NECF Monthly Prayer Bulletin - July 2011
In 2002, there was one divorce for every 9.6 marriages registered. Last year, there was one for every 6.1. HELP University College academician John Emmanuel Kiat said while the number of marriages had increased by 21% from 2002 to 2010, the number of divorces had gone up by as much as 105% during the same period. This concern is reflected by the recent establishment of the Obedient Wives Club. The OWC claims that the secret to a successful marriage is simple: obedient wives who make sure their husbands are sexually satisfied, and who serve their husbands "better than a first-class prostitute". The club has sparked national and international controversy. One significant outcome of divorce is the negative effect it has upon children, and separations shape their character and consequently their future. Pray that spouses would not easily give up their marriages and that they will deeply consider the commitment they made to each other and the inevitable repercussions divorce. Pray for churches and organizations to be effective in the provision of marital counseling and family-related support to church members and the community.
13th Malaysia General Election
The 2008 general elections fundamentally altered Malaysian politics. Barisan Nasional, in its worst performance in Malaysia's 50 years of independence, and crucially, for the first time since 1969, lost the two-thirds majority in parliament it needs to amend the constitution. The opposition assumed government power in five of thirteen states. Although the next elections only need to be held by 2013, Malaysians speculate that the 13th General Election may come sooner than that. A matter of great concern is the choice of candidates who will stand for the coming elections. Their personal character and integrity will implicate their choices, service and ultimately the fate of Malaysians. Pray for parties to choose candidates who are honourable and devoted to serve the people. Also pray for churches to respond in interceding for the coming elections.
2. South East Asia: Thai Elections
At the heart of five years of instability in Thai politics are the "red shirts" and "yellow shirts". The former are supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand's former prime minister, while the latter are the People's Alliance for Democracy who oppose Thaksin. The Red Shirts claim that the Military used force to bring Abhisit Vejjajiva, the current Prime Minister, into power at the end of 2008. This created unrest and a series of demonstrations, with many people believing that democracy had been taken from them. In 2010, the Red Shirts, more than 100,000 strong, descended on Bangkok, demanding Abhisit's resignation and new elections. The protests that lasted about three months saw 91 people killed, more than 1,400 injured and the burning down of more than 30 buildings as the Red Shirts fled the army clearing Bangkok streets. A year later, Thailand is set to hold a general election on July 3. However, the wounds remain deep and there is uncertainty that a vote will succeed in healing Thailand's political and social divisions. Pray that the election candidates will be leaders of integrity and will put differences of the past behind in order that the nation may move forward. Pray also that the people will vote wisely, so that their longing for justice and equality will come to pass, and the government elected will spearhead genuine reconciliation efforts to bring Thailand together.
3. World: Turmoil In Yemen
The Yemeni protests followed the Tunisian Revolution and was simultaneous with the Egyptian Revolution and other mass protests in the Arab world in early 2011. From protesting against problems such as unemployment, economic conditions and corruption, the demands escalated to calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. A series of demonstrations have resulted in many killed or wounded, students and children being no exception, as clashes took place between authorities and protesters. Having backed out of previous deals, Saleh refuses to leave power, but claims he is ready to sign the transition of power deal within a national dialogue and a sound mechanism. However, things are on hold because Saleh was flown to Saudi for treatment after he and others were injured and at least five others killed by a rocket attack on the presidential palace. Pro-democracy protestors in Yemen celebrate his departure and the cease fire. But the Arab world's poorest country still faces turmoil as well as immediate concerns over whether a truce will hold if Saleh tries to return and his relatives and supporters fight back. Without a clear head of state or viable government, violence may break at out any moment. Pray that God's peace and comfort will be upon the land after months of turmoil and suffering. Pray that a good and just government will become a reality for the Yemenis and that ultimately God's Kingdom and authority will prevail in the land of Yemen.
4. NECF Malaysia
40-Days Fast & Prayer
With the theme "Be Agents of Change" this year, NECF is encouraging the Malaysian church to be "missional". This means that all of us are called to be "missionaries" in the various spheres that we are part of, be it work or school, families and friendships or in our ministries. It means that all generations can be involved in the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ, and that we are called to carry out the corresponding responsibility. In view of that, this year marks the 11th edition of the NECF 40 Days Fast & Prayer booklet. Each booklet is sold at RM1.80 (excluding postage) and comes in the four main languages. There is also the children's edition in English and Chinese. The Bahasa edition will only be available in soft copy. The order form can be downloaded from the NECF website. Pray that as the time draws closer for the 40 Days, churches around Malaysia will respond positively to the call to fast and pray for the nation. Pray that the sales of the booklets will go smoothly and that church leaders will encourage their congregations to engage in this time of seeking God's face in humility and faith, on bended knees.
All across the nation, 40 Days Fast & Prayer launches will be conducted in the various regions. For the Klang Valley, it will be held on August 2nd at SIB KL, at 8.30pm. The launches will kick-start the 40 days of fasting and intercession (which commences on August 7th) as local churches gather together to pray with one voice and one heart. Pray that church members will take the initiative and set aside time to be part of the launch, and encourage others to do so as well.
Download this bulletin's printable copy in PDF.