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Prayer image prayer Guide for Parilament and the Nation

Education: 6-12 August

A Sunday Times investigation reported last week that despite UK applications for university places having risen by 17% since 2008, across all universities British undergraduate numbers have fallen. Conversely, non-EU student numbers have risen by nearly 40%. The newspaper claims that many of the UK's universities (including half of the 24 prestigious Russell Group universities which includes Oxford and Cambridge) are discriminating against British students, reducing the numbers they are accepting in favour of recruiting overseas applicants who pay up to four times the fees of their British counterparts. Furthermore, the newspaper claims that private firms are guaranteeing foreign students places at UK universities if they pass ‘foundation courses’, even though these are less rigorous than A-levels.

Many students who complete their first degree are now going straight into a second degree believing that one degree is no longer sufficient in today’s graduate employment market. The number of students taking full-time, taught postgraduate courses increased by more than 20% last year to 90,600 and the figure is expected to be even higher this year.

PRAY for students awaiting A Level results and confirmation of university places. Pray for fairness in the system of allocation of university places. Pray for guidance for students graduating from university this summer and seeking employment or considering further education.

News of the week

  1. Over the next couple of weeks, hundreds of thousands of children will receive their GCSE and A Level exam results. There is, however, substantial concern over the impact of the new, more challenging GCSE courses in English and Maths and the new GCSE grading system of 1-9.

PRAY for students awaiting GCSE exam results. Pray for employers, universities and other higher education establishments as they try to understand the value of the new GCSE grades. Pray for all teenagers struggling with mental health issues and for their parents and teachers as they try to limit the pressures on students to achieve higher grades.

  1. Over the last year, North Korea has conducted multiple tests of its intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear capabilities, despite five unanimous United Nations (UN) resolutions since 2006 calling on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program and refrain from ballistic missile tests. In recent weeks, there has been speculation that North Korea may already be in a position to launch a nuclear missile that could hit the United States. As a result, US President Donald Trump and the UN imposed further sanctions on North Korea. North Korea has vowed to fight the new sanctions with a “thousands-fold” revenge and has threatened the US airbase on the Pacific island of Guam.

PRAY for the security situation in the Korean peninsular to stabilise. Pray for China to use its influence to encourage North Korea and the US to engage in a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. Pray especially for protections for those living in Japan, South Korea and Guam who are in easy range of North Korea's weapons.

  1. Earlier this week, seventeen men and a woman were convicted in Newcastle for grooming and abusing girls (some as young as 14). The abuse was similar to that seen in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Derby, involving a group of Asian men targeting white girls.

PRAY for the girls who experienced horrific abuse in this recent case. Pray for the police to be successful in bringing about further convictions of those involved in grooming and child abuse. Pray for protection for vulnerable young people across the country.

  1. BREXIT: The EU has refused to discuss any future trade deal with the UK until the "divorce" bill has been agreed. This is a controversial issue as many Eurosceptics refuse to accept that any monies should be paid to the EU. The EU's position has been for the UK to pay around €60-€100bn. Last weekend, the Government was reportedly considering a payment to the EU of around €40bn (the equivalent of several years of UK contributions to the EU budget). However, this was later ruled out by Government sources as "inaccurate speculation".

PRAY for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, as they negotiate the UK's financial settlement. Pray that the amount agreed would be a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations. Pray against any widening of rifts within society in general, Parliament or the Government as Brexit negotiations continue. Pray for God to reign over and direct all discussions between the UK and the EU.

Education: 6-12 August

Please use these prayers both in your individual and church prayer times to hold the nation and its leaders before God in prayer and with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

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