For these Tearfund supporters from around Australia, prayer has been a key part of responding to poverty and injustice.
Tearfund Member, WA
We became involved with Tearfund in 2011. I was in a small group and especially was motivated by our initial study on ‘Your Kingdom come’ – famous words of Jesus. Jesus taught us to pray and I have tried to follow his example and the instructions from Paul and Peter the apostles, to pray always. I take the posture of ‘the weight of the world on our shoulders’ is too heavy, and Jesus says not to carry it, but he will. So I always ask for God’s help even for what to pray about, and also to remind me to pray every day.
For me, I think cancer and then the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and fears actually pushed me closer to God. I feel like I finally gave up fighting with Him and instead was humble. These days, I count every day I’m alive as a bonus. So I want to live each day guided by prayer and living for God.
Tearfund Artist Ambassador, VIC
I often wonder if prayer and poetry are the same thing, or at least are sourced from the same place within us. Both are a calling to slow down. To choose to be present. To listen. To ourselves. To the divine. It is the way we turn inward to create. It is the way we turn inward to pray. It is the taking of our inner lives and then holding them out before the sacred and saying, "See me... would you see me."
Poetry and prayer. Both might change us. Help us to name what needs to be named inside us and to begin to see our situation and our world through a new lens. Poetry and prayer take us into the heart of God. And from there, when we look out at our world, our hearts might just begin to beat to the same rhythm. A syncopation. Heart beat. Heart beat. Let us slow down and find God there...
I felt called to start an online prayer group during COVID as the first stage struck in Australia. We prayed for people locally and internationally. The same people have continued to pray weekly and are connected to our Tearfund Action Group. We have used prayer points and prayer resources from Tearfund. We continue to pray for our church, our church community, our families, our local community and for the people in hard places across the world. It is a time of blessing for us as we lift our prayers to God.
As part of Christians Together for Climate and Tearfund’s For All Creation campaign, two of us visited Angus Taylor MP, our local member to share our concerns about lack of action on climate change, the inequitable effect of climate change on the world’s poorest people and the need to increase international aid. We had been praying for Mr Taylor and for his family as a group for months. When we told him this when we met him, his reaction was, “There is nothing nicer that you could say to me than that you are praying for my family.” We had a great meeting, which was an answer to prayer, and then we were privileged to pray with him for the issues we had raised. We were delighted!
I also feel that other actions we have taken have been successful due to the process of prayer. We use prayerful discernment as we construct our calendar of actions across the year. That way we are led by God to do his work.
I started with Tearfund 30 years ago and have been involved with a bunch of things ever since... giving, marching, conferences, Useful Gifts shops, Zoom events...
Hearing Rev Dr Byron Smith speak on climate change at a Tearfund conference in Sydney some years ago changed my understanding and acting with regard to climate change. I have been greatly moved by what I have learned in this area, and that has prompted prayer on sleepless nights, through prayer walks in the lead up to COP26 [UN climate change conference], and while sewing a climate scarf for Common Grace.
At present, while there are some good things happening in the climate area, I am not feeling particularly hopeful, but I believe that I must hold tight to God’s sustaining promises and the fact that he is Lord of his created world, and praying for God’s kingdom to come... in me first, and then throughout the world … saying Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Tearfund Groups are a great way to connect with people who share your passion for achieving justice and ending poverty.