Micah Challenge Prayer, April 13, 2007

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Welcome! We hope you will enjoy using these reflections with us!


This week is the second part of our reflection focusing on the challenges that a globalised secular humanism poses for followers of Jesus.

Dr Ian Barns states that many Christians have simply absorbed a humanistic understanding of the human person and think of social and political life in terms of the secular languages of human rights, personal freedoms, democracy etc. rather than a Christ centred vision and practice of a ‘new humanity’.

In 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21 we see everyone in relation to Christ! Because of Christ, each person, whether they be Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female has worth and dignity, as one for whom Christ has died.

'To be a ‘Christian’ is not to acquire another ethnic, national or even religious identity. It is rather to indicate that over and above all such particular identities, who we are is to be found in relation to the risen and ascended Christ, the lord who is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:11)


Let us pray:

§ Our prayer focus this week is Micah Challenge which has planned various activities for 2007:

§ 'Create to Advocate' which invites Australian artists to express their vision for a world where poverty is history and to interpret and speak out on the themes of the Millennium Development Goals.

o Please pray for Spirit-filled art!

§ 'Voices for Justice' in June 2007, in Canberra, offers an opportunity to advocate and speak directly to Australian politicians and policy-makers but also allows time to pray and learn about issues of global poverty and injustice.

o Please pray that after the successful 'Voices for Justice' in 2006, more key leaders will be willing to engage and listen to the Micah Challenge group and be motivated to bring policy changes into their constituencies.

§ '07:07:07 It’s half time' invites sports, school, church groups to bring the important message of global poverty to their own sporting event, giving ordinary people the opportunity to stand up and make a difference.

o Please pray that local groups will participate and be able to mobilise their community for action against poverty.

§ Please pray for various regional volunteer action groups, especially the volunteers that head these groups and organise local events.

For more information please see www.micahchallenge.org.au/pages/content.asp?plid=44

§ Please pray for Trade Justice activities in various EU countries on 19 April.

Time is running out to prevent the European Union (EU) from pushing devastating free trade agreements on some of the world’s poorest countries. Negotiations between the EU and 75 of its former colonies are at a critical stage and the future of millions of people and their environment is at risk.

The EU's current proposals on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) will expose poor farmers and vulnerable producers in 75 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to direct and unfair competition with rich nations which threatens to destroy their livelihoods.

Pressure is urgently needed to change the position of the EU Member States - in particular, , which holds the EU Presidency until July 2007.

More info at http://www.epa2007.org/main.asp?id=307

§ Please pray for outcomes of discussions that are favourable to economically poor countries.

Meditate on the Statistics

As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development (trade/aid/debt)

Target 12: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system

'The rules on liberalisation of services in Free Trade Agreements threaten to drive local firms out of business, reduce competition, and extend the monopoly power of large companies. When Mexico liberalised financial services in 1993 in preparation for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), for example, foreign ownership of the banking system increased to 85 per cent in seven years, but lending to Mexican businesses dropped from 10 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 0.3 per cent, depriving poor people living in rural areas of vital sources of credit.'

Source: 'Signing away the future' – Oxfam Briefing paper, March 2007


Yours in Christ,

Regine and Michael

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