REPORT ON NATIONAL SOLEMN ASSEMBLY HELD IN CANBERRA FROM 9th - 11th MARCH 2007

I consider myself privileged to be have been able to attend. The Assembly was wonderful and so honouring to our Lord.

What a wonderful event, truly momentous!!

The event was incredible. We were deeply moved by the "weight" of what was dealt with over the 3 days.

An amazing weekend of much spiritual significance.

The Assembly was totally awesome in every way. It was a privilege to be part of it.

It was a powerful encounter with God.

Magnificent 3 days!

I believe it to be one of the truly great moments in Australia's Spiritual History.

These are just some of the many responses received since the Solemn Assembly. In what is thought to have been Australia's first ever National Solemn Assembly some 1,500 people representing every State and Territory in Australia, a wide spread of Christian denominations, and a cross section of all ages, attended this 3 day gathering in our National Capital..

Twenty one hours of intense engagement with the Spirit of God, including two 9 hour continuous sessions was a daunting possibility for many wondering how they may cope, but by the end the general comments were how quickly the time had passed and of the incredible depth and expanse of the issues that had been dealt with.

The Assembly was unlike any previous event held in our nation. Powerful times of worship mingled with times of deep emotional repentance. Well researched input on specific areas of sin opened the eyes of those attending of the impact such sin was having upon the spiritual state of the Church and Nation.

This was a deep encounter between God and those who accepted His invitation to meet with Him to deal with the issues which He had impressed upon many hearts were an offence to Him. Many were confronted, but then released, by the way in which sin was dealt with so directly. It was quickly evident that this was not your normal Christian gathering but one for those prepared to deal with deep and entrenched issues not normally spoken about in many Church circles.

Areas named as sin and dealt with through repentance included our lack of intimacy with God, apathy, indifference, complacency, disunity, self centeredness, greed, materialism, worship of other gods, all forms of sexual immorality, injustice towards indigenous people, the poor and disadvantaged, widows and orphans, and a general lack of concern for others and the environment in which God has placed us. Abortion, cloning, suicide, euthanasia and aboriginal massacres were dealt with under the heading of "Shedding of Innocent Blood" whilst "Broken Covenants" included the massive problem of broken marriages and family disintegration as well as the breakdown in relationship and accountability between Governments and the people they represent.

Leading the repentance were Prayer Leaders, Pastors, Relationship Counsellors, Leaders of specific National Ministries in areas being addressed, Youth Leaders, Aboriginal Leaders, Medical Professionals, and those involved in the Political arena. National Prayer Networks represented at the Assembly included the Australian Indigenous Prayer Network, the Children's Prayer Network, the Parliamentary Prayer Network, Rise up Australia, Catch the Fire Ministries, The Cause Australia and of course the Australian Prayer Network who took responsibility for organising the Assembly.

The extent to which many of the issues being dealt with has affected the Church was clearly evidenced when people were asked to respond by coming to the front if they personally were aware of anyone who had had an abortion or committed suicide. Some 25/30% of the congregation came forward to stand in the gap for themselves, family or friends caught up in such actions. But that was easily outdone by those personally affected by divorce and marriage breakdown. Some 50% of the congregation indicated either that they were themselves divorced, their parents had divorced, or one or more of their children had divorced.

One amazing aspect of the Assembly was that even though those present were challenged to repent of deep personal sin there was no condemnation, but rather the release of forgiveness, healing and restoration for those so challenged. The empowering presence of God's grace was evident to all. Many expressed that they have never before been so challenged by their own human frailty being called sin, but neither had they ever experienced so much of God's love, forgiveness and release of the load they had been carrying due to guilt and shame. We discovered again that the biblical principal of repentance and forgiveness releases healing and restoration to those who will receive and appropriate it. Unrepented of sin brings death, but repentance brings renewed hope and a promise of new life in Christ.

However the Assembly also dealt with our corporate sin as the people of God in which we all must carry some of the blame. This was not about dealing with the sin of others but a recognition that God was calling those who were called by His name to deal with the log in our own eye rather than the spec in our brothers and sisters eyes.

The degree of spiritual unity expressed in the Assembly was best evidenced by the worship team which was made up of individual musicians drawn together from different parts of the nation, not knowing, or having the opportunity to even practice together, yet leading us in a wonderful experience of deep and intimate worship with the living God. As it was in worship so too it was in prayer and repentance.

After two days indoor the final session was held in Federation Mall, the grassed area between the Old and New Houses of Parliament. On a very hot afternoon an estimated 2,000 people, including many Canberra folk who joined the Assembly for this final session, braved the conditions to join with hundreds of local Assemblies held across the Nation in crying out to God to forgive our sin and heal our land.

From reports received it is extimated that hundreds of local Solemn Assemblies were held across the Nation on the Sunday afternoon. The common theme of almost all reports was the passion with which people addressed the issues of sin being dealt with, and the overwhelming sense of the Spirit of God's presence being in their midst.

So what did the Solemn Assembly achieve. There may be as many answers to that question as there were people attending, but for me the most important was that the sin which is so affecting the spiritual realm over the Church and Nation was put on the table and called for what it is in God's eyes. I believe that has been spiritually releasing and never again do we need to ignore the hard issues that have robbed us of so much spiritual power and authority as the people of God. The hard shell has been broken. Let us pray that the Spirit of God who drenched the Assembly with His presence will be invited to do the same in congregations and fellowships across the country. The die has been cast. There is now no turning back.

Oh, and by the way, as I write this report the rain is pounding down on the roof of my home and the meteorologists have declared that El Nino is finished and above average rain is set to return to our nation. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.

Brian Pickering
National Coordinator
Australian Prayer Network

Source: Australian Prayer Network

 

SOLEMN ASSEMBLY CAPTURED ON DVD AS HISTORY IS MADE

Australia's first ever National Solemn Assembly was not only a powerful time in God but also a spiritually historic occasion. The DVD taken of the Assembly is being made into a 30 minute documentary for television. This documentary, together with approximately 90 more minutes of the Assembly highlights will be available on the same DVD which is being made available for purchase at a cost of $20 mailed postage paid to you.

To order a copy of the DVD go to www.cityharvest.org.au/shop/ and follow the links to the order form. Please note that the DVD will not be ready for posting until the end of April or first week in May.
Source: Australian Prayer Network

 

WHAT THE METEOROLOGISTS ARE SAYING

Drought-breaking rains across eastern Australia have been predicted in new modelling which shows a similar pattern developing to that recorded after 1924 when eastern Australia enjoyed heavy falls after a period of prolonged drought.

The Pacific Ocean has continued to cool rapidly following the unexpected demise of El Niño. While current conditions are neutral, the cooling has increased the likelihood of, though not guaranteed, a switch to La Niña conditions over the coming months. There would now appear to be little chance of a return to El Niño conditions in 2007, with a continuation of neutral, or a switch to La Niña conditions, the more likely scenarios.

What does this mean for Australia? Firstly, a rapid cooling of the Pacific at the end of the El Niño would normally be associated with a return to more normal, or in some cases above normal rainfall patterns. The Weather Bureau continues to be cautiously optimistic that there will be a general easing of dry conditions in drought-affected areas over the next few months.

The chance of a La Niña developing in 2007 is thought to be higher than average. El Niño has decayed somewhat earlier than normal thereby giving time for a La Niña to begin developing during the critical March to June period. La Niña events are generally associated with wetter than normal conditions. Computer models generally indicate further cooling in the Pacific Ocean which will further aid this process..

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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