bulletin

Micah Challenge Prayer & Reflection, September 6, 2008

September 6, 2007

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

Reflection

What are the principles and practices for churches to reach out to poor people within their fellowship but also within the wider community?

Even the early church experienced these questions!

Julian Doorey, a development worker in Bangladesh, outlines in the attached reflection some useful questions and considerations based on Acts 6: 1-7 that might help a church to develop a holistic approach to their outreach.

\'The Apostles (church leaders) didn’t have time to do everything, but focused on prayer and teaching. The aim is not to turn all church leaders into social workers. We’re not replacing theology with sociology – although both are helpful. But, in teaching the whole word of God, the Jerusalem church promoted and supported holistic mission, meeting both spiritual and physical needs. This became a normal and integral part of local church life. The resulting mission had dramatic results - spreading God’s word, increasing the number of disciples and obedient church leaders.\'

Prayer

Let us pray:

§ For open eyes and hearts and creative ideas for our churches as they try to reach out and serve our communities.

§ For the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meetings that take place in Sydney, Australia, this week.

Amanda Jackson, the coordinator of Micah Challenge Australia writes:

\'Fifty Christian leaders from across all denominations have issued a statement to the 21 APEC leaders calling for just and concrete decisions to deal with poverty in the region.

Last weekend, 120 people gathered in the centre of a strangely quiet Sydney to pray for the meetings and for the leaders. The prayers and readings can be seen here.

Dr Shane Clifton, who preached at the service, talked of the challenge for Christians to be agents of change. In the midst of all the security and hype, God chooses the lowly to be his ambassadors, he said. “We have a responsibility to speak out on behalf of the poor.” \'

o Please pray for APEC members (including the US, Japan, China and Russia) as they make decisions on global trade, climate change, global financial markets and security. Pray that the decisions will be wise and with a view to alleviate poverty and strains on the environment.

§ Reflecting on the statistic below: we pray for a significant increase of aid to core development programmes, and that promises that were made by various political leaders will be kept.

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 (aid, trade, debt)

Indicator 33: Net ODA, total and to the least developed countries, as percentage of OECD/DAC donors\' gross national income

In 2005, aid rose to a record $106.8 billion due to large debt relief operations, most notably for Iraq and Nigeria….In real terms, official aid dropped by 5.1 per cent, the first decline since 1997. Even excluding debt relief, aid still declined by 1.8 per cent from the year before…

Aid is expected to continue to fall slightly in 2007 as debt relief declines further. Other forms of aid will increase if donors fulfil their recent pledges. However, the present rate of increase in core development programmes will have to triple over the next four years if donors are to deliver on their promises.

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

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/mdg2007.pdf

Yours in Christ,

Regine and Michael

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 (Regine.Nagel@micahchallenge.org).

If you would prefer not to receive these prayer emails please reply to this email and simply type \'unsubscribe prayer\' in the subject line.