MDG prayer ideas
“The only thing they asked was that we remember the poor, and I was already eager to do that.” Galatians 2:10
In Biblical times, the poorest and most powerless people in society were women. God put in place special laws to protect them from economic and physical exploitation. However, at present it is still women who are the most vulnerable to poverty, who are denied access to decision-making, who suffer from violence and who miss out on education.
Could God be calling women of faith to speak up on behalf of other women and girls, to declare the value of women in God’s Kingdom?
In the year 2000, 189 nations around the world committed to halve global poverty by 2015. The promise is contained the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which cover hunger, education, equality between girls and boys, child and maternal mortality, disease, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development. The one goal that applies exclusively to women – to cut maternal mortality by three quarters – is the one most in danger of missing the target. Many of the other MDGs are also aimed at women. The goals aim to ensure that women and girls have clean, accessible water so that they have to spend less time fetching water and are healthier and safer as a result. The MDGs also aim to provide finance for small business ventures that can enable female entrepreneurs to thrive.
As Christians we want to declare God’s heart for women who are denied opportunity and hope because they were born into poverty. We want to remind our government leaders (who are generally male) that action to halve poverty must include women. Action by charities and churches is necessary but we also need action by governments to make the big things happen e.g. coordinated programs for birth attendants, training for teachers or national sanitation schemes.
Women are often the victims of poverty but they can also be powerful advocates – praying, speaking and acting on behalf of other women and girls. We know it is wrong that millions of women live without the opportunity to make decisions that can improve the lives of their families. We want daughters of God everywhere to be able to reach their potential. Women and their families can speak with one voice to declare that all people are worthwhile and that we can do our part to bring people out of poverty.
This prayer guide gives one way for women to raise their voice and to take action for and with other women. You can download the entire prayer guide, or click on each goal for a prayer and short activity idea.
Goal 1 Stop extreme poverty and hunger
All statistics from UNICEF (www.unicef.org)
This prayer guide is adapted with kind permission from an idea of the Viva Network, an international network of Christian groups working with children at risk. www.viva.org
I want to...
“Destiny can be killed by a word. We can help girls, especially on the margins, to release their gifts and potential.”
Maureen Shana, Zimbabwe
“900 million women and girls around the world are denied opportunity and hope by poverty. Women own only 1% of the world’s wealth. Half a billion cannot read or write.”
“Whether God has called you to set up shop in a big corner office or at your kitchen table; to minister to large groups or to one person in need; to give 40 hours a week or to be responsive to unexpected moments here and there; what you have to offer matters.”
Lynne Hybels, “Nice Girls Don’t Change the World”