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Every year, we are seeing an increase in destructive weather around the world: more storms, more floods, more droughts. Thousands of people are losing their lives. Homes, schools, hospitals and crops are being destroyed. This is the reality of the climate crisis.

When disaster strikes, we must be ready to intercede on behalf of those in need. It is people living in the poorest communities who are bearing the brunt of this crisis, and it is pushing them further into poverty.

Where the need is greatest

Tearfund works in more than 50 countries and we have built strong relationships with local churches and communities. This enables us to respond powerfully and quickly when disasters hit. We’re committed to not only helping people with their immediate needs like shelter and food, but to provide vital training that will help them stand firm if disaster strikes again.

For example, in places like Nepal, Mozambique and Indonesia, our local partners have been teaching communities how to build stronger houses that can withstand storms. They have also trained local leaders in disaster response, which has led to lives being saved.

In Mozambique, training by Tearfund meant that local leaders were prepared when a cyclone hit. And through the donations of wooden boats and hand-radios by Tearfund and our local partner, CEDES, 300 people were rescued and brought to higher ground via boat when the storm hit.

In 2021 Honduras was hit by two hurricanes in the space of just two weeks. Our local church partners are helping communities rebuild their lives | Image credit: Rosa Amelia

Pray with us

When disasters strike there are several things that are helpful to pray for. We have broken these down into three categories and provided some prayer pointers to help guide you. We hope this prayer framework will help you as you join with us in intercession for our global brothers and sisters.

As the climate crisis intensifies, your prayers are desperately needed.

  • Lives: lift up the people who have been affected by disasters. Pray for people’s safety and wellbeing. Pray for families who have been separated to be reunited. Ask God to heal those who are hurt and to comfort those in mourning.
  • Locality: lift up the communities affected by disasters. Pray for provision of clean water, food, clothes and safe shelters for those without. Lift up those who have lost their homes or their jobs and pray for provision. Pray for hospitals and health centres as they treat injured and sick people. Pray for the local church as it reaches out to respond to the needs of the community. And pray for clear roads and bridges so that supplies can quickly reach those in need.
  • Leaders: lift up those who are responding. Pray for wisdom for local and national leaders as they respond to disasters and crises. Ask God to free up resources to enable them to quickly help those in need and to provide long-term solutions to survivors, especially those who have been made homeless or who have lost jobs.

Top: When cyclone Idai hit in 2019, Tearfund and our local church partners responded in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to help communities devastated by the floods. Image credit: David Mutua/Tearfund Bottom: In Nepal, our local partners have been helping communities to build earthquake- resistant houses, so that if another deadly earthquake hits, they will be better prepared. Image credit: Kit Powney/Tearfund

Looking ahead

When disasters hit, praying is a way we can immediately lend our support. But we don’t need to wait until they strike to stand alongside some of the world’s most vulnerable people. We can pray for the UK Government and other world leaders to address the climate crisis.

By praying for world leaders to listen to the concerns of people experiencing the worst effects of the climate crisis, and committing to taking action to tackle this emergency, we can limit the impact it's having on people living in poverty. Let us fix our eyes on God, who can do more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), and pray for decisive action to be taken.

Creator God,

We lament the ways in which we have failed to care for your creation and the times we have ignored the suffering of our global neighbours. We ask for your forgiveness.

We pray that the voices of people bearing the brunt of the climate crisis will be heard by those in power. We ask that world leaders be filled with compassion and take courageous action to care for the whole of your creation. We ask for your will to be done.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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