This is an abridged version of the National 24 Hour Prayer Watch due to us being in the annual holiday season. The full bulletin will return next Thursday 2nd February 2023

*  On any given night, more than 200 children, some as young as five, roam the streets of Alice Springs looking for trouble, and almost always find it. Many of those kids are drinking alcohol, sometimes in the form of hand sanitiser diluted in soft drinks, or consuming deodorant, petrol or glue. When the Northern Territory Police Minister and police commissioner flew into Alice Springs last week, police launched a crime blitz, arresting locals for drinking in public, picking up young children in the back of their caged trucks, where they would then be bussed by a community organisation back to their town camps. Only for the children to walk straight back into town. Labor’s MP in Alice Springs says alcohol bans need to be brought back to curb the spiralling violence and crime. Marion Scrymgour, federal MP in the seat of Lingiari, says she has watched “lawlessness and disrespect” in the town grow exponentially since the Stronger Futures laws lapsed in July last year, making alcohol legal in many Aboriginal town camps for the first time in 15 years. Please pray that Governments and Law Enforcement Agencies will take appropriate action to protect the citizens of Alice Springs including the Indigenous community, which is also crying out for action, irrespective of what their ideological beliefs tell them.

*   Medicare is facing its biggest overhaul since its inception with Labor devising a “blended” funding system that would open up the delivery of primary care to a wider range of health professionals – including nurses and paramedics – in a bid to save universal healthcare. Health Minister Mark Butler says the nation’s system of subsidising individual consultations through GPs alone is no longer fit for purpose, and a new model in needed that also funds nurses and allied health practitioners working in teams delivering complex care. The move to shake up Medicare has the broad backing of the nation’s peak health groups as an “extraordinary consensus” concludes that, without serious reform, access to primary healthcare will be out of reach of millions of Australians because of rising gap fees. Please pray for wisdom for our elected representatives as they seek to keep afloat a system said to be “not fit for purpose”.

*   Today is Australia Day. Let us give thanks to God for our nation, its people and for the Christian heritage that has kept us on the straight and narrow path in years past. Let us pray too for the future, that our Christian heritage will not be lost, that peace, understanding and acceptance of each other will be achieved between our Indigenous people and others who have settled in our nation since the first European explorers set foot on the land more than 200 years ago.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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