food, clean water, shelter materials and medical help. One piece of good news is that the people affected are working together more. Thank the Lord that his church is providing light in the darkest of disasters.
‘Thank the Lord that his church is providing light in the darkest of disasters.’ SATURDAY 9 JUNE
In November 2011, our partner World Concern and a group of more than 40 churches provided emergency food aid to thousands of people affected by flooding in Thailand. Hundreds of medical bags were distributed during the disaster, which left a third of the country under water. Pray the Lord’s blessing on his church when it responds. summer 2012 prayer diary
HEAL THIS LAND: 10 – 16 JUNE Twenty years on from the groundbreaking Rio Earth Summit, countries will be meeting once again in Brazil this month to talk about action to protect the environment and all who depend on it. This week’s prayers focus on this Rio+20 summit taking place from 20 to 22 June. SUNDAY 10 JUNE
TUESDAY 12 JUNE
Twenty years ago, the world’s biggest-ever political gathering – the Rio Earth Summit – sparked Tearfund’s first-ever campaign, Whose Earth? Give thanks for the important commitments made in Rio in 1992 and pray that leaders won’t go back on the promises they made then to protect the environment and poor people hit hardest by climate change.
The Bible reminds us that God created the world but we have often failed to care for it as we should. The problems often seem insurmountable, as greed and injustice appear to reign. However, our faith gives us hope that change is possible. Pray for the global church to recognise its responsibility to care for creation and to act with hope for action on these issues.
MONDAY 11 JUNE
WEDNESDAY 13 JUNE
Twenty years on from the first Rio summit, destruction of the environment is still devastating the lives of many communities. Pray for poor countries to be given the resources they need to adapt to these changes and that their voices will be heard by the people who have power to tackle the problems.
Tearfund’s Brazilian partners are uniting with churches in Brazil ahead of the Rio+20 summit to call on their government and others to respond to the environmental challenges they’re facing, including climate change. Pray that this united church action encourages the government and the church to act to tackle these issues in a sustainable way.
‘Dear Lord, please help me to play my part in protecting the people and planet you have created.’
THURSDAY 14 JUNE
Pray that leaders will grasp the opportunity presented by this summit to step up their action, using the talks as a springboard for progress globally. Pray that decision-makers will hear the campaigners’ urgent call to tackle climate change and act to build an environmentally sustainable future.
FRIDAY 15 JUNE
While the Rio+20 meeting is a good opportunity to push for action to tackle environmental issues, including climate change, much more needs to be done. Pray that the summit will spur on leaders in other forums, including the G20 and the annual UN climate talks.
SATURDAY 16 JUNE
Dear Lord, please help me to play my part in protecting the people and planet you have created. Show me how I can act more justly and walk more humbly on your earth. Sorry for the times I’ve failed to do this. Amen. Marcus Perkins/Tearfund
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Come along to a Whose Earth? event to examine Christian responses to environmental issues including climate change. Expert speakers from Tearfund, A Rocha and New Frontiers will unpack the biblical basis for these responses, the science behind the issues and how we can all play a part in responding. Find out more at www.tearfund.org/rio
prayer diary summer 2012
Collecting water is a daily struggle in poor parts of Brazil.
BE A REFUGE: 17 – 23 JUNE This week, which includes World Refugee Day on Wednesday, we reflect on the plight of refugees and on how Tearfund is responding to their particular needs, in the UK and overseas. SUNDAY 17 JUNE
One in ten members of the congregation at Bethel Community Church in Newport, Wales, is a refugee or asylum-seeker who has fled conflict and persecution. As well as friendship and spiritual comfort, the church offers them practical help in several different ways, including in finding accommodation and setting up home. Praise God for our partner’s outreach.
MONDAY 18 JUNE
‘We soon realised what was missing from many asylumseekers’ and refugees’ lives was a sense of belonging, a sense of community, and that, as a church, we were well placed to help restore this,’ says Bethel’s Mark Seymour. Pray this will inspire other churches to show compassion to marginalised people.
TUESDAY 19 JUNE
Children affected by displacement and crisis often find it hard to access education due to bureaucratic barriers. Our partner, Refugee Support Network based in north London, is addressing this issue and helping young people achieve their educational potential. Ask the Lord to bless the work of its staff and volunteers and pray that barriers to accessing education will be lifted.
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)
THURSDAY 21 JUNE
Since late-2011, armed groups have been entering camps for internally displaced people in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, torturing and killing in retribution for alleged collaboration with other armed factions. Pray that the Congolese authorities will offer greater protection to the camps to halt this suffering.
SATURDAY 23 JUNE
More than 100 Iraqi and Congolese people have been resettled in Colchester and Bromley, thanks to Tearfund partner Action in Communities. It’s been working with the UK Border Agency since 2008 in a refugee resettlement project called the New Neighbour programme. The scheme has private sponsorship, with a small group of local church volunteers trained and supported in undertaking the welcoming and early resettlement of one family. Praise God that people in dire need have found refuge, safety and a loving welcome.
FRIDAY 22 JUNE
Although the fighting has ceased, the hatred stirred in Ivory Coast’s civil conflict still lingers. It is fuelled by differences due to people’s regional, ethnic, religious and political affiliations, according to Tearfund’s country representative. Pray for reconciliation in the hearts and minds of Ivorians, particularly for displaced people, and for sensitivity among Tearfund partners as they meet people’s physical and spiritual needs.
Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Read the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37) and use it to reflect on what God is saying to you about your relationship with those on the margins in your community. Consider what needs they might have and how your church can act to meet them – such as praying for refugees on Sunday.
WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE
Bethel Community Church, Newport
Today is World Refugee Day, a day to pray for the 10.5 million refugees worldwide. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, about half live in Asia and 20 per cent in Africa, in conditions varying from well established camps to makeshift shelters. Ask God to stir you to respond with compassion towards refugees in your community. Thanks to the Sanctuary Project, about one in ten members of Bethel Community Church in Newport is a refugee or asylum-seeker. 6
summer 2012 prayer diary
AGAINST ALL DISASTER: 24 – 30 JUNE
Tearfund’s former Emergency Relief Manager Ben Webster offers his insights in to how to pray for natural disasters and emergency situations, drawing on eight years’ experience of working in the field. Welcome to the weekend – what you can do If you’ve been inspired to pray for disasters and emergency situations this week, keep a regular check on Tearfund’s website for up-to-date information. Put a note in your calendar each week or month to visit www.tearfund.org/news and pray for the unfolding circumstances poor communities face. Thanks to money donated to Tearfund’s 2010 Pakistan floods appeal, this primary school in Paradi village, Pakistan, has been re-built.
SUNDAY 24 JUNE
‘The first thing we must do is pray for the people on the ground affected. Ask that they would know God’s love and support and his comfort during that time of crisis,’ says Ben. Lift up all those in East and West Africa who face continuing food shortages.
‘Lord, we lift up all Tearfund staff across the world currently in disaster and emergency situations.’ MONDAY 25 JUNE
‘Sometimes, people falsely view disasters as God’s judgement. I don’t believe that is the case. I believe that, in spite of the disasters, God is always right there alongside suffering people,’ says Ben. Pray that God’s Spirit will be close to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as they face daily conflict and extreme hardship. prayer diary summer 2012
TUESDAY 26 JUNE
‘Pray that local churches will rise up in the midst of disasters, to be salt and light in those communities, and provide a practical demonstration of Christ’s love,’ says Ben. Pray for the church in Pakistan, that it will be bold as it continues to offer relief following the floods of 2010 and 2011.
WEDNESDAY 27 JUNE
‘Lift up the international community. If a disaster is of a scale that requires full international engagement, there must be good coordination, collaboration, wisdom and discernment between countries to know how to use the resources,’ says Ben. Pray for wisdom as the international community considers its response to the food crisis in Sahel, a desert area of Africa.
THURSDAY 28 JUNE
‘Pray for protection, safety and good health for Tearfund staff in emergency situations. It’s easy to fall sick and quite often the environment they face is challenging,’ says Ben. Pray for local Tearfund staff in South Sudan, many of whom have served in the region tirelessly for years.
FRIDAY 29 JUNE
‘Pray for wisdom, clarity and perseverance – there will undoubtedly be difficult decisions to make and challenging working environments. Tearfund disaster teams need energy, perseverance and clarity,’ says Ben. Pray for Tearfund staff in Afghanistan as they work in insecure conditions that change continually.
SATURDAY 30 JUNE
Ben prays: ‘Lord, we lift up all Tearfund staff across the world currently in disaster and emergency situations. We ask you to give them that healthy tension between having clarity of mind in the chaos, and having the strength and resilience to carry on in spite of what’s going on around them – without losing their compassion. Amen.’ 7
LOCAL AND GLOBAL: 1 – 7 JULY This week, we focus on how churches and supporters in Northern Ireland are outworking Tearfund’s vision locally and globally, prayerfully and practically. And we hear some inspirational stories from Christians living out the gospel in this region. SUNDAY 1 JULY
About 300 people attended the Re:Ignite conference in February, which launched Tearfund’s One Voice prayer week in Northern Ireland. They were inspired and challenged to ‘be the change’ in a world of need. Pray that God will ignite our hearts to be faithful to his call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him.
MONDAY 2 JULY
Tearfund’s Discovery programme encourages churches to get involved in their communities and develop a community plan. So far seven churches in Northern Ireland have completed the course. Thank God for touching the hearts of elders at First Islandmagee Presbyterian Church as they prayed over a map and pictures representing the needs of their local community.
TUESDAY 3 JULY
Give thanks for the transforming involvement of Tearfund partner Knocknagoney Parish Church in the life of their local community. Police in Northern Ireland have reported a huge drop in antisocial behaviour as a result of church work with young people.
WEDNESDAY 4 JULY
Every year, 500 people from local schools and churches in Northern Ireland take part in an annual sponsored walk. Over the years, the walk has raised £250,000 which has helped thousands of vulnerable children and young people across the world. Give thanks for this amazing success and pray that others will be inspired to do the same.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do
Tearfund’s Northern Ireland team have their own section of Tearfund’s website. If you hail from Northern Ireland or if you are interested in our work there, visit www.tearfund.org/ northernireland or call 0845 355 8355 to find out more.
THURSDAY 5 JULY
Young newlyweds Jonny and Tara Bradley from Belfast began their married life with a commitment to giving regularly through Tearfund’s See for yourself programme. ‘We know what it means to be blessed by God emotionally, financially and spiritually,’ says Jonny, ‘so we feel it’s appropriate to give something back.’ Praise God for their amazing example.
FRIDAY 6 JULY
People across Northern Ireland are choosing to step outside their communities to see poverty for themselves. Recently, ten local healthcare professionals visited Haiti, and seven people went on a business trip to Uganda and Rwanda. Pray that they will be inspired to have a life-long commitment to people living in poverty.
SATURDAY 7 JULY
To mark World Aids Day on 1 December last year, 150 people attended screenings of the film Africa United in Tullycarnet, Bloomfield and Kirkpatrick Presbyterian Churches. These events raised £1,500 to help some of the 33 million people worldwide living with HIV. Pray that, this year, many others will get involved in raising awareness and support for HIV.
‘We know what it means to be blessed by God emotionally, financially and spiritually.’ Tearfund supporters from the business community in Northern Ireland recently visited Uganda and Rwanda. 8
summer 2012 prayer diary
TRANSFORMING KNOWLEDGE: 8 – 14 JULY As part of Tearfund’s work to empower communities living in poverty, we produce resources which help to inform and inspire people to bring about transformation where they are. Topics include health, environmental issues, disasters and agriculture. Imagine living without the internet, a local library or a bookshop. For many we serve across the world, information is hard to access. This ‘knowledge gap’ often means simple messages about issues such as health don’t reach the people who need to know. Pray for God to use Tearfund’s international publications to help close that gap.
MONDAY 9 JULY
Footsteps magazine is now in its 23rd year of publication. It goes out to more than 40,000 readers across 160 countries! Aimed at community health and development workers, it provides practical guidance and shares stories relevant to those living on the frontline. Praise God for the thousands of readers we are privileged to serve.
TUESDAY 10 JULY
Jean Abou, a Footsteps reader from Togo, sent us this photo (right) of his son in their new door-sized small garden. They were inspired by reading an article in Footsteps and are now reaping a harvest for their family. Pray for families such as theirs who are being inspired to take steps out of poverty.
WEDNESDAY 11 JULY
Our God is a God who multiplies. At the last count, Tearfund publications had been translated into 230 languages! This means that they reach many more people, often in remote places. Ask God to equip translators and provide financial resources for more translations.
prayer diary summer 2012
THURSDAY 12 JULY
SUNDAY 8 JULY
The Umoja programme (see page 10) is mobilising both churches and communities to work together to bring positive change. The manuals for facilitators and coordinators are already enabling new audiences to start to explore ways they can bless their neighbours. Praise God for all those who are supporting and training communities using these resources.
FRIDAY 13 JULY
The world is changing fast. Mobile phone use is increasing, even in places where there is no running water. In Africa alone, more than 500 million people have a mobile. Pray for wisdom and innovation as we adapt our publications to reach people in new ways.
SATURDAY 14 JULY
Dear Lord, there are so many challenges facing poor communities across the world. Please open up more opportunities for Tearfund to produce new resources and bring fresh ideas and perspectives into their situations. We ask for discernment for those involved in commissioning and editing publications. Help them to see and meet the needs of those they serve. Amen.
Jean Abou’s son with produce from his small garden in Togo, which they were inspired to cultivate by Tearfund’s Footsteps publication.
‘Dear Lord, there are so many challenges facing poor communities across the world. Please open up more opportunities.’
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do You can read all our international publications on the Tearfund International Learning Zone website at www.tearfund.org/tilz or order hard copies from www.tearfund.org/publications Why not read more about protecting your house against flooding or learn how to build a bicycle ambulance? Reading Footsteps magazine will give you insight into the daily challenges faced by people living in poverty. Perhaps you can also share what you learn with others.
COMMUNITIES ENVISIONED: 15 – 21 JULY The apostle Paul described the church community as a body with many parts, each essential to fulfil God’s work. As we focus this week on communities envisioned through the transformational Umoja programme, we praise God for how these ideas are being brought to life. SUNDAY 15 JULY
WEDNESDAY 18 JULY
Umoja, which means ‘togetherness’ in the Swahili language of East Africa, is an exciting programme that inspires and equips local people with a vision for determining their future using their own resources. Pray that more communities across the world will take hold of Umoja’s biblical principles.
Umoja is triggering changes in people’s mind-sets across the developing world, envisioning communities and churches to consider their future. Let us lift up the vision of Umoja today and pray that we will have the income to continue the work of mobilising churches and communities around the world.
MONDAY 16 JULY
THURSDAY 19 JULY
Herry, an Umoja trainer in Cambodia, asks us: ‘Praise God that a group of Umoja members in the village of Kandal, Cambodia, showed love and care to one drunken man. Today, he is changed to be a creative person, using the resources God has given him. And best of all, his marriage is restored.’
TUESDAY 17 JULY
‘Today, we can give thanks that the entire family accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.’ 10
God desires that we work together in unity. One pastor from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, describes how Umoja had a unifying effect on a group of churches. ‘The pastors, church leaders and members are envisioned, showing God’s love and living as salt and light in their communities. They have become less selfish and more caring of the villagers.’
SATURDAY 21 JULY
Father God, thank you for the individuals whose lives have been transformed through the Umoja programme. May each of these faithful people grow closer to you and experience real community and relationships through their local church. Amen.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Pick the prayer story that most connected with you this week. Memorise the details and encourage someone else this weekend by telling them about the story of transformation. Let’s spread the message of God’s power at work through the local church. Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
For the Ghumitika community in Nigeria, the Umoja programme opened the eyes of local church members to see that their neighbours, a group considered outcasts by the rest of the community, were actually made in God’s image. Danladi Musa, Tearfund’s Country Representative in Nigeria, says, ‘Let us give thanks that, through this change, positive relationships developed and 60 members of the outcast group became Christians.’
‘Praise God that a Pakistani church reached out to a family living in desperate need in a nearby village,’ says Tearfund’s Programme Officer in Pakistan, Obed Caleb. ‘Through months of helping with hospital treatment for the eight-year-old daughter and providing food packages, the relationship between church and family grew stronger. Today, we can give thanks that the entire family accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.’
FRIDAY 20 JULY
Pastor Vin Chhoeun and village chief Chin Ton lead a community meeting in Takeo province, Cambodia. summer 2012 prayer diary
BRINK OF DISASTER: 22 – 28 JULY Once again the Sahel region of West and Central Africa is being plunged into a food crisis, caused mostly by drought and failed harvests. This week, we pray for the millions of people facing hunger as a result and for Tearfund partners dealing with this unfolding disaster. Geoff Crawford/Tearfund
SUNDAY 22 JULY
Hunger has the people of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger firmly in its grip. These agriculturally dependent countries have seen erratic rainfall blight their crops and livestock. This is the third time in seven years they have faced this scenario. Pray this cycle of misery will be broken.
MONDAY 23 JULY
The drought-affected countries of the Sahel are among the world’s poorest. Chronic poverty means their ability to recover from natural disasters is limited. Ask for God’s renewed blessing on Tearfund’s long-term work to help communities raise their standard of living.
TUESDAY 24 JULY
Recurring droughts are another reason why people in Sahel are hit so hard. Low levels of nutrition have become endemic, weakening people’s strength and ability to cope. Pray for the effectiveness of Tearfund’s partners as they increase people’s resilience, for example by introducing people to new ways to grow food.
WEDNESDAY 25 JULY
High prices for everyday foods – increases of 40 per cent are not unheard of – are a regrettable fact of life which has pushed people to the limits of endurance. Tearfund partners have reported that villagers are eating the leaves of wild plants because there’s no other food available. Pray for prices to stabilise and ask the Lord to send rain at the right times and in the right quantities so the next harvest will be successful.
prayer diary summer 2012
The Sahel region of Africa regularly faces food shortages. Tearfund responded with emergency food supplies to Chad in 2004.
THURSDAY 26 JULY
Conflict has exacerbated the need for food in West Africa. The uprising in Libya led to many thousands of people returning to Niger, while a rebellion in northern Mali has displaced tens of thousands of others, many of whom have sought sanctuary in hard-pressed Niger, as well as Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Algeria. Conflict in Mali has displaced 100,000 people from bordering countries, and a further 95,000 have fled their homes. Pray for peace to prevail.
SATURDAY 28 JULY
Dear Lord, help West and Central Africa’s food-deprived countries break the cycle of drought and hunger. Open my eyes to what I can do to help, give me your heart to pursue justice on behalf of those who are hit hardest. Amen.
Conflict in Mali has displaced 100,000 people from bordering countries.
FRIDAY 27 JULY
Tearfund partners, often working with local churches, are stepping up their efforts to help the most vulnerable in hunger-affected communities. Emergency food distributions and cash-for-work projects are ways in which they are responding, in addition to their continued long-term development work. Pray that these efforts will bless as many people as possible and that more funds are found.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Keep in touch with the latest on the food crisis, and find out how you can pray and give to support Tearfund’s relief work in the region by regularly visiting www.tearfund.org/sahel
FINISHING THE RACE: 29 JULY – 4 AUGUST More than 200 countries, from the richest to some of the poorest – including Burundi, Bangladesh and Bolivia – will be taking part in the London 2012 Olympic Games. This week, we lift up this major sporting event in prayer. SUNDAY 29 JULY
TUESDAY 31 JULY
Just over a week ago, Tearfund supporter Mark Blythe, from Molesey in Surrey, carried the Olympic torch through Greenwich. ‘I am blessed to represent all the Christians who serve in their communities, doing hours of work showing God’s love to many people. I’m just one of thousands who could have been chosen,’ says Mark. Praise God for this amazing witness.
‘Oh God, bless our land of Malawi. Keep it a land of peace. Put down each and every enemy: hunger, disease, envy. Join together all our hearts as one, that we be free from fear.’ This is the first verse of the Malawi national anthem, which will be heard during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games. Make it your prayer for impoverished Malawi today.
MONDAY 30 JULY
WEDNESDAY 1 AUGUST
The Paralympic Games are an amazing way to demonstrate the value and determination of people with disabilities across the world. Praise God that Tearfund partner The Leprosy Mission is working with the government in Myanmar to draft new legislation to benefit disabled people. Local kids enjoy a break from football in the Huaycán community, near Lima in Peru.
Team Zimbabwe, including Olympic swimming champion Kirsty Coventry, will be hoping to take home some gold medals from London 2012. Zimbabwe is one of the world’s leading gold producers but – sadly – few of the profits are shared with its desperately poor citizens. Pray that the scales of justice will be re-set, and Zimbabweans will begin to benefit from the riches of their own land.
Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 3:13–14) As you feel inspired by the dedicated, determined athletes this week, meditate on these verses in Philippians. How are you leaving the past behind? Towards which goal are you striving? And which prize are you aiming to claim?
THURSDAY 2 AUGUST
Tearfund’s Events team have an Olympic task this year. They will be promoting Tearfund’s work with the world’s poorest people at events including New Wine, CLAN Gathering and People Without Limits. Pray that they will keep their energy levels up at Keswick Convention this week.
FRIDAY 3 AUGUST
Amazingly, a team from Afghanistan will compete at London 2012, despite the continuing conflict in their country. Please pray for Tearfund’s work in Afghanistan, where we have been operational since 2001, promoting water, sanitation and public health.
SATURDAY 4 AUGUST
The Olympic motto ‘Faster, higher, stronger’ echoes the determination of the athletes to succeed. Pray for the many Christian competitors and volunteers taking part in the Games, that they will have opportunities to demonstrate God’s love in action.
‘Oh God, bless our land of Malawi. Keep it a land of peace. Put down each and every enemy.’ (From Malawi’s national anthem)
summer 2012 prayer diary
DEVELOPING LIFE RHYTHMS: 5 – 11 AUGUST Over the summer, tens of thousands of young people come together at Christian festivals across the UK. It’s an exciting time as lives are changed. Tearfund has been there, and this year we’ve been talking about Rhythms... Layton Thompson/Tearfund
SUNDAY 5 AUGUST
Rhythms is a different way of thinking about discipleship. By taking small, regular actions, we can build rhythms into our lives that change the world for other people and change us in the process. Pray that, as young people encounter Jesus this week, they will be inspired to follow him, step by step.
MONDAY 6 AUGUST
Every year, we meet many young people who are passionate about their faith and justice, but they don’t know what to do about it. Pray that, as young people hear about specific ideas for actions they can take, they will feel empowered to live differently.
TUESDAY 7 AUGUST
Young people are not just the church of tomorrow: they are the church of today. But many young people don’t feel that church is relevant to them. Summer festivals are like a rare breathing space for their faith. Pray that together we can all continue to make church a community in which young people can thrive.
WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST
Tearfund’s Emerging Influencers are a group of 12 exceptional young leaders who are influencing their peers to take action on poverty. Give thanks for this group and pray that, through their influence, they can not only impact the lives of people in poor communities but also be a prophetic voice to those around them.
Tearfund’s Rhythms initiative aims to encourage young people to take small regular actions to change the world, and themselves.
THURSDAY 9 AUGUST
As part of helping people build rhythms into their lives, we’ve launched a new mobile smartphone App and a website. It’s designed as a fun tool to help people take small actions that add up to a big change. Pray that young people will use it, and that it will really serve them by equipping and empowering them to live differently.
FRIDAY 10 AUGUST
More than 100 young people of student age travelled overseas with Tearfund this year as part of our Transform programme. Pray for them as they meet up to debrief at Momentum festival. And, as they share and reflect on their experience, pray that it will shape the way they follow Jesus in the world.
‘By taking small, regular actions, we can build rhythms into our lives that change the world.’ prayer diary summer 2012
SATURDAY 11 AUGUST
Dear Lord, we know it’s easy to get fired up about justice at a festival but find it hard to live differently back home. We pray for young people coming down from the festival ‘high’, that they will be able to use Rhythms as a tool to keep the fire alive and fuel a different kind of life. Amen.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Take a look at www.rhythms.org and consider choosing a 30-day rhythm. Each rhythm has a great range of actions to pick from so, whether you want a simple step or a grand challenge, there’s something for everyone. Rhythms is a great resource for young people and young adults, so please let your church youth leaders know about it.
ONE VOICE, RICE & BEANS! 12 – 18 AUGUST From Sunday 26 February to Sunday 4 March, Christians around the world joined together for One Voice, Tearfund’s week of dedicated prayer for global poverty. It’s part of Tearfund’s Global Poverty Prayer Movement, a call to unite as Christians to pray for our world. This week, we look back on this amazing outpouring of prayer and action... SUNDAY 12 AUGUST
Tearfund’s team in Pakistan also held a prayer meeting with three of Tearfund’s partner organisations in the country. Their devotions covered many issues, including how the global financial crisis is affecting fundraising. Join with them in prayer today and ask that people would still be generous despite the challenging economic circumstances.
MONDAY 13 AUGUST
Churches in Wales offered tremendous support during One Voice with congregations in Builth Wells, Wrexham, Cardiff, Pembrokeshire and Aberystwyth hosting interactive 24-hour Prayer Spaces. They came together to cry out to God for the world, to thank and praise him, and to support one another in prayer. Thank God for the faith and dedication of Christians and churches in Wales.
As part of One Voice, many individuals and churches across the UK took up Tearfund’s five-day Rice and beans challenge. Songwriter and worship leader Andy Flannagan was one of those who ate a limited diet to reflect on the lives of those who have little. ‘When you have next to no food, you count every grain into your pan, and out of it. You don’t waste a thing,’ says Andy. Thank God for the abundance we enjoy, and pray for people who struggle to eat enough.
TUESDAY 14 AUGUST
Offices of Tearfund’s partner International Nepal Fellowship took part in the One Voice prayer week. Their local programme office in Dang held a prayer meeting as part of One Voice, studied Micah 6:8 and reflected on light and dark, water, land, rest, change, the environment and the image of God. Take a look at that scripture today and let it speak to you about how you can respond.
WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST
summer 2012 prayer diary
Over six nights at six different venues across the south-west of England, churches and Christians in this region took part in a ‘Prayer Relay’, a 24-7 prayer marathon for people living in poverty. Each event featured a time of worship, prayer and an inspirational speaker. Lift up the south-west of England in your prayers today, particularly people facing financial hardship, and unemployed young people.
FRIDAY 17 AUGUST
More than 400 people took part in 24 hours of consecutive prayer and worship at Queen’s Park Baptist Church in Glasgow for One Voice and more than 250 visited the prayer room run by 24-7 Prayer Scotland. The aim of these events was to exalt Jesus and pray for justice. Take time to do the same today, lifting up people living in extreme poverty.
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST
Join in prayer with Stephen Goode, Ambassador for YWAM Mercy, Thailand, who posted this prayer on the One Voice prayer space:
Louise Thomas/Tearfund, Layton Thompson/Tearfund, Kieran Dodds/Tearfund, Hoskins Gallery
THURSDAY 16 AUGUST
You can post your own prayers and read and join with others by visiting http://onevoice.tearfund.org – Tearfund’s One Voice prayer space.
Dear Father, we ask for that same anointing that was on Jesus to be upon us. We are not satisfied with the status quo. We want to be more like you. We want to see the captives set free. We want to see the enslaved liberated, just like they were in biblical days. We want to see your church, your people, go into every dark area and shine light. We want to fulfil your law of love by reaching out practically to all people, particularly to the vulnerable, the exploited, children and women, labourers enslaved in generational debt, and children forced to fight in war. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Gathering together in prayer is a great opportunity to be inspired and challenged to pray around issues of global poverty. The organisers of the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) are hosting a National Day of Prayer and Worship on 29 September at Wembley Stadium. GDOP’s website says: ‘Would you like to see thousands of believers united at Wembley in worship, prayer and celebration as we climax the Olympics year with raising a Kingdom standard for the British Isles?’ Register today by visiting www.gdoplondon.com or phone 08456 528 600. If you can’t make the day, please do set aside some time on 29 September to join with Christian brothers and sisters in prayer where you are.
prayer diary summer 2012
FOREVER ENDURES: 19 – 25 AUGUST It’s great to look back and remember what God has done, how he’s answered our prayers. This week, we re-visit some familiar stories of Tearfund’s work in previous editions of Prayer Diary. We learn of prayers answered and remember God’s blessing. SUNDAY 19 AUGUST
‘Now, I have two pigs, a cow and a few chickens. They are all growing well.’ Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
Phil Hickling went on a Tearfund volunteer work trip to Kagando, western Uganda, in 1985, to help improve water supply to the local hospital. In 2010, he went back. ‘What a wonderful blessing!’ says Phil. ‘It was a joy to see the same protected springs, still providing clean safe drinking water to the hospital.’ Thank God for this enduring work.
MONDAY 20 AUGUST
Tearfund partner Cambodia Hope Organisation (CHO) featured in Tearfund’s 2010 One family harvest resources. CHO helps struggling families develop better sources of income. Join with Cheng, 12, in thanking CHO for this vital work. ‘My mother now Uma and Puspa from the Shivnagar community in Nepal now have two pigs, a cow and chickens thanks to their local church, supported by Tearfund. has an income to support our family through animal-raising. SATURDAY 25 AUGUST Now, I can attend school regularly.’ THURSDAY 23 AUGUST Uma and her daughter, Puspa, The grass withers and the flowers featured in last year’s Christmas fall, but the word of our God TUESDAY 21 AUGUST resources, First Christmas, which endures forever. (Isaiah 40:8) At Christmas 2010, we told you about Daniel, his mum Maribel and highlighted the plight of a group Thank you, Lord, for the sister Alexandria from Peru. Daniel of former slaves living in encouraging stories from Uganda, Shivnagar, Nepal. Then, she was used to spend much of his time Peru, Cambodia, Nepal and alone on the streets in Huaycán, a rearing a single pig, given to her Ethiopia, and how they deprived urban community on the by her local church. ‘Now, I have demonstrate that your word two pigs, a cow and a few outskirts of Lima. Praise God that endures. Inspire us, Lord, to keep chickens. They are all growing Tearfund’s partner, Agape, reports praying and holding on to your well,’ says Uma. Thank God for that Maribel has a good job in a promises. Amen. spice factory, and Daniel, now aged the continuing provision from her local church. 14, wants to excel at school.
WEDNESDAY 22 AUGUST
In our harvest resources for 2011, we featured the village of Ogongora, Uganda. Thanks to the local church coordinating efforts, the community is coming together to build a better access road to the village. Pray that the workers will have the strength and determination to see the job completed, and that they will be rewarded with improved trade and income. 16
FRIDAY 24 AUGUST
When Anne Brinton’s husband David died 25 years ago, donations in his memory were given to a Tearfund project to plant trees in Ethiopia’s Damot Woide district. Praise God that today his legacy is a lush eucalyptus forest. Not only do these trees provide protection from floods, they offer a sustainable source of income for local people.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do At Tearfund, we want to bring you as close as possible to people living in poverty. To find out how you can give regularly and receive prayer updates from across the world, visit www.see-for-yourself.org or call 0845 355 8355. summer 2012 prayer diary
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: 26 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER Around the world, Tearfund’s partners are engaging in dialogue with their governments, to ensure that just laws are created and implemented. This week, let’s celebrate some of their successes. SUNDAY 26 AUGUST
Thank God for our partner, Association of Evangelicals in Liberia (AEL), who, as part of a coalition, drafted a national policy to ensure access to safe, clean water and sanitation facilities for all Liberia’s citizens, and then lobbied successfully for the president to endorse it. Pray for AEL as they seek to raise awareness about the policy and ensure that it’s put into practice.
MONDAY 27 AUGUST
In speaking out with, and on behalf of, poor and vulnerable communities in Guatemala, a Tearfund partner has exposed large-scale government corruption. Despite threats of violence and organisational closure made against them, God has honoured their courage and protected them. Pray for favour as they continue to hold the government to account.
THURSDAY 30 AUGUST
Thank God for our partner, United Mission to Nepal (UMN), who worked with others to draft a new national policy setting out good practice for HIV prevention and the care and support of people living with HIV – then successfully lobbied the government to approve it. Pray for UMN as they empower churches and communities to implement the policy.
Our partner, Christian Community Services – Mount Kenya East (CCS-MKE), mobilised the churches in Nyurai, a community in the district of Kerugoya, to lobby their MP for permission to repair a derelict government water system. When this failed, CCS-MKE helped them access funding and permission from the local authority to build their own water system. Thank God that Nyurai now has access to safe water.
SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
Thank you, Lord, that you use ordinary people to lobby people in power: Moses with Pharoah, Nehemiah with the governor, Esther with King Xerxes. Equip Tearfund’s partners with the same courage and opportunities to influence decision-makers. Amen. Tearfund partner CCS-MKE helped this church in Kenya get permission to build their own water system. Joanna Watson/Tearfund
Trafficking children between Cambodia and Thailand is big business, despite laws to protect them. One Tearfund partner, determined to see the laws enforced, worked with churches and communities to raise awareness of the problem, and collaborated with government officials, the border authorities and others, to encourage them in their responsibilities. Praise God that the laws are increasingly being upheld.
WEDNESDAY 29 AUGUST
FRIDAY 31 AUGUST
TUESDAY 28 AUGUST
Heavy rains in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, usually cause flooding and unhealthy living conditions, due to issues such as inadequate sewage systems. Praise God that our partner, Église du Christ au Congo, persuaded the government to introduce a city-wide policy to improve sanitation and drainage, which is now being implemented.
‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth and compassion against injustice.’ prayer diary summer 2012
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth and compassion against injustice, lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.’ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize-winning novelist. Ask God to give you courage to raise your voice against injustice. Small actions can have a big impact. See www.tearfund.org/campaigning for great ideas.
HARVEST HOPE: 2 – 8 SEPTEMBER This Harvest, Tearfund invites you to take a journey through one struggling village: Wigweng in Lira, Uganda. More than 50 families live there, and the village is starting a crucial journey too – the local church is beginning to help families and individuals to address the long-term problem of hunger. Cally Spittle/Tearfund
FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER
Pray for a young family in Wigweng village, who are featured in Tearfund’s Harvest 2012 film. Jimmy and Rose have five children. Jimmy says, ‘When the rains do not come we fear for our lives.’ Pray for Jimmy, Rose and families like them who are looking to the church to help change things for the better.
SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER
Jimmy and Rose farm the fields in Wigweng village, Uganda.
SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER
In Wigweng, there are around 55 households – all simple mud and straw huts. Most of the villagers, the men, women and children who live there, often eat only one or two meals a day. Pray for the rains to come on time so that the seeds sown will flourish.
MONDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
Tearfund works with 13 different partners in Uganda. One of these is the Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG). PAG has 5,000 churches across the country and for ten years has been running programmes to train and equip these churches to bring practical as well as spiritual hope. Pray for this work, which, through your support for Tearfund, you are making happen.
TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER
Give thanks for Tearfund partner PAG’s programme to get the community active which is just starting in Wigweng village. Pray that villagers will get behind the initiative and lives will begin to change as PAG works with the local church. 18
WEDNESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER
Pray for Wigweng Village church which will run Tearfund’s church mobilisation programme in the village. This church will be trained in how to work with and get their community active, to find ways to end poverty and hunger. Ask God to bless the church, community and Tearfund’s partner PAG in the village.
THURSDAY 6 SEPTEMBER
Pray for Pastor Ogweng who has led Wigweng Village church for three years. He explains that his community are in a constant struggle to grow enough food – they often plant two crops in the same area in the hope of a larger harvest. Sadly neither crop usually flourishes. Pray that he will take the lead working with Tearfund’s partner PAG to bring knowledge, training and hope – so that villagers have the skills and expertise to plant the right crops at the right times.
Lord Jesus, we lift up Tearfund’s work to get churches active in communities across Uganda, particularly in Wigweng. Please stir up your church in Uganda to be offering salt, light and practical solutions to end poverty and hunger. Amen.
‘When the rains do not come we fear for our lives.’ Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Join with Tearfund as we focus on desperately poor families in Uganda this Harvest. If you haven’t already, pick up the resources we’ve produced for you to use in churches and small groups. Visit www.tearfund.org/harvest or call 0845 521 0021 to order.
summer 2012 prayer diary
JUBILEE FOR ZAMBIA: 9 – 15 SEPTEMBER This week is a reflection from Lawrence Temfwe, Co-Chair of Micah Challenge Zambia and Director of the Tearfund partner, Jubilee Centre. The centre equips and serves pastors, professionals, missionaries and Christian leaders to bring about change as part of the moral, economical and political transformation of Zambia. SUNDAY 9 SEPTEMBER
Last Christmas, church leaders in Mapalo made an appeal to their local community leaders. They sent a petition asking them to close by 10.30pm all places serving alcohol, arguing that this would help reduce rape, HIV infection, gender violence and other crime. Praise the Lord that their petition achieved its aim.
MONDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
There is a wonderful Christian influence in the Zambian music industry, and Christian songs are often leading the charts – but often the lyrics are about personal blessing. Pray for artists to write songs about Jesus healing broken homes or overcoming HIV and poverty.
TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
Around two-thirds of Zambians live in abject poverty. So it was disheartening to see the Movement for Multiparty Democracy Party’s campaign funds used to decorate trees with bright blue campaign materials, while those who walked by were dressed in rags. Pray that the investigation into allegations of corruption will reveal how election funds were spent.
THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER
Zambia now has a new president, Michael Sata. As we speak out on moral issues, what example will he see in us Christians? Will he see Christian leaders calling attention to injustice by entering into solidarity with those who are suffering? Pray that Zambian Christians will lead with our actions more than our words.
FRIDAY 14 SEPTEMBER
‘One way Christians can contribute to the transformation of society is by getting involved in politics to fight corruption and injustice and by providing good governance,’ says Danladi Musa, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Nigeria. Pray for churches and Christians to be at the forefront of denouncing corruption in Zambia.
SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
Our Lord Jesus Christ is called the ‘chief advocate’ because he not only pleads for our salvation but also desires that we enjoy life to the full as a family, as a community and as a nation. Pray that Zambians will be inspired to advocate for a nation free of corruption – one that is just and cares for the needy children, widows and poor people, who are most affected by corruption. Jay Butcher/Tearfund
We must be thankful to God for the restraint exercised by most Zambians in not resorting to violence during last year’s election campaign and vote. As we thank God for the absence of conflict then, let us pray that he gives us courage to pursue his peace.
WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER
‘Pray that Zambians will be inspired to advocate for a nation free of corruption,’ asks Lawrence Temfwe.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do If you’ve been inspired praying for Zambia this week, there may be a group in your area who meet regularly to pray for poverty. To find out how to link up with one of Tearfund’s local prayer groups, see page 23 (inside back cover).
prayer diary summer 2012
ROOTED IN PRAYER: 16 – 22 SEPTEMBER For ‘prayer champions’ Faith and Roger Forster from Ichthus Christian Fellowship, prayer is about rooting our lives in God and allowing him to direct our paths. We’d like to share their seven-step prayer strategy with you, inspired by 1 Samuel 14: 1-14.
Ralph Hodgson /Tearfund
‘God is the Father of this house’: sign written above a doorway in Marsabit, North Kenya.
SUNDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
WEDNESDAY 19 SEPTEMBER
SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER
Agreement: Jonathan’s armourbearer agreed with the decision to face the enemy and in 1 Samuel 14:7 he states, ‘Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.’ It must have been wonderful for Jonathan to hear those supportive words. So, as you petition the Lord on an issue of justice, get a friend or two and together lift up your requests to the Lord. Pray for more people to raise their voices in prayer.
THURSDAY 20 SEPTEMBER
‘Whatever you’re praying about, believe that God will lead your steps.’
TUESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER
Action: Is God moving you to a place of petition on a specific issue? In 1 Samuel 14: 6, Jonathan stepped out, believing that nothing could prevent God from saving the army. Ask God to show you where he desires your prayers to be focused, particularly for poor people, and begin to petition the Lord.
MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
Advance: Jonathan didn’t have a plan, but he trusted God and moved forward. Whatever you’re praying about, believe that God will lead your steps. In the same way that he provided Jonathan with footholds and handholds to climb up to the enemy, God will help you. 20
Wrestling: As Jonathan advanced, God went ahead and the enemy fled. You may feel pressure or even feel useless as you pray – particularly for people facing extreme poverty. But as you do your bit and stand firm, God will act and lead you into his victory. Pray that God will give you endurance as you pray into tough situations. Resistance: In 2 Corinthians 12:9, we read the amazing words, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Hold on to that truth today and know that even when your prayers seem to be having no effect, God is still working through you. Give thanks that God hears our prayers, however we feel. Receiving: Tackling strongholds in prayer can be exhausting, but God delights in pouring out the Holy Spirit into our lives. Ask that you will receive the goodness God pours out. Like Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14:27, eat of the honey and be refreshed.
Rest: Father God, we thank you that nothing is more wonderful than feeling your peace that passes all understanding. Help us to let go of our anxieties and rest in the knowledge that you are in control. As Saul and his army experienced a period of rest in 1 Samuel 14:46, thank you that you also desire us to rest. Amen.
Welcome to the weekend – what you can do Share your prayer journey and encourage others! You can post your prayers to Tearfund’s online prayer space, so that others are spurred on by your words, and can support you in prayer. See page 23 (inside back cover) for details.
summer 2012 prayer diary
REFLECTING ON HAITI: 23 – 29 SEPTEMBER Tearfund staff and partners working in Haiti invite you to join us in celebrating this amazing country that continues to struggle in the grip of poverty. Two-and-a-half years after the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010, the Haitian people have risen up with new hope, for which we raise songs of thanksgiving! SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
Two-thirds of Haitians depend on agriculture mainly small-scale subsistence farming. Tearfund worked with farmers in the mountains of Léogâne to reduce their risk – they are now enjoying their second harvest thanks to seeds, tools and training provided by Tearfund. Pray for a bountiful harvest, this autumn.
MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER
It’s Monday morning and Haitian streets are full of children in colourful uniforms walking to school. Children in earthquakeaffected areas of Haiti were able to return to school, thanks to classrooms and schools built by Tearfund partner Fédération des Ecoles Protestantes d’Haiti. Pray for children embarking on a new year of learning.
TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
The church is at the heart of Haitian society and plays a key role in seeing people released from poverty. Nine months ago, Tearfund launched Umoja-Haiti, a process to strengthen local churches to play the leading role in community-driven development. Praise God that the communities' reaction to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive.
FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER
It’s estimated that 2.2 per cent of Haitian adults are living with HIV, but only 61 per cent of these are receiving treatment – the rest kept away through stigma, or because of lack of access. Included in these numbers is a group of young women in the capital, Port-au-Prince, participating in a support programme run by Tearfund partner World Relief. Pray for God’s continued strength in the lives of these women.
SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
This date is significant in Haitian history, marking the 1991 coup that overthrew Haiti’s first democratically elected president. Haiti continues to be marred by political and civil unrest which keeps people living in poverty. Pray that God will touch the hearts and minds of Haitian leaders to bring stability to this nation.
Welcome to the weekend – creative prayer idea Is your refrigerator full of wonderful choices of fruit, vegetables, meats and treats? There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today, but 30 per cent of the food produced worldwide is never eaten. As you prepare your next meal, thank God for his abundance and pray for a bountiful harvest for the Haitian farmers trying to feed their families.
Kristie van de etering/Tearfund
Dlo se lavi! Water is life! Yet so many Haitians walk hours to get water and it’s often contaminated. Tearfund spent two years after the earthquake protecting springs to bring clean water to rural mountain communities. Pray that clean water continues to contribute towards communities remaining healthy.
THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER June to November is hurricane season in Haiti – six months that weigh heavily on Haitians’ minds. Pray for partner Action Contre La Misère and Tearfundtrained communities in the rural mountains as they work to prepare for possible hurricanes and storms.
Tearfund Chief Executive Matthew Frost visited Haiti in March 2012, to see Tearfund's reconstruction programme. prayer diary summer 2012
SMALL GROUP PRAYER REFLECTION By Isobel Peaty – as featured in New Daylight daily Bible reading notes. Please use this reflection as part of your prayer group or small group meeting. REFLECT
‘I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.’ (Thomas Jefferson, 1743–1826)
delights in it; we can look to him to equip us for it, with wisdom to discern right from wrong. It is up there with love and humility as cornerstones of a redeemed character.
We live in a world crying out for justice. The appalling injustice we witness on a global scale sees 20 per cent of the world consuming 80 per cent of its resources. Whole nations are held to ransom by corrupt and callous leaders, the vulnerable subsisting at the mercy of the power hungry. Domestic imbalances between people thrive: class systems; prejudice against gender, age, ethnicity, religion, culture. There are the personal injustices we experience day to day – the pain of being unfairly treated, misjudged by others, misunderstood.
The one great story running through all this, of course, is God’s justice – that mighty, inevitable, immovable force that made Thomas Jefferson tremble. He knew, as we must, that humankind truly deserves a heavy sentence for all its horrendous crimes. We discover, however, that God’s justice is not like the world’s. We might be right to tremble with fear if our fate lay in the hands of people, but ours is a God of love and his justice is greater, kinder and more loving than we can imagine.
In the face of this desperate need, the justice God’s children are commissioned to champion is also a key theme. Justice is commanded, modelled and revered in the scriptures. We are told that God requires it; he
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ (Isaiah 9:6–7)
SHARE AND PRAY TOGETHER
Share situations of injustice where you have perhaps found yourself impatient and questioning God’s sense of justice. It may be a theme that you’ve read about in this Prayer Diary. Then, discuss ways that you could champion justice in your local area or on a national scale. Where does your voice need to be heard? Submit these into God’s hands and pray for opportunities to put what you have shared into practice. Lord, we know you long for justice to prevail in your world. Help me to cherish and pursue true justice in the world wherever I can. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.
‘He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness.’ 22
summer 2012 prayer diary
A MOVEMENT OF PRAYER Be part of a Global Poverty Prayer Movement through Tearfund. Here are more ways to keep connected and establish regular rhythms of prayer. POST YOUR PRAYERS ONLINE Tearfund has an online prayer space where you can add your prayer, and join and respond with others around the world. Plus, you can now add a One Voice prayer space widget to your church’s website. Visit http://onevoice.tearfund.org for details.
CHURCH PRAYER LEADERS’ RESOURCES We have creative prayer ideas, reflections and prayer news that you can use in your church or small group. Sign up to receive weekly prayer emails and find print-ready resources – visit www.tearfund.org/pray for details. Or call 0845 521 0021 to order and share more copies of Prayer Diary.
CALLING ALL INTERCESSORS If you want to pray regularly for a particular country, and are keen to encourage others to do the same, contact email@example.com and we’ll let you know how you can get involved.
JOIN A LOCAL PRAYER GROUP If you would like to meet with others to pray for issues that affect poor communities around the world, then join a local prayer group. Call 0845 521 0021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and find out if there’s a group near you – or consider starting one.
TRAVEL WITH TEARFUND The Transform team at Tearfund offers short-term overseas opportunities to link with our partners in person. Two-week trips are also run in the spring, summer and autumn as part of the Transcend (over-25s) programme, including prayer-focus trips. Visit www. tearfund.org/transform for full details.
PRAYER EVENTS Join us for the National Day of Prayer and Worship at Wembley Stadium on 29 September – visit www.gdoplondon.com for details.
Or you could organise your own prayer event such as a prayer evening, a 24-7 prayer or a prayer walk. Whatever you do, please share it with us! Visit www.tearfund.org/pray for some inspirational ideas. Right: Child in Myanmar (Burma).
prayer diary summer 2012
Let us pray… Don’t forget the National Day of Prayer and Worship at Wembley Stadium on 29 September – www.gdoplondon.com
‘Pray, and let God worry.’ Martin Luther
www.tearfund.org 100 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8QE Challenge House, 29 Canal Street, Glasgow G4 0AD, email@example.com Tyˆ Catherine, Capel Cildwrn, Llangefni, Ynys Môn LL77 7NN, firstname.lastname@example.org Rose House, 2 Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast BT9 6FL, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 0845 355 8355 Registered Charity No. 265464 (England and Wales) Registered Charity No. SC037624 (Scotland) 20596 – (0112)
Front cover: Prayer and worship in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Above: Carlotta León Zelaya from San Luis village, Bolivia. Photos: Richard Hanson/Tearfund