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Lent 2023 Week 1

Pray Like This - Lent 2023: Week 1

Pray Like This – Lent 2023, Week 1:

“Our Father in heaven”

Image: Tearfund’s local Christian partners in Mozambique walk alongside communities to strengthen health, livelihoods and resilience to disasters.

Pray Like This is a seven-week Lenten series of art, prayer, and spiritual practices inspired by the Lord’s Prayer to help you reflect, pray and connect in the lead-up to Easter. Join Tearfund Update so you never miss out on our Lent series or other great content; inspiring partner stories, prayers, events and resources.

Trudi Sayers

Contributor: Trudi Sayers

Director, 24-7 Prayer Australia

Trudi, as National Director of 24-7 Prayer in Australia, is key to championing the values of 24-7 Prayer and seeking to connect with churches and groups across Australia to build a network of prayer throughout our nation. Trudi is also a Pastor at Red Church in Melbourne, and is passionate to see a movement of prayer across Australia.


Right from the beginning, the Lord’s Prayer flows from a perspective of the Father's love. Prayer is an expression of relationship, and without that understanding, prayer is just words. Micah 6:8 says ‘…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Prayer is about relationship with God and walking humbly with him. This verse highlights that we can’t separate our relationship with God from our response to issues of poverty and injustice.

It’s crucial that we understand the Father's heart for justice first. Any compassion we have only comes from him. It's not our mercy, it's his. We actually need to depend on the Father to fill us with his love, his compassion, his mercy. If we move forward without that perspective, we're moving in our own strength.

Jesus taught us to pray with the Lord’s Prayer, and he modelled it for us too. When Jesus says, This is how you should pray, to begin with ‘our Father’, that's exactly what Jesus did. He only worked in relationship with the Father – throughout the gospel of John he says ‘I only do what I see my Father doing; whatever the Father does, the Son does also.’ Jesus modelled this, and this is why we need to sit in prayer, to know where the Father is working and partner with him. Anything else is self and striving – apart from him, we can do nothing.

It’s never too late to say, God, we need your help with this, we can't solve this justice issue, it's too complex.

Trudi Sayers Director, 24-7 Prayer Australia

We can get overwhelmed with the amount of worthy things we can pour our prayers into. But I've learned the importance of being in step with the Lord in what he's asking us to pray into, what he's asking each of us to participate with him in. When we begin anchored in his love, and anchored in our perspective of who he is, anchored in his mercy and compassion, we get the kingdom perspective to know how to then partner with him as he reconciles the brokenness of the world. He raises us up, even though we're small, to partner with a mighty God.

We live in a day and age where we’ll get bombarded with news and opinions before we meet with God on an issue. We need to be intentional and choose to check our heart before God, and listen in tune with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we get deep into a justice issue and run ahead of God; we don’t always get it right at the start, but it’s never too late to say, God, we need your help with this, we can't solve this justice issue, it's too complex. But it's coming back to the Father's love and going, actually, God, I want your perspective for the world. I want your perspective for what healing would look like in this situation. Jesus, would you give me your eyes to see this person, can you show me how to partner with you here?

It's biblical to be sent out on mission and to care for justice from the place of prayer and worship. We see examples of this in the Bible time and time again, from the place of encounter with God, people are sent. I think of Isaiah, encountering God, being healed and cleansed by God, and then sent by God from that revelation. In Acts, the disciples, praying and worshipping in the upper room had to wait to be clothed with power and receive that commissioning to be sent out. It’s through prayer and encounter that you wait for the power of the Holy Spirit so you're not being sent to in your own strength.

The motto of 24/7 Prayer is prayer, mission and justice. We have a saying at 24-7 Prayer that we breathe God in, and we breathe him out. Our relationship with God has an in and out flow. Encounter with God – breathing in – should always lead to mission and justice – breathing out. We should always be propelled out of the prayer room.

Discussion questions:

  1. ‘Prayer is an expression of walking in humble relationship with God’: how does this idea change the way you approach prayer?
  2. What are two or three things (situations, people, issues) that you feel most led to pray for at the moment? Think of an aspect of God’s character that you can focus on to help anchor your prayers into these things.
  3. ‘Encounter with God – breathing in – should always lead to mission and justice – breathing out.’ Do you find it easy to make links between prayer and action? Who is someone (in your life, from history, from the Bible etc.) that demonstrates a good example of this balance?


With thousands around the country joining-in with you, please pray for a deepened engagement with prayer and justice for everyone participating in Pray Like This in the weeks leading up to Easter.

Pray for Tearfund’s partners as they walk humbly with God and alongside their communities. We have 53 partners who facilitate 96 projects in 20 countries around the world. Some partnerships have been running for over 40 years, others are new and emerging, and many are outworked in difficult contexts – praise God for the faithfulness, courage and perseverance of these partners.

Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos:

Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, Cambodia had been experiencing strong economic growth and a decline in poverty, but like other developing countries it was hit hard by the pandemic. One of our partners there, PNKS, is helping to inject hope in communities, empowering people to become more engaged with issues affecting their local area and improving people’s health and livelihoods. “I feel I am braver than before”, says one woman who has been involved in PNKS’ projects. Give thanks for this work of transformation.

Violence and unrest has continued since the 2021 coup in Myanmar. Please continue to pray for our partners in Myanmar and the communities they work with as conflict and COVID-19 continue to contribute to livelihood insecurity and disruptions to essential social services. Please pray for our partners who work to provide hardship relief to affected families, and partners who have reshaped their programs so that they can work more effectively in these difficult circumstances.

In Laos, limited access to health care and birthing facilities can mean that pregnancy and childbirth are fraught with fear and risk. Through the provision of birthing kits, emergency nutrition, pregnancy education and postnatal care, and by training local health workers to support pregnant women and new mums, our partner World Renew Laos is equipping parents to overcome the obstacles that threaten their babies’ health and survival.


This week’s practice: Corporate Prayer

Some of us are excited by the idea of praying together, others find it awkward or boring. But corporate prayer – praying together with others – provides a powerful opportunity to unite and participate as the body of Christ. We won’t always witness the outcomes we pray for, yet together with others praying and seeking for the same end, we experience shared stewardship and the blessing of being part of a body that traverses geography and generation (see Hebrews 11)!

In prayer, we unite with our brothers and sisters – both locally and globally – to seek the Lord, to rejoice and lament, to participate together in living out God’s kingdom. Jesus invites us to begin our prayers addressing God as ‘Our Father’. We pray as members of one family (Ephesians 3:14-15), and as we focus on Christ and earnestly come before God, we begin to move from me into we. The differences that keep us apart begin to drop away. Faced alone, the world’s problems seem insurmountable. But we are not alone. We are made for connection, and that connection has power: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

Here are some simple frameworks to guide a time of praying together:

Use a written liturgy or ‘call and response’ prayer.
Following a prepared ‘script’, one person leads the prayer with others responding together at various points. This focused, collective way of praying has been practised by some church traditions for hundreds of years, and there are liturgies for many different themes – or you could write your own! Common Prayer: A liturgy for ordinary radicals (also available daily online) is a great resource to explore this practice.

Up / In / Out.
Use the movements of up, in and out to frame your prayer time. Begin with ‘up’, lifting your eyes to Jesus and focusing on the glory, beauty or authority of God – perhaps with a worship song or scripture passage. Moving ‘in’, leave some time to reflect and listen, paying attention to the voice or prompting of the Holy Spirit – God is present with you, does he want to draw your attention to anything in this moment? Then, allow the first two movements to guide you ‘out’ in prayer, praying for and with each other. This resource from 24-7 Prayer unpacks this framework in more detail.

Pray Tear Australia Day1 KIMLANDY 91

Our Daily Bread – a Tearfund prayer event

Join us at a Tearfund prayer event this March to pray for our world, Tearfund’s local partners and for the global hunger crisis.

With both in-person and livestream options available in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, this is an exciting opportunity to practise corporate prayer together and cry out for our world in the midst of a global hunger crisis.

Register here

Our Daily Bread

Help hope break out in the midst of hunger

Support our partners as they work to restore health, livelihoods and hope in communities hardest hit by hunger and food insecurity.

Can provide life-saving health and nutrition care for children at risk of malnutrition

Can provide seeds, tools and training in sustainable agriculture for farmers groups

Can help families better provide for themselves with strengthened livelihoods

Can provide immediate assistance and long-term support for communities at risk of disaster