Prayer Points    (updated 31st July 2020)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you(us); he will never leave you(us) nor forsake you(us). Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’  Deuteronomy 31 verse 8
Heavenly Father we bring before you our church family our local community:

  1. For families to enjoy being together in the  school holidays – may they find ways to rest and have fun despite changed plans
  2. Parents who are working through  school holidays- for help with child care, for resilience, and for Holy Spirit blessing in fulfilling each days commitments
  3. For people who are looking for work – that they will find a job tailored to their skills and availability despite jobs being in short supply
  4. For people who have been shielding – that they will work out a new lifestyle which is safe but not entirely isolated.
  5. For wider family, friends and neighbours who do not know you yet, but know of you through us… that we might be a reflection of you, and they might see you in us.

And we lift these National Issues to you…

  1. For the people of Manchester as new restrictions are imposed on social contact and in Leicester where a full Lockdown is still in place  because of increased rates of CoVid19
  2. For people to engage with government protocols to arrest its spread in their communities.
  3. The need for divine wisdom in government decisions and in local authorities as they deal with all the issues that arise through the different stages of easing of Lockdown
  4. For safe social distancing in shops, bars and restaurants and homes :and  reminders about hand washing especially before eating
  5. Protection for all children who are exposed to abusive relationships and for discernment among those who are supporting them
  6. For all those who have lost  jobs or income as a result of the pandemic - we pray that you will match people to the available jobs with unexpected ease and speed.
  7. For scientific developments: a successful and ethical vaccine so urgently needed; a reliable track and trace system; new treatments for Covid symptoms
  8. That the work of our Charities and Christian radio ; that the listeners are stirred to make kingdom changes in their lives which will be a blessing to others.

We entrust these International Issues to you….

  1. For constant flowing of acts of kindness into an increasingly hurting world, to bring healing and peace.  May the bearers of the Good news, multiply.
  2. Mazwi Village in Zimbabwe, which is led Sarah and Graham Giles, for desperately needed water to flow in their provision and harvest.
  3. Solwezi School – Jean-Ann & Mel Fish.  For the timely provision and distribution of food aid to desperately needy villagers, families there.
  4. Covid 19 related starvation worldwide especially in India, South Africa, and Brazil where child starvation has become a desperate issue (see extract from Oxfam International News summary 9th July below)

International News from Oxfam 9th July

Oxfam’s Interim Executive Director Chema Vera said: 

“COVID-19 is the last straw for millions of people already struggling with the impacts of conflict, climate change, inequality and a broken food system that has impoverished millions of food producers and workers. Meanwhile, those at the top are continuing to make a profit: eight of the biggest food and drink companies paid out over $18 billion to shareholders since January even as the pandemic was spreading across the globe ?ten times more than the UN says is needed to stop people going hungry.”   

The briefing reveals the world’s ten worst hunger hotspots, places such as Venezuela and South Sudan where the food crisis is most severe and getting worse as a result of the pandemic. It also highlights emerging epicentres of hunger ?middle income countries such as India, South Africa, and Brazil? where millions of people who were barely managing have been tipped over the edge by the pandemic. For example:
  • Brazil: Millions of poor workers, with little in the way of savings or benefits to fall back on, lost their incomes as a result of lockdown. Only 10 percent of the financial support promised by the federal government had been distributed by late June with big business favoured over workers and smaller more vulnerable companies.
  • India: Travel restrictions left farmers without vital migrant labour at the peak of the harvest season, forcing many to leave their crops in the field to rot. Traders have also been unable to reach tribal communities during the peak harvest season for forest products, depriving up to 100 million people of their main source of income for the year. 
  • Yemen: Remittances dropped by 80 percent ?or $253 million? in the first four months of 2020 as a result of mass job losses across the Gulf. Borders and supply route closures have led to food shortages and food price spikes in the country which imports 90 percent of its food. 
  • Sahel: Restrictions on movement have prevented herders from driving their livestock to greener pastures for feeding, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people. Just 26 percent of the $2.8bn needed to respond to COVID-19 in the region has been pledged.

Kadidia Diallo, a female milk producer in Burkina Faso, told Oxfam: “COVID-19 is causing us a lot of harm. Giving my children something to eat in the morning has become difficult. We are totally dependent on the sale of milk, and with the closure of the market we can’t sell the milk anymore. If we don’t sell milk, we don't eat.” 

Women, and women-headed households, are more likely to go hungry despite the crucial role they play as food producers and workers. Women are already vulnerable because of systemic discrimination that sees them earn less and own fewer assets than men. They make up a large proportion of groups, such as informal workers, that have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the pandemic, and have also borne the brunt of a dramatic increase in unpaid care work as a result of school closures and family illness.  

“Governments must contain the spread of this deadly disease but it is equally vital they take action to stop the pandemic killing as many ?if not more? people from hunger,” said Vera. 

“Governments can save lives now by fully funding the UN’s COVID-19 appeal, making sure aid gets to those who need it most, and cancelling the debts of developing countries to free up funding for social protection and healthcare. To end this hunger crisis, governments must also build fairer, more robust, and more sustainable food systems, that put the interests of food producers and workers before the profits of big food and agribusiness,” added Vera. 

Since the pandemic began, Oxfam has reached 4.5 million of the world’s most vulnerable people with food aid and clean water, working together with over 344 partners across 62 countries. We aim to reach a total of 14 million people by raising a further $113m to support our programmes.
Father we pray that wealthy businesses, shareholders, have an increased move of heart, to add to finances for urgent humanitarian needs developing internationally, may they sacrifice their huge profits for saving lives.  Amen.