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Prayer image prayer Guide for Parilament and the Nation

Literacy: 3-9 September

International Literacy Day is today, 8 September. One in ten people across the globe are illiterate and one in six in the UK has poor literacy skills that impact on every area of their life. Half of all homeless people in the UK struggle with basic literacy, so last year, Big Issue founder John Bird (in partnership with Project Literacy) launched the Alphabet of Illiteracy at the House of Commons, urging literacy to be taken more seriously and pointing out that illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces.

Project Literacy is a global movement of 80 partner organisations which aims to give everyone "regardless of geography, language, race, class or gender, the opportunity to fulfill their potential through the power of words". The hope is that through greater awareness, people will think about illiteracy in a more comprehensive way and by 2030, no child will be born at risk of poor literacy.

PRAY for a greater awareness across the nation of the impact of illiteracy. Ask God what you and your church can do to improve literacy levels and help those who struggle. Consider supporting literacy projects in your local community.

News of the week

  1. Last Sunday, North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test, claiming it was a hydrogen bomb. South Korea responded by carrying out live-fire drills simulating an attack on North Korea. The US has warned of a "massive military response" if North Korea attacks any of its territories and has asked the UN to impose on North Korea the toughest sanctions possible.

PRAY for peace in the region. Pray for Russia and China to take a more active role in discouraging North Korea from further nuclear tests and seeking a diplomatic solution. Pray for safety for people living in the surrounding areas.

  1. Following the recent devastation wrought in the US by tropical storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean this week bringing flooding and destruction, and at least 14 people have died. The islands of Barbuda and St Martin are said to be amost entirely destroyed. Irma is being followed by another storm, Jose. The British Red Cross has launched an appeal.

PRAY for all necessary precautions to be taken to prevent further loss of life and the destruction of homes and livelihoods. Pray for Hurricane Irma's path to be averted and for it to decrease in intensity. Pray for Hurricane Jose to lose power and bypass those communities already affected by Hurricane Irma. Pray for governments and aid agencies to provide the requisite assistance to victims to help them to rebuild their lives.

  1. MPs returned to Parliament this week. The Northern Ireland Secretary, James Brokenshire, has been in talks this week to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive which broke down in January 2017.

PRAY for all MPs to be empowered with wisdom and strength as they return to work from their summer break. Pray for Northern Ireland Secretary, James Brokenshire, as he tries to help restore Northern Ireland's government and prevent the need for intervention by Westminster. Pray for Northern Ireland's health and education services which are currently being run by civil servants.

  1. BREXIT: The third round of Brexit talks ended last week with little apparent progress. Britain wants a deal but the EU says that the deal it is seeking is "a sort of nostalgia" which is "simply impossible" and would undermine the EU's autonomy, integrity and rule of law. A sticking point in the negotiations remains the financial settlement by the UK.

PRAY for MPs continuing to debate the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on Monday. Pray for wisdom and guidance and for the Government to review and amend the Bill as necessary. Pray for progress in the negotiations between David Davis (UK Brexit Secretary) and Michel Barnier (the EU's representative) and for agreements to be in place before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

Literacy: 3-9 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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