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Micah Challenge Prayer, Friday 31 October 2008

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Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!

Reflection

‘So, over in Ohio, the “old” Mennonites are only allowed to vote for the road supervisor, the director of the poor, the school director and the postmaster. And they don’t want their members “mingling in politics.” Heavens, they think the parades and debates and barbeques are pure hoopla, “an idolatrous Babel business.”

Well, I disagree. I quite enjoy seeing the community come together at the picnics and marches. It’s exciting and a good cause, too. I agree that Christians shouldn’t participate in war or violence, but why can’t we use the vote to spread peace principles?'


The quote above is an excerpt from a letter written by a Mennonite lady, Anna Funk, in the USA to her brother- over 100 hundred years ago in 1880. Little seems to have changed since then- in politics and in Christians’ response to politics.

'We Mennonites are simply not as separate from our world as some like to think we are. We are citizens of our communities—many of us leaders; and we take advantage of much that our communities offer. We can’t just refuse to help set the direction of our towns and counties and nation!’

In Amos 5: 1-17, the prophet has strong words for the people of Israel. He calls them to repent and undo structures and systems that do not stand up for justice and the right of the marginalized and poor.

Prayer
Let us pray:

  • That we can, in Anna Funk’s words, be ‘citizens of our communities’ and be wise in how we ‘help to set the direction of our towns and nations’.

  • We praise God for a tremendously successful Stand up Take Action campaign: 116, 993, 629 people in 131 countries have Stood Up and Taken Action against poverty and inequality, and in a call for urgent action on the MDGs! This is almost double the number of people participating than was anticipated. Churches in 31 countries participated in Micah Sunday and many mobilized their congregations to Stand up against poverty.

    Please pray that these numbers can now be used effectively to lobby our political leaders to increase their commitment to the MDGs despite the current economic crisis.

  • For the presidential elections in the USA on Tuesday 4 November. We pray:

    1. For wisdom and discernment for our brothers and sisters in the US as they vote.
    2. For the safety of the presidential candidates McCain and Obama in these last days of campaigning and as votes are cast and results announced.
    3. For Micah Challenge USA as they seek to mobilise Christians to hold the newly elected president accountable to work towards achieving the MDGs in their presidency.

  • Reflecting on the statistic below: Lord, we pray for your comfort on families around the world who have to cope with the death of their newly born son/daughter, sister/brother or grand-child.

    We pray that governments will increase funding so that neonatal and maternal care can be improved and made more widely accessible.


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 4: Reduce child mortality

Target 5: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

‘Thirty-seven per cent of under-five deaths occur in the first month of life and improved neonatal and maternal care could save countless newborns. Undernutrition is estimated to be an underlying cause in more than one third of all deaths in children under five.’

Source: Millennium Development Goals Report, United Nations, September 2008

http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/News.aspx?ArticleId=42

Yours in Christ,

Regine and MC team

Please view all the Friday Prayer statistics we’ve used to date at Index of Millennium Development Goal Statistics.xls

Please see Index of Reflections on Integral Mission.xls

This email is also available in French and Spanish. Please contact Regine if you, or someone you know, would like to receive one of these versions ([email protected]).