NECF Monthly Prayer Bulletin - August 2011
1. Church: 40-Day Fast & Prayer
The days leading up to the 9 July Bersih rally and what has followed after continues to reaffirm the fact that this Nation is in need of urgent prayer. From the harsh handling of the generally peaceful Bersih protesters to the shocking Royal Commission Inquiry findings of the Teoh Beng Hock case, events have shown the worrying state of our government administration. While we are thankful for many who have responded to pray for the nation, yet the larger Body of Christ is in slumber. Let us pray that God would stir the Church to pray. Let us pray for an increase in participation in the coming 40-Day Fast & Pray. Let us pray for God's divine intervention in our nation as we seek Him in fasting and prayer.
In the recent Bersih rally, tens of thousands of Malaysian expressed their unhappiness over the current electoral system, and that they want the authorities to take action and conduct reforms. The eight demands of Bersih are for authorities to clean the electoral roll, reform the postal ballot, implement the use of indelible ink, allow a minimum of 21 days campaigning period, ensure free and fair access to media, strengthen public institutions, and to stop corruption as well as dirty politics. These demands are consistent with democracy, integrity, justice and righteousness and should be upheld in every nation. Pray that the government will seriously consider the demands of the people, and take immediate action regarding electoral reforms even before the coming General Election. Pray that the coming election results be a true reflection of the people's choice.
New Generation of Politicians
Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has given strong indications that the 13th general election is just a few months away. Those whom we elect will become policy makers who will in turn determine the state and future of the nation. Many of our present elected representatives belong to the ageing generation. Their approaches are often outdated and disconnected. Today's generation is more informed and demands greater accountability, integrity and transparency. For change to take place, it must begin at the top. We need a new generation of leaders who are untainted and in touch with the aspirations and expectations of the masses to take this nation into the next decade. Let us pray for the ageing to make way for young, vibrant, passionate and clean candidates to be given the trust and opportunity to stand in the coming election to serve the nation.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently announced that Budget 2012 will be tabled on 7 October. The Budget 2012 Consultation is currently on-going. And the theme set by the Prime Minister for the budget is again "inclusive and peoplecentric", with the focus of accelerating transformation efforts towards enhancing growth and sustaining the well-being of the people. With the rise of inflation and the increase of unemployment rate among graduates, a carefully crafted budget is needed to revive the economy and to create jobs. Let us pray that the coming budget will take into account of the hardships faced by the population and for sensible projects to be adopted.
3. World: Somalia
On the 20th July, famine was officially declared in two regions of southern Somalia, the first time a major famine has been announced since the 2000 famine in the Somali region of Ethiopia. It is said to be one of the largest humanitarian crises in decades. The United Nations warns that if the international community does not act now, famine will spread to all areas of southern Somalia within two months. The crisis was brought on by a combination of severe drought (with no rain in the region for two years), a spike in food prices and a civil war in Somalia, where it is too dangerous for aid workers to operate. Across Somalia, more than 3.7 million people, or more than half the entire population, are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. In certain southern areas, almost half the population is malnourished. Across the three worst-affected countries of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, more than 11 million people need immediate food assistance. Pray that international communities will continue to contribute sufficient funds and help to relieve Somalis in need. Pray also that there will no hindrances for aid to cross the borders and reach the needy in good time. Pray that those suffering and experiencing intense fear and starvation will be enveloped by God's love and peace.
4. NECF - Missional Church Seminars
The church exists for more than the advancement of spiritual matters such as evangelism, church planting, and missions. We have been called to engage in our roles in the marketplace, and through social action such as political engagement, meeting community needs, fighting corruption and resolving other social ills. Being a missional church is to be involved in both the Gospel and social action. This August, a Missional Church Seminar will be organized in Johor and Kuching in relation to this theme. Sharing their scholarship and experience on these matters are husband-and-wife team Dr Paul (principal of Mattersey Hall, a leading Christian college in London) and Carol Alexander (a lecturer at Mattersey Hall). Some areas they will cover are the biblical basis for all Christians to be "missionaries" in their respective spheres of influence; and how pastors and leaders can nurture their congregations to live out their missional purpose. They will take the participants through three main areas on the essence, purpose and action of the Church. Pray that Christians and leaders will respond positively and take part in these seminars to understand how to be "missional" Christians, in order to be part of the national transformation we desire for Malaysia.
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