THE NEED TO FORGIVE
There is a constant need to forgive in our nation. It could be to forgive ourselves, others, groups of people, or our national leaders. It could be that something in our past has left us struggling. Mary and Martha blamed Jesus for not turning up to heal Lazarus (Jn 11:21&32) He then revealed His grace, gentleness, and kindness to transform them. We may need to repent of wrong attitudes towards God, when He has not acted in the way we expected. Reconciling with God can set us free. We also need to forgive ourselves. We can be so aware of our own failings that we do not forgive ourselves. Paul was challenged to forgive himself because he persecuted the church of God (1 Cor 15:9) He knew it was for freedom that Christ had set him free.(Gal 5:1). We all need to forgive those who have deeply hurt us, others or our Christian beliefs, culture, or race. There were some politicians who recently showed a deep appreciation of the Queen and the kindness and compassion she has shown but then remembered she represented the British nation which had colonised Australia and left it badly damaged. They then found it hard to forgive the British or the Queen. The Queen said in 2011 “God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families; it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.” When people experience the forgiveness of God and the forgiveness of others they can extend it more readily to help them forgive others . The need to forgive transcends all barriers and boundaries of race, nationality, and creed. The power of forgiveness is for all. Forgiveness is at the root of human flourishing and provides a powerful source of resilience to overcome the impact of a wide range of trauma brought about by chronic unforgiveness. “Forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven” (Danny & Leila Abdallah). Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others.
Let us pray:
*That those who are weighed down by past mistakes, the shame of past sins, the weight of unfinished business and feeling condemned about it, will learn to forgive themselves, and allow the overwhelming love of God to flood their hearts, minds,. That all who are in Jesus are freed from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
* That many more people will search their hearts to find those they can forgive and be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave them” (Eph 4:32)
* Thanking God for the 4give Foundation which has helped increase in our nation the need for community awareness of the power of forgiveness and the way it can even impact governments and bring society together.
THINKING MORE ABOUT OTHERS THAN OURSELVES
Selfishness is so innate in each of us that it’s like breathing, we do it without thinking. So, in order to change we must rearrange our priorities and reprogramme our minds and decide “I will not let this day pass until I have said or done something to help, bless, and encourage another human being. How can we express kindness and generosity towards others. (1) By giving them our time. Giving a few hours of our time to someone can mean the world to a person who is hurting (2) Giving your talent. There are many organisations who marshal the talents of people to relieve suffering and provide shelter to the needy. (3) Giving your treasure. “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back” Prov 19:17 (4) Giving your temperament. Your smile and encouragement can be like a lifeline that helps keep those who are struggling, afloat.
* asking God to show us as He sees us, warts and all, then ask Him to take our strengths and use them for His purposes and take our weaknesses and transform them by the power of His Spirit into a blessing in His hands.
* that as He changes us and others into His likeness, we will become more like Jesus as a nation, kind, generous, loving and compassionate.
* that as an individual, and as a nation, we will think more highly of others than we do of ourselves and that we will act accordingly.
The world is waking up to the profoundly inhuman medical and psychological harm that children with gender dysphoria are experiencing when referred to gender clinics. The international trend is moving away from prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children under 18 years. Britain’s infamous, and the world’s largest, gender clinic, Tavistock, is now closing, following a review that found it failed vulnerable under 18s. It follows clinics in Finland, Sweden and France suspending the availability of puberty blockers and sex hormones to children unless under strict clinical trials.
Let us pray:
* giving thanks that the turn is turning against the push to damage the lives and future of our children who are being impacted by the world-wide trend of young people wanting to overcome their medical and psychological problems by changing sex. Pray for those on the front line leading the push for such change that they would be able to stand and resist the fiery darts of the enemy trying to pull them down and block their path.
* for those young people confused and damaged by becoming entangled with puberty blockers and sex hormones. Bring healing and wholeness to those affected and renewed hope through a relationship with Jesus.
* that God will move the hearts of law makers to move quickly with legislation banning substances and treatments that will forever damage and change the lives of young people simply seeking answers to life’s many difficult problems.
PRAYING FOR ISSUES IN THE NEWS
* The apparent hacking of the customer records of Optus appears to have caused immeasurable damage to possibly millions of customers who have had personal information stolen and on-sold to criminals who can know replicate their identity. This can cause years of potential difficulties and misery for those customers affected. Please pray that the law will quickly catch up with those responsible for the hacking, that cyber experts will be able to limit the potential damage to individual customers and that the potential disruption to many people’s lives will not eventuate.
* The Federal Government is attempting to introduce legislation to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission. Whilst good in theory, how the Commission is constituted and the rules under which it will operate will in large part determine its effectiveness and fairness. There is much discussion and not insubstantial disagreement on how the Commission should operate and who it should target. Some provisions in the legislation have been taken from the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption Act which have been the subject of severe criticism in a report tabled in the NSW Parliament in 2017. Please pray that the final outcome of the discussions will result in a fair, just and widely accepted Commission being established that will bring corrupt individuals and practices to account but not result in innocent people having their reputations tarnished simply because they came under investigation by the Commission with no evidence that would convict them of corruption in a court of law.
PRAYING FOR OTHERS
This week let us pray for Bhutan. Bibles and Christian material cannot be produced in Bhutan and importing them is forbidden. Pray that God will speak to His Bhutanese church in powerful ways despite the lack of the written word in their possession.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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