Micah Challenge Prayer & Reflection, August 3, 2007

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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!

Please note that we will take a two week holiday break; the next Friday prayer email will be for August 24, 2007.


What drives people to work for change?

Peter Sawtell from Eco-Justice Ministries suggests that 'the first step in moving individuals and society toward any sort of real change involves imagination -- the creative and hopeful awareness that things can be different than they are.'

In Zechariah 8 we find a vivid description of a 'shalom community' as a biblical imaginative expression of how things could be.

'Do the problems of returning and rebuilding by just a few survivors seem too much? But is anything too much for me? Not if I have my say.' ( V. 6)

You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah and Israel, but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing.' (V. 14)

(From the Message)

The reflection focuses mainly on environmental issues but can easily be applied to global poverty. We would like to pass on the challenge to this Micah Challenge audience and imagine specific changes, picturing a single, dramatic change in our social systems, and then working through the implications of that change. This can both critique our current way of living, and break open new possibilities.

We invite you to share your dreams at the comments box at http://www.micahchallenge.org/english/pray/latest/ !

Please note that your comment will have to be approved by the MC team before it will appear on the web.


Let us pray:

§ That we will personally, and within our churches and community groups stimulate the sort of vivid imagination which will allow us to avoid paralysis, and to work for a new world.

§ For Micah Challenge in Zambia who will officially go national at a launch in Lusaka August 3-4.

o We give thanks for the many activities that have taken place regionally and especially pray for the election of a national steering group on 3 August.

o We pray for the planned events and for the guest speakers, that church representatives as well as political leaders will be motivated to act against poverty in Zambia.

Please see the recent Micah Challenge Zambia newsletter for further information.

§ Reflecting on the recent statistic below: We lift to God all the families that have lost their wife or mother due to preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

We pray for rapid progress in ensuring that women receive at least 4 antenatal care visits during their pregnancy to detect early signs of threats to a safe pregnancy and delivery.

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 5: Improve maternal health

Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the number of women who die giving birth

'Maternal mortality levels remain unacceptably high across the developing world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Each year, more than 500,000 women die from treatable or preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s risk of dying from such complications over the course of her lifetime is 1 in 16, compared to 1 in 3,800 in the developed world.'

Source: Millennium Development Goals Report 2007, United Nations July 2007


Yours in Christ,

Regine and Michael