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Pray for the Economy  of the Nelson Mandela Metropole
14 February - 31 March 2018


Invitation
You are invited to join us to pray for the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay. This initiative is designed to be easily incorporated into your existing weekly personal prayer times and or prayer meetings or to be used as a standalone initiative. 
 
The Objective
Every year during the time of Lent we have a special prayer focus called "40 Days of Difference". For a period of 40 days, we focus on praying for various aspects of the economy in the Nelson Mandela Bay.
 
What is Lent?
On the Christian Calendar Lent starts every year on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. While Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and prayer, there are actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.  Saturdays (originally the Sabbath) are not counted as part of the 40 day period.
 
The History 
This prayer initiative started in 2009. The focus is the economic recovery of the region, poverty, and unemployment in the Metropole including Uitenhage and Despatch.
 
The Spiritual Roots of Poverty
Poverty has spiritual roots and must be dealt with accordingly, through repentance and prayer. The dynamics of such an initiative will be different from this one. It will most probably deal with tithing, giving, corruption, greed, unrighteousness in the workplace, tax evasion, sin on the land etc. This is nevertheless not the focus of the 40 days of prayer
 

The Strategy 

  • Possible ways of participating in this initiative:

  • Pray through the guidelines in your personal prayer time.

  • Incorporate the prayer guidelines into existing weekly prayer meetings.

  • Organize additional prayer meetings for this purpose.

  • Pray onsite.

  • Prayerwalk specific areas where businesses are located.

  • Pray and read through news articles in the business section of a newspaper.

  • Pray for business owners in your church. 

  • Visit businesses in your immediate area to encourage them and to pray for them. 

  • Too fast, either certain days during the 40 days or to participate in a Daniel fast.

 
Key components of economic growth and recovery
Economies are very complex but for any economy to grow in a specific area there are a few simple conditions. First and foremost, the flow of money into a geographical area must increase, for the economy to grow in that area. If there is no added inflow of money and certain businesses prosper, it is simply at the cost of other business, meaning that some do worse while others do better. The economy is not growing in such a scenario. It is also important to note that once money has flowed into an area, that money needs to stay in circulation in that area for as long as possible. This prayer initiative, therefore, focuses on the marketplace and the variables that influence its growth.  
 

Prayer Focus Areas
This initiative is divided into 7 focus areas that can be used for each of the six weeks during the 40 days.
 
Week 1: The response of the Church 
Week 2: Unemployed and Retrenched
Week 3: National/Provincial/Local Government Efforts
Week 4: Tourism/ Major Sports Events
Week 5: Investment and Exports
Week 6: Small and Medium Enterprise/Informal Sector/BEE 
Week 7: God, Our Provider

 

Week 1: The Response of the Church

Verse of encouragement: ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you" Leviticus 25:35 (NIV)

It is estimated that there are more than 600 major churches in Nelson Mandela Bay. Just imagine the impact the church can have in the community. Many churches are reaching out the poor in communities in and around Nelson Mandela Bay. To see what Churches are doing in the Nelson Mandela Metropole visit PE Churchnet. 

Pray for the Church to:
* Help their unemployed members to effectively deal with the negative stigma of unemployment, retrenchments, and financial difficulties and to create an environment in which members feel free to openly discuss their needs and problems.
* Become involved in ministry in needy areas, or to support ministries working there already. 
* Find the sustainable solutions in dealing with the poor. 
* Get involved in corporate initiatives in the city. 


Check outThe Church and Poverty Reduction
 

Week 2:  Unemployed and Retrenched
 

Verse of encouragement: "So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?" Ecclesiastes 3:22 (NIV)

Pray for:
* Employees who have been retrenched and who are now facing a lack of income. For them to deal with the disappointment and bitterness of losing a job. For men who have lost their role as a provider in their homes, for their families to be more understanding and supportive. For those who have been rejected by the community because they can not contribute to the welfare of others. 
* The unemployed who are employable, to find employment. Especially young qualified job seekers.
* Those who have been unemployed for a long time to regain their hope and faith in God.

Fact: The Eastern Cape had a negative economic growth rate of 0,3%. Unemployment in The Nelson Mandela Metropole stands at 32%.
Check Out: Provincial Economic Growth (ECSECC)
Check Out: Provincial Labour Market (ECSECC)
 

Week 3: National/Provincial/Local Government Efforts 

Verse of encouragement: "The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries" Micah 7:11 (NIV)
 
During a recession, one of the most popular ways in which Governments all over the world try to stimulate an economy is to embark on capital expenditure programs. This is also a strategy implemented by the SA Government. Provincial and Local governments are tasked to implement these programs.

Pray For:
* Political agendas not to hamper the implementation of these
* National, Provincial and Local Government to effectively identify needs for these programs, to effectively formulate the programs and the implementation thereof. Areas that have already been identified are infrastructure development and the building and maintenance of hospitals and schools.
* Allocation of tenders, to be transparent and fair and in line with tender procedures. That corruption in tender procedures will be prevented and exposed. 
* An end to corruption in all spheres of society, programs, that the needs of people will be met and that money will not be wasted on unnecessary programs.
 

Week 4: Tourism 
 
Verse of encouragement: " but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveller" Job 31:32 (NIV) 

Pray For:
* A successfully integrated tourism development strategy involving all relevant Government Departments, The Tourism Board, and the Private Sector.  
* Service levels in the tourism sector to be on par with international standards.
* The unlocking of the tourism potential in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape.
* The informal sector to be successfully integrated into tourism ventures.
 

Week 5: Investment and Exports

Verse of encouragement for the week: "Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.  Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. Ecclesiastes 11:1,2 (NIV)

The major role-players in presenting the Metro as an investment opportunity to the rest of the world are Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

Pray for: 
* The Metro to become a major investment destination for national and international companies and corporations.
* The efforts of the NMBM, the CDC and Chamber of Commerce to attract investment, to be successful.
* The successful implementation of the Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework of the NMBM that sets out the prospect of future industrial development across the Metro.
* The UDDI's (Uitenhage and Despatch Development Initiative's) successful implementation of planned developments and expansion of existing projects.
* Political agendas, corruption and unrighteousness not to influence decision-making processes. 
* Continuation and expansion of export contracts for motor manufacturers and related industries.

Check out: New Vehicle Sales Statistics - Get the latest NAAMSA sales figures here
 

Week 6: Small and Medium Enterprise/Informal Sector/BEE 

Verse of encouragement: "Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia" Ezra 4:7 NIV

It has the potential that the informal sector will, in future, become one of the most important sectors providing employment for people. This is nevertheless one of the most neglected sectors of the economy in terms of training opportunities, the availability of credit and access to bigger markets. The informal sector in townships is run almost entirely by foreigners these days. Small and Medium enterprises are also severely affected by the economic downturn with many businesses reporting a decline in business.

Pray for
* Struggling businesses all over the Bay to find creative ways of doing business. Especially for Christian Business owners and managers who are confronted on a daily basis by unethical, unrighteous, corrupt and unlawful business practices. For them not to compromise.
* Christian business owners, managers and even employees who deal with business owners, managers and employees of other faiths. For them to have wisdom and insight in working with or dealing with people of other faiths.
* The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber to be able to continue their invaluable service to large and smaller business concerns.
* The successful implementation of the Black Economic Empowerment strategy by businesses, for wisdom for business owners on how to deal with the demands of labor practice and labor law and to turn this into a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
* The development of the informal sector, for them to obtain access to credit, training opportunities and access to bigger markets.
 

Week 7: God - Our Provider

Verse of encouragement: “But so that we may not cause offence, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 17:27 (NIV)

It is often during times like these that common sense, business savvy, ingenuity, creativity and any other qualifications required to prosper, simply do not provide answers. Many business owners, employers, and employees are at this point. They simply do not have answers for themselves and their businesses. But it is often during such times that God does miracles so that we, as his children, can bring glory to His name.
Pray:
* Those people will turn towards God and that they will put their faith in Him as their Saviour, Helper, and Provider.
* Those people will seek God’s face, turn from their wicked ways and follow Christ in all that they
are doing, and to trust Him in the first place for a breakthrough in their lives.
* That Christians will become more conscious of, and willing to live a simpler life; for them to be willing to share their resources with those who do not have resources so that Christ can be glorified through it.
* For believers to put in a bigger effort to seek Gods face corporately, for the establishing of 24/7 prayer watches in every region in the Metropole in Business, Government, and Education.

 

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