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Prayer image prayer Guide for Parilament and the Nation

Three-Parent Babies: 9-15 July

In December 2016, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved a new “three-parent baby” fertility technique (known as mitochondrial replacement therapy) which prevents children from inheriting certain genetic diseases from faulty DNA in their mitochondria. One in 200 children is born with faulty mitochondrial genes which can affect vital organs, muscles, vision, growth and mental ability, and can be fatal.

In March 2017, the HFEA approved the first stage of a two-step licence for scientists at Newcastle University to use the technique. The second step in the process requires the HFEA to consider the application in relation to a particular individual. Several women are already in line to receive the new therapy at the Newcastle Fertility Centre and there are suggestions that the first babies to have been conceived using this "three-person" IVF technique could be born as early as Christmas of this year.

Although the UK is the first country to legalise the "three-parent baby" technique, the first baby to be born using mitochondrial replacement was in September 2016 in Mexico, where there is far less regulation.

PRAY for the mothers hoping to use the three-parent baby technique. Pray for scientists at the Newcastle Fertility Centre to act responsibly and ensure that all relevant evidence is made available to prospective parents regarding the possible dangers and limitations of the technique. Pray for the safety of all babies born as a result of this technique.

News of the week

  1. The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee published a report this week on the EU's Operation Sophia, which aimed to disrupt people smugglers in the central Mediterranean. The report concluded that the operation had failed and, through the destruction of smugglers' boats, had led to migrants being sent to sea in unseaworthy vessels, resulting in even more deaths.

THANK GOD for the Operation Sophia vessels which have rescued over 33,000 people from the Mediterranean. Pray for the friends and families of all who have died trying to cross the Sea (there have been 2,150 recorded deaths so far this year). Pray for stable political and security conditions in Libya and for the Libyan government to work effectively alongside the EU against people trafficking.

  1. The Church of England's General Synod has voted in favour of a formal service to welcome transgender people into the Church. The Synod voted against first requiring the Church to determine the theological basis for any new liturgy or customs, with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, saying, "The theology needs to be done but that can be done very quickly … let's vote for it."

PRAY for Christians of all denominations to reach out with compassion to transgender people and to ensure that everyone is welcomed into Christ's Church. Pray for Christians who struggle with their gender identity. Pray for the Church of England to be bold in speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:14-15).

  1. Last weekend, Iraq's Prime Minister claimed victory over IS in Mosul following the city's liberation after nine months of war.

THANK GOD for the defeat of IS in Mosul. Pray for the Iraqi government and citizens as they begin the process of rebuilding Mosul and for the provision of appropriate international support. Pray for further defeats of IS throughout the Middle East and for an end to the spread of extremist ideologies.

  1. BREXIT: On Thursday, the Prime Minister published the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which will reverse the 1972 European Communities Act that took Britain into the bloc and adopt all existing EU legislation into British law. There are, however, concerns that the Bill could undermine human rights and provide powers to government ministers to change laws without full parliamentary scrutiny.

PRAY for Parliament as it considers the EU (Withdrawal) Bill over the coming months. Pray for clarity and rigour in debates and for the final Act to have the full support of both Parliament and the devolved administrations.

Three-Parent Babies: 9-15 July

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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