Image: Cooking bread at home in Papua, Indonesia. The work of Tearfund’s local partner Yasera is helping families improve their health, nutrition and livelihoods.
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.
Santy Tarigan is the Secretary and one of the founders of Tearfund partner YASERA, working to strengthen family health and relationships in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia. Santy grew up in a missionary family and has various experiences working for community development and emergency response in international and domestic communities. She and her husband, a local police officer, have three handsome sons.
“Give us this day”: The first part of this line emphasises that as we pray to the Lord, we pray on a daily basis. It reflects on how God wants our attention each day even if He already knows what we need and what we want. He wants us to depend on Him every single day of our lives. That is why as Jesus teaches us to pray, He emphasises “this day”. We need to make sure that our relationship with Him is built closer each day. We become intimate with Him, like father and child. Nowadays, we are facing many uncertainties: countries are struggling with economic inflation, wars, and disasters that may bring us to doubt God’s presence. Even with all that, we can depend on God daily.
The next emphasis is in the word “our”. When we pray, “give us this day, our daily bread” we tend to view wealth, money, and possessions in an "us" point of view. God owns everything and if we are given abundance, it is not “for me” or my limited family circle but for Kingdom priorities and purposes. The “our” includes fellow disciples and neighbours on earth. We cannot deceive ourselves here, thinking that we are keeping treasures and seeking the Kingdom of heaven while ignoring the poor and oppressed at our doorstep.
We see God pouring His blessings to the families we are serving. Now, they don’t go to bed hungry. They have just enough food for the day through their harvest from the garden. We realise that this is from the Lord.
Around the world, “give us this day, our daily bread” can be seen differently. The Indonesian version of this line says, `Give us this day “our food just enough”’. Unlike the English version, our daily bread, in our version there is an adjective that comes with the food that we ask from the Lord: “Just enough for today”. Many families we [Yasera] are serving, if not all, are working hard to have just enough food on the table for the family. In the prolonged dry season, where they can not plant and have no harvest, some families pass the day hungry. Children go to bed on an empty stomach. That is why one of the programs of Yasera is Food Security. We teach families to have a simple organic backyard garden so that throughout the year, families have enough food on their table. This is also how we see God pouring His blessings to the families we are serving. Now, they don’t go to bed hungry. They have just enough food for the day through their harvest from the garden. We realise that this is from the Lord. Yasera can distribute seeds to the families we are serving, but growing the seeds is ultimately from the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).
And as I further ponder on the theme “Give us today our daily, just enough food”, I’m reminded of when God provided manna for the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16). In verse 4 it says “Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” This simple instruction implies that God wants the Israelites to see Him and acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior and their daily provider. This is our prayer for all the families we are serving in Papua, Bali, Lombok and the Sumba Islands, that they will see God present in their lives. We believe that God is the ultimate provider for all mankind, He provides for us our daily needs, just enough for us, to praise Him and glorify Him as our Lord and Savior.
For Tearfund’s partners as they work to support families experiencing food insecurity, hunger and water shortages. How to pray for the global hunger crisis is a helpful guide.
For the Australian Government to be generous and effective in its response to the global hunger crisis. Pray for the Help Fight Famine campaign, and for people writing to and meeting with their MPs to advocate on behalf of communities facing hunger.
In November 2022, a peace agreement was reached between the northern state of Tigray, Ethiopia, and federal forces who had been fighting a two-year war that displaced millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands. Pray as people mourn loved ones, and as the task of providing food, medicine and restoring basic services continues. Give thanks for Tearfund’s partners who have provided food and shelter to internally displaced people, and who are also helping communities in the south ravaged by drought.
Drought and insecurity in Somalia have forced many people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance. There are estimates that 1.8 million children – half of Somalia’s child population – may face acute malnutrition between November 2022 and July 2023. Pray for affected people, and for the work of Tearfund’s partner Medair in community health, education on feeding practices and hygiene, health promotion and mental health, and for its nutrition outreach clinics that provide treatment for acute malnutrition.
More than a quarter of households in Uganda are experiencing some form of food insecurity. Climate disruptions have a serious impact on livelihoods, and the Karamoja region, in the country’s north-east, has been facing drought, inflation and severe food shortages. Give thanks for staff from Tearfund’s partner Vision TERUDO who have been implementing emergency food distribution to support malnourished children there.
Sudan is facing shortages of water for people, livestock and crops, coupled with an uncertain political situation. In North Darfur, Tearfund’s partner ZOA is working with communities to build sustainable livelihoods and promote climate-adapted agriculture. Give thanks for ZOA’s work.
Without urgent action, the hunger crisis will claim more lives annually than the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we know that despite so many challenges, there is more than enough food in our world to ensure nobody goes hungry. Now is the time to email your MP and encourage them to provide immediate assistance as well as tackle the root causes of global hunger.Email your MP
Giving thanks for food at mealtimes could be considered one of the most familiar experiences of prayer. It’s easy for this practice to become trite and meaningless, but mealtimes offer a regular, tangible opportunity to offer thanks to God and acknowledge our dependence on him. And, recognising that 49 million people around the world are on the brink of famine, the practice of mealtime prayer gives us an important opportunity to remember our neighbours around the world facing hunger.
So this week, we’re inviting you to use your mealtimes as a prompt to pray for people most impacted by hunger and food insecurity. Every time you sit down for a meal, pause and take some time to pray. It could be silently, or with those you’re eating with.
Some of Tearfund’s partners working to support families facing hunger or food insecurity have shared mealtime prayers below – feel free to use these to guide and inspire your prayers.
Thank you for providing for us sufficient food for today.
As we take this meal, we remember those who are waiting for Your grace upon them.
Parents who are working hard, to provide for their family,
who are cooking food from what they have in their kitchen,
Appetite for the children as they eat what is provided for them
farmers who are waiting for their harvest,
And every person whispering prayers of sufficiency.
As You have given for us, You, can also give for them.
You are our Provider.
Make us able to see with Your merciful eyes
And extend Your hands of grace.
So that through our lives, people will see,
that our Provider Lord Jesus,
Is also the Provider of their lives.
We will enjoy this meal, with thanksgiving
In Jesus name
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.