July Devotion

"It is in the ordinary duties and labours of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God." Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness

Spirituality of Everyday Life

(extracts from Seeking the Silences with Thomas Merton, by Charles R Ringma, p. 149 – italics added)

Since God created and maintains the natural world and in the incarnation revealed himself in Jesus Christ, God’s orientation can hardly be regarded as other-worldly. This of course, is not to say that God and the world are one. They remain distinct. But if God reveals himself in the world, then it is there that we can meet with God. God among us. God with us. This means we can be fully immersed in the world and still know the face of God.

Christians who believe that we need to move away from the world in order to be with God undermine the significance of both creation and the incarnation.

The heart of living a biblical spirituality has, therefore, nothing to do with a world-denying form of Christianity nor a world-affirming form of spirituality. It has much more to do with a living a strange dialectic (logical reasoning).

This dialectic has some unusual contours. One is that God can be found or we can be found by God everywhere and not only in the usual religious places. This means the workplace as much as the sanctuary. The body as much as the soul. The crowd as much as the solitary place. It means that God is found in: The streets. Among the poor. In the lives of those with disabilities. In times of crisis. In the boardroom.

The other element of this dialectic is that spirituality is a renewable reality. While we create dogmas, creeds, religious institutions, modes of worship and systems of ethics, none of these themselves can contain the mystery of God and the mystery of faith unless God chooses to be there. In that sense, God is far more elusive than we are inclined to think. And just as well, for religious forms of control are among the most binding and damaging. What all of this may well mean is that when we have found it (our spiritual answers!) we may have well have lost it. But when we are seeking, coming in humility and openness, we may well find the great treasure: life in the presence and companionship of God.

While some may be inclined to place scant value on this, it is finding true riches. For being with God and seeing the signs of his presence in our world and serving his kingdom of righteousness and peace, gives us a centre to all that we do and say, whether that be urban design, art, philosophy, philanthropy or the more obvious vocation of religious service.


> Our world often teaches us to compartmentalise separating the spiritual from the work place. We confine time with God to our morning staff devotions and then start work closing the door behind our encounter with God. However, being in God’s presence is of outmost important as this informs all we d and say. Spend time throughout the day pausing and remembering God, inviting him to participate in all you are doing and saying. As God top open your eyes to see the world as he sees it.

> The business of our lives can often attempt to excuse us from talking to God – we need to learn this by practicing constantly until it becomes a natural part of our lives. Put a post-it note on your computer screen, the back of your phone, the corner of your TV, above your stove that simply prompts and reminds you to stop a moment and invite God into that moment.

Strategic Framework

Important: Micah Network is struggling to raise sufficient funds to continue our support of the staff we have working in the regions and the secretariat. Please pray for us as we struggle through difficult decisions together. We had been receiving support for staff salaries that helped us cover their monthly costs, but this has drawn to a close and we are now trying to raise sufficient funds to keep the committed and dedicated team together.

Promoting Integral Mission

• The Review of Micah Declaration on Integral Mission was carried out on the 23rd and 24th June. A few key outputs were:

o A re-energising of participants commitment and vision to see integral mission promoted through and with Micah Network.
o The heart of our focus needs to be on ensuring grassroots involvement and practice of integral mission.
o The Micah Network is the members and thus it is all of us who should be fully engaged in the vision and mission we are committed to.

• Please pray for:

o The spark (energy and vision) fanned into flame at the Review to spread rapidly and thoroughly throughout our Network.
o The summary report being drafted – that we will be able to capture the important points succinctly and communicate them well.
o The plans to articulate and disseminate the dialogue on integral mission is worked out with skill and determination.

Enhancing Capacity

• Regional consultation for 2011:

o Africa: 15th to 19th November in Zambia: The financial risk of running this consultation is high – please pray for the proposal we are developing to seek financial support to ensure it remains viable and accessible for Christians in Africa.
o Asia: 17th to 21st October in Sri Lanka: please pray for an effective advertisement of this event and a good turnout.
o Latin America: The Regional Consultation planned for this year has now been imbedded into the CLADE V consultation in Costa Rica in July 2012. Please pray for the preparation and financial support of this important gathering.

• 5th Global Triennial Consultation - 10th to 14th September 2012: we are still working on the theme and content and would very much appreciate your input. Please pray that the committee forming to work on this consultation will be able to take this forward.


• Please continue to pray for the glitches and design workings of our new website as we iron out the issues on the forum pages and the thematic topics.

• Michaëlle Seewald has joined us as an intern from France for 2 months. She is working on translating the website fully into French. Please pray that her time with us will be one of growth and effectiveness.

Staff meeting: Micah Network staff held their annual gathering in June – but we missed two of our members – Ben Akpera and Greg Manning. Ben’s visa for the UK did not come through in time. Please pray for him as he works through the frustration of this and pray that his visa will still be issued after all the hassle experienced so far. Ruth Alvarado is taking a week’s holiday in Scotland before returning to Peru. Please pray that she will be refreshed. Sundar Daniel joined us after 3 months of extended leave and it was a joy to have him with us. Please pray for him as he re engages.

Global Prayer

South Sudan: July marks the historic month when a new country is formed in Africa and South Sudan becomes independent. There has still been fighting along some of the border towns such as Abyei. Please pray for this transition and for the ability of the new government to have the heart of the leadership the welfare of all the various ethnic groups that make up South Sudan. The presence of oil is both a blessing and a danger as greed and corruption bite at the heels of leaders who potentially can use the money generated for the development of their country.

Libya: What was seen as a quick intervention by international forces to protect civilians has turned into a full-scale war, which seems locked into a stalemate. The losers are all Libyans and interveners. Please pray that dialogue and resolution can be sort.

Hubei Province, China: Pray for the 500,000 people who have been evacuated following floods in Hubei Province. 100 people have died, farmland has been devastated and as a result food prices have surged affecting the situation of many more people indirectly. Pray that people’s livelihoods would be rebuilt with government assistance and that the land would return to fertility and productivity. Pray lastly for God to reveal Himself as Comforter and Provider to the people affected by these floods in their time of need.

News Alert!

21 days of prayer for Africa's newest nation

Please pray with us for the new Republic of South Sudan as it declares independence on 9 July. Please use the attached 21-day prayer guide and written prayers to help you, your church and your organisation remember the people of Sudan and South Sudan during this key transitional time. Alternatively please click here to go to our website and read the full story, and access the prayer guide PDF and prayer points online.

Thank you for praying with us.

Members’ and Friends’ Prayer Requests

• Pray for the repatriation of a prisoner from Thailand back to his homeland in Benin. He has been in Thailand for over 20 years and is now HIV positive. He wants to see his family. Thank God for the ministry of Siam Care with prisoners and prison staff in Thailand. Pray for this particular man, for his health, for the healing of his body and soul, and for peace as he seeks to meet his family again. Pray that the Micah Network and other networks and agencies who are seeking to provide him with support will bring him life and healing. Pray for prisoners everywhere, and that we will understand what Jesus meant when he said 'I was in prison and you came to me'.

Chrysalis, Cambodia: Channy Sar asks us to pray for their staff to have wisdom, compassion and enough energy to run the Personal Development training course for staff and beneficiaries of our partner NGO’s. They are very tired, as over the last three months they have been conducting a Personal Development Training course six times a week for five different NGO’s.

Martin Adhikary, TLMI-Bangladesh : Respectful greetings to you all from the Leprosy Mission International-Bangladesh! This is rather sad news to share with a request, from one of our colleagues Mr Apurba Halder, for especial prayers: Please pray for Mrs. Pritilata Halder and her 4 daughters. SUNIL HALDER, Pritilata’s husband died on 19th June at his home in village Sanuhar, Dist. Barisal as a result of severe beating by enemies (a local Christian family) because of land dispute. Sunil Halder (73) was severely beaten on 18th June. He was a teacher at Oxford Mission High School, Barisal. Please join us in prayers for the bereaved family: Pritilata and her daughters at this hard time in their lives. Thanks for your attention, prayers and regards, Martin.
P.S. Apurba is a nephew of Late Sunil Halder.

Neicord: Please pray for CFGB and NEICORD joint relief response to Bamboo flowering related and rat menace relief in Kurung Kumey District of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The relief materials will reach out to about 4000 families who had been struggling with roots and wild leaves to survive. 1 Kg of salt costs Rs 70/- to Rs 100/- ($ 2.35) and a bottle of Pepsi cost Rs 180 to Rs 350/- ($ 8.15).


Pray through the Micah Network work values. This month:


 Jesus Christ is our inspiration and motivation. We acknowledge that the true worth of what we do will be determined by the extent to which we are joined to him, and our work shaped by him (John 15.1-10). We joyfully acknowledge our dependence upon him, and seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as we strive to be among those who “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6.8)

Have a blessed month!