Nationwide Christian Trust celebration
Prayer image prayer Guide for Parilament and the Nation

National Citizenship Service: 27 August - 2 September

In August, the Government announced a new course for teenagers aimed at tackling mental health problems. The new initiative will form part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) and will raise awareness of mental health among young people and improve their knowledge of how to get help. Thousands of NCS staff will receive further training and there will be a dedicated network of NCS graduates to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Educational performance and the pressures of school exams are known to impact mental health, and concerns over teenage mental health increased this year with the changes to the GCSE mark sheme leading some students to aim for a 9, the equivalent of an A**. However, a young person's mental wellbeing is also affected by self-esteem issues, problems with home life or friendships, and concerns about applying to university or finding employment. NCS has been shown to have a positive impact on young people’s confidence and mental wellbeing and it is hoped that this new initiative will build on this, providing early intervention in mental health issues and giving young people the confidence to access support.

PRAY for all young people currently struggling with mental health problems. Pray for greater awareness of the issue and of the help available. Pray for families and teachers trying to support young people through their education and provide them with the resilience and character to cope with the pressures of life.

News of the week

  1. North Korea has fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan's Hokkaido island, saying it was "the first step" of its military operations in the Pacific and threatening to strike the Pacific island of Guam. The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the action, but Russia and China said that US military exercises on the Korean peninsular were partly to blame. Japan and the US have said they will “increase the pressure on North Korea”.

PRAY for God to safeguard peace and security in the region. Pray for wisdom for the leaders of the US, Japan and South Korea as they consider their response to the recent action. Pray for China and Russia to encourage North Korea to defuse current tensions and resolve the crisis diplomatically. Pray for citizens of the region who are anxious about the current situation.

  1. Tropical storm Harvey has brought "catastrophic" flooding to the US state of Texas. At least 33 people have died and many thousands have been made homeless in the city of Houston. Some of the US' largest oil and gas refineries in Texas have been forced to halt operations as a result of the storm and there are fears that a chemical plantnear Houston could explode.

PRAY for all who have lost loved ones in tropical storm Harvey, and for those who are homeless or without power. Pray for the state and national governments as they deal with the consequences of the storm, especially in relation to potential threats from chemical plants or oil refineries. Pray for God's love and compassion to be evident through the response of the church.

  1. Heavy monsoons across India, Nepal and Bangladesh have led to flooding with more than 1,200 dead and millions homeless.

PRAY for all who have been affected by the monsoons in Asia. Pray for the governments of India, nepal and Bangladesh, and for international aid agencies as they respond to the disaster. Pray for the 1.8 million children whose schools have been damaged through the floods and for their education to be prioritised in the relief efforts.

  1. More than 20,000 young people attended four events run by Soul Survivor this summer, and 1,300 teenagers gave their lives to Jesus.

PRAY for the young people who became Christians over the summer. Pray especially for those whose parents are not Christians and who may be anxious about the response of their family and friends. Pray for support and encouragement from local churches and youth groups.

  1. BREXIT: During the summer, the UK Government published a number of position papers on various issues, but the European Commission President (Jean Claude Juncker) has called these “unsatisfactory”. During the third round of Brexit talks this week, Michel Barnier (the EU's chief negotiator) expressed concern at the slow progress of the negotiations and accused the UK Government of "ambiguity" over its position. At the same time, the UK has told the EU that its position paper on the divorce bill is "unsatisfactory" and David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, demanded more “flexibility and imagination".

PRAY for wisdom and clarity within the UK Brexit team (especially for David Davis and the Prime Minister Theresa May), and for strength and authority in negotiating. Pray for a swift resolution to the current deadlock and for a fair financial settlement to be agreed. Pray for God to overrule in relation to the timetable and the various issues needing to be discussed, and for his sovereign will to be done with regard to the UK's future.

National Citizenship Service: 27 August - 2 September

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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For a copy of the Prayer Guide: 01277 365 398 Option 4