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

Divorce: 30 July - 5 August

According to national statistics, the divorce rate is decreasing. Whilst this should be welcome news, the Marriage Foundation does not believe that this means there is less family breakdown. In fact, it claims that family breakdown is actually increasing, but with a trend away from marriage and towards cohabitation, fewer marriages necessarily means fewer divorces. Other research by the Foundation has shown that unmarried cohabiting parents are more likely to split up than married parents and UK cohabiting parents appear to be the most unstable in the developed world. Cohabiting couples account for over half of family breakdowns despite making up only a fifth of parents, and the statistics for cohabiting couples separating are getting worse year on year.

In July, a report by the Children’s Commissioner for England identified nearly 700,000 children in England as growing up in "high risk" family situations, although the report admits that this figure is likely to be an underestimation. Whilst the report does not go into detail about the relationship status of the parents of these vulnerable children, in a video statement the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, said that marriage decline and family breakdown was the undeniable underlying cause of childhood vulnerability.

PRAY for all couples (and specifically for any couple known to you) going through difficulties in their marriage. Pray for the Government to recognise the importance of marriage and put additional resources into helping couples commit to one another. Pray for the promotion of marriage in our society and the provision of approporiate support for struggling couples.

News of the week

  1. Venezuela. Amidst considerable controversy Venezuela has elected a new assembly to rewrite the country's constitution. Allegations of voter turnout manipulation, a boycott by the opposition, protests for and against the president and the arrest of opposition leaders, have all raised questions over the validity of the vote.

Pray for peace in Venezuela and for an end to violence, may differences be resolved through dialog and all voices given an opportunity to be heard. Pray for a fair and proper process to enable a true representation of the diversity of Venezuela to have their say in the formation of a new constitution.

  1. US - Russia relations. Following the approval by US Congress and the Senate of new sanctions against Russia, Russia expelled 755 US diplomats, leading to fresh concerns over the relationship of these two key nations. Meanwhile Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian involvement in the US election as appointed a Gran Jury to consider evidence.

Pray for renewed diplomatic efforts to rebuild constructive a relationship between the two nations. Pray for Robert Mueller to have the wisdom, sound judgment and freedom to pursue justice.

  1. Mental Health. It has been revealed that many mental health patients are waiting many months, sometimes years, to be discharged. This is despite an urgent need for places, as highlighted by Sir James Munby a senior judge in addressing the urgent for treatment of a 17yr old. The problems being experienced are attributed to a lack of funding for care in the community and disagreements between different health bodies.

Pray for those with mental health issues that need treatment but are unable to access it. We also pray for those who have recovered and are ready for discharge but for whom the support is not available. Lord in your mercy may the funding be available and health of those unwell be prioritised.

  1. BREXIT: James Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) has highlighted increasing uncertainty over Brexit as the cause of below inflation pay rises and poor business investment. The Chancellor Philip Hammond along with other cabinet ministers are pushing for a transition deal that extends single market and customs unions for a period beyond March 2019, to ease concerns.

Pray for those who are feeling the financial strain in their household budgets, that they would know God's providence. We pray for those negotiating to have all the wisdom and resources needed to secure a stable financial future.

Divorce: 30 July - 5 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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