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Harvest prayers for a fairer world

The world's food systems are unjust. In this harvest season, pray with us for a fairer world.

Rachael Adams | 30 Sep 2022

A woman standing holding a basket over her shoulder.

Mahima, from Nepal, stands in her field of crops that are now thriving thanks to support from Tearfund’s local partner | Image credit: Rabi Rokka (Ray Of Hope Productions)/Tearfund

Millions of people around the world who produce the food we eat don’t earn enough to feed their own families. Farmers and other workers are often exploited and child labour is found in supply chains for the coffee and chocolate we consume. As the climate crisis intensifies, the problems are only growing. How should this knowledge guide our prayers this harvest season?

Weary in this world

‘Our Jesus Christ says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”’ Shares Mahima, a mother of three from Nepal. ‘I am also weary in this world.’

Mahima, like many people in Nepal, is a subsistence farmer – meaning her family eats what she grows. When the crops fail, they go hungry. But the climate crisis has caused the weather patterns to change in Nepal. The rains are no longer coming as expected.

‘We had to keep looking up into the sky… hoping for rainfall,’ says Mahima.

Hunger was making farmers like Mahima shrink back from their dreams – until they received an answer to prayer.

A woman harvesting crops.

The changing weather patterns in Nepal, made worse by the climate crisis, is making life harder for farmers like Mahima | Image credit: Rabi Rokka (Ray Of Hope Productions)/Tearfund

Seek and you will find

Tearfund’s local partners built a water irrigation system in Mahima’s community. They also set up community groups for people like Mahima to learn new farming skills.

One of Mahima's favourite Bible verses is Matthew 7:7: ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’

‘I like [this verse] very much,’ shares Mahima. ‘Whatever we ask, we pray to Jesus Christ… And then we needed this [water irrigation] in place… we knocked… and you helped us.’

‘After the irrigation came, we don’t have to worry now… we get to eat organic – it’s true – from our own farm.’

The irrigation systems are reviving local communities in Nepal. Mahima now has more than enough to feed her family. She – and many farmers like her – are now setting up businesses to earn an income from their produce.

A woman holding her hands out to catch a spurt of water from a hose.

The new irrigation system has transformed things for Mahima and many other farmers in her community, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty | Image credit: Rabi Rokka (Ray Of Hope Productions)/Tearfund

Harvest God’s way

In the Bible, we find that harvest and justice are closely linked. Specific provision is made in God’s law to ensure that harvest time is used to create a fairer society:

‘When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow…

‘When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.

‘When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.’ (Deuteronomy 24:21-22)

Let us rise up in prayer and action this harvest season to call for fairness and justice for all. Let us extend our prayers especially to people around the world who are suffering from the brutal effects of the climate crisis and unjust food systems.

Pray with us

As the Bible says ‘ask and it will be given’, declare out loud your bold prayers for people, like Mahima, who are suffering from the effects of the climate crisis and poverty.

Ask in Jesus’ name that they will overcome poverty and thrive. Pray for their emotional and physical wellbeing. Just as manna was provided for the Israelites in the desert, pray for divine provision for all those who are suffering from hunger right now. And ask God to get the Holy Spirit to guide you in what actions you can take to create a fairer, more just world.

  Rachael Adams

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