The leaders of most of the nations around the world have agreed to focus on the eight items listed below. We may not know exactly how the various governments may approach the issues, but we can take these to God in prayer and ask that His solutions would come to the forefront and be accomplished.
- Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
- Achieve Universal Primary Education
- Promote Equal Opportunities for Girls and Boys (education, training, value in society)
- Reduce Child Mortality
- Improve Maternal Health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
- Ensure Access to Clean Water and Sanitation
- Develop A Global Partnership For Development (fair trade policies)
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Poverty is at the root of many of the problems facing children today. It stops parents from providing the nutritious food their children need, damaging their physical and mental development. It makes families vulnerable to traffickers, who trick them with stories of brighter futures for their children abroad. It often makes it impossible for children to go to school.
- Pray that poverty and hunger will be reduced to release millions of children into lives where needs are met.
- Pray for trafficking education programs to be available to all who need them so families can protect their children from exploitation.
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education
Primary education equips children to earn a living in the future, helping them move away from poverty and subsistence. The vast majority of children who do not go to school live in rural areas where access to schools is often still difficult. Many children miss the opportunity to go to school because they have to work to make ends meet. With 218 million children engaged in child labor, there is much work to do to make sure that universal primary education is achieved.
- Pray for schools to be set up in rural communities which still lack facilities for education, and for resources like books and teacher training to be available.
3. Promote Equal Opportunities for Girls and Boys
In many cultures, girls don’t have the same opportunities as boys. People can assume that they don’t need to go to school because their future role may be in the home rather than the workplace. But whether they eventually go out to work or not, girls need to be able to make decisions and be able to raise their children to be healthy and educated. Boys and girls are equally valuable in God’s eyes.
- Pray that people in all cultures would recognize the equal worth of girls and boys.
- Pray for girls to have the opportunity to go to school.
4. Reduce Child Mortality
Every day, 27,000 children die because of hunger or preventable disease. Children under five are the most vulnerable. Clean drinking water, enough food and a balanced diet, and medical care are vital.
- Pray for protection for young children during their earliest, most vulnerable years.
- Pray for small but significant changes such as regular health checks, vitamin supplements, etc.
5. Improve Maternal Health
In the poorest parts of the world, mothers frequently die in pregnancy and childbirth. When mothers are unhealthy during pregnancy, their babies can be born underweight and weak. Without a skilled midwife or birth attendant present, babies are much more likely to contract diseases at birth or be harmed during delivery. And children who lose their mothers are very vulnerable, often having to take on adult responsibilities too early, caring for siblings and earning money to support themselves.
- Pray for more midwives to be trained and ultimately for all women to have a skilled attendant with them during birth.
- Pray that the number of women who die in childbirth will be reduced dramatically, particularly in Africa and South Asia where rates are very high.
- Pray for protection for children growing up without parents. Pray they would find support in extended families and their communities.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
HIV/AIDS affects millions of children around the world. Already at least 15 million have been orphaned by it. A key way to fight the spread of the disease is through education since many young people are unaware of how it is passed on. For malaria, sleeping under treated mosquito nets can prevent children contracting the disease, but often these are unavailable or too expensive for families to buy. It’s also important to teach families how to recognize malaria’s symptoms and provide the medicine they need to treat children at home.
- Pray for effective communication and education about HIV/AIDS and that the spread of HIV would be reduced.
- Pray that protective mosquito nets would be made accessible to vulnerable families in areas where malaria is common.
7. Ensure Access to Clean Water and Sanitation
Poor sanitation and dirty water damage children’s health as well as the wider environment. Diseases such as diarrhea cause many thousands of deaths among children each year, and safe water would prevent this. Governments need to address these issues at the national level with good water treatment programs, but communities can work together to bring change. Hygiene education promoting hand-washing and ways to avoid contamination, and building wells and latrines can have a huge impact on health and quality of life.
- Pray for sanitation and clean water to be a priority for governments.
- Pray for protection for families who still have to drink water from unsafe sources and pray for their communities to soon have a local, clean water supply.
8. Develop A Global Partnership For Development
Governments and international groups working together can help reduce poverty and hardship and make a difference to a generation of children as they grow up. Reducing or canceling debts of the poorest countries often enables these nations to spend money on services for children, like health care and education. Making sure that trade systems are fair can help poor countries start to sell more goods and become stronger economically.
- Pray that money saved by poor countries when debts are reduced or canceled would be invested wisely so that children benefit.
- Pray for wisdom for national leaders as they decide on policies that will affect the poor.
Recommended ReadingIntercessors Arise
by Debbie Przybylski
With the key concepts taught in Intercessors Arise, you'll learn to release your potential in prayer through practical and personal application steps.
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