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A call to practise what you pray

Find out more about Tearfund’s new campaign and how you can get involved and spread the word.

Written by Tearfund | 27 Mar 2023

People walking with a church building in the background.

Churches are often best placed to respond to disasters, they understand the needs and strengths of their communities, and are able to reach some of the most vulnerable groups. Credit: Paul Mbonankira/Tearfund

They can’t eat prayer. This was the bold statement that challenged people attending a Christian conference on the Yorkshire coast in 1967. It was Tearfund’s first public appearance and that message was emblazoned on our exhibition stand. But not everyone was happy about it.

After receiving several complaints, the Tearfund team reluctantly decided to stop using the slogan. But it struck a chord. We know from conversations with some of our earliest supporters that it was one of the reasons they started giving to Tearfund – and still support us so many years later.

Of course, at Tearfund we believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. We also believe in the power of the church – all of us as Christians together – taking action to end extreme poverty and injustice. That’s why we’ve launched a bold new campaign: Practise What You Pray.

A new challenge

You may have already seen our TV advertisement and other communications related to the Practise What You Pray campaign. If not, you can view the TV advert below:

See how people from a village in Burundi have been equipped to lift themselves out of poverty with support and training from Tearfund.

This video demonstrates the power of our Church and Community Transformation (CCT) work in Burundi. For more than 50 years, we’ve seen how this model of working alongside local church leaders and communities leads to sustainable and long-lasting change all around the world.

‘Church and Community Transformation has helped in changing the mindset of the communities,’ says Desire Majambere, who oversees Tearfund’s work in Burundi. ‘So many NGOs came, providing handouts which caused a dependency syndrome. However, after CCT, [the communities] discovered they are able to do the development without external support. They have self-confidence and self-esteem.’

Prayer and action

Tearfund is equipping churches to lead development initiatives and support some of the most vulnerable people in their communities. We have already supported more than 25,000 churches, but we have a vision to scale up our work and see hundreds of thousands of churches lead transformation in their communities.

Around the world, conflict is rife, climate change is forcing millions from their homes, and one in ten people are still living in extreme poverty. This is not God’s plan. That’s why we’re boldly challenging Christians to practise what they pray.

Praying in faith always moves us to take action. Our prayers are not just words but a whole-life response that includes seeking justice for those who are suffering and oppressed.

Waking up the church

Tearfund’s early communications proved to be a wake-up call to the church in the UK. We are hoping that our Practise What You Pray campaign will stir people’s hearts in a similar way.

By being bold in launching this new campaign, we are hoping to reach more Christians and spread the message of a biblical and whole-life response to poverty for generations to come.

We would love you to spread the word and share this campaign by liking or sharing posts about Practise What You Pray on social media. You can also visit the campaign page, and share it directly with friends or family. It’s an opportunity to reinforce the belief that is at the very heart of Tearfund: that prayer and action go hand-in-hand. Thank you.

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Written by  Tearfund

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