There is nothing passive about prayer. It changes us and our circumstances. No matter our emotions or whatever situation we find ourselves in, we are encouraged to bring everything to God (James 5:13). But what does this look like around the world?
At the heart of Tearfund's work is our partnership with local churches, equipping their leaders and congregation to achieve their God-given potential. Through this, communities are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty. And at the centre of this is prayer.
Ordinary people, extraordinary prayers
When we begin working with churches, local people are invited to adopt a small area in their neighbourhood for Jesus and bring it to God through prayer and worship. This includes serving their community and praying for local groups and businesses. These gatherings are referred to as local houses of prayer.
While it is not straightforward to attribute changes in communities to prayer, Tearfund’s staff have shared that when local houses of prayer are set up in places where we work, they have seen greater transformation.
This includes stronger links between local churches and communities and greater sharing of resources. Local houses of prayer encourage ordinary people to take practical action to make a difference.
Praise and maize
As the climate crisis intensifies, invasions from fall armyworms – the larvae of a type of moth – have been devastating farmers’ crops across southern and central Africa.
‘A lot of fields were attacked,’ shares Anne Mumbi, who leads Tearfund’s work in Zambia. ‘But – in the area where we have local houses of prayer – the people went and spoke blessings over their land, and as a result they didn’t have any attacks. When we asked what action they had taken they said, “We just prayed, we spoke blessings over our land and as a result the armyworms did not come and they did not eat our maize.” We have tremendous testimonies of what God is doing.’
Prayer is powerful. Let us spend some time asking God how he wants to use your prayer life to make a difference.