National 24 Hour Prayer Watch 13/23

Being Both Inclusive and Exclusive

Our society is focusing on being inclusive. Australia is a nation which has learnt to cope with differences and even welcomes them. We have learnt to be much more inclusive than we used to be. We have incorporated many from different cultures and races into our nation and many have felt included, valued, and appreciated. But lack of clarity about overseas qualifications still excludes people from suitable jobs. Many would like to see us be more inclusive. There is a drive for us to be more inclusive  about climate change, the referendum or gender change, however there needs to be a time for everything : a time to be inclusive and a time to be exclusive; a time to agree, and a time to disagree; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to seek, and a time to lose; (Ecc 3) As legitimate members of society we need the right to either agree or disagree without causing division or exclusion. Pauli Murray tells us “When my brothers try to draw a circle to exclude me, I shall draw a larger circle to include them. Where they speak out for the privileges of a puny group, I shall shout for the rights of all mankind.”

How then should we live? The world proclaims it wants to be of one mind and purpose, but whose mind and whose purpose. Let’s have the mind of Christ whose purpose we deeply value.  Being one in Christ is both inclusive and exclusive. We were all baptized by one Spirit to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Cor 12:13) We are one body but made up of many different parts – all are needed. Let’s sing “We are One in The Spirit, We are One in The Lord. …And we pray that one day unity will be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our Love.” It is God’s love that joins us together, to be of one mind and united but not exclusive. When the United States ,the United Kingdom or the United Church are not ‘united’ Jesus needs to be Lord and His love the key. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain; unless the LORD protects the nation, its watchmen stand guard in vain. (Ps 127:1)

Let’s pray:

* That as a nation we will have no other gods before You and not follow the gods of the peoples around us. (Ex 20:3).

*That as Christians we will love our neighbours and not foster pockets of entitlement or privilege based on poverty, wealth or show favouritism to those coming from specific backgrounds.

* That we will know we are one in the Lord and have been baptized by one Spirit to form one body and given the one Spirit to drink.


Has the Christian voice been lost?

As society moves further away from the standards laid down in the Bible, Christians have found it increasingly difficult to speak out in the face of much opposition. Just as the pandemic left many people with residual coughs and physical breathing difficulties, so we struggle to make ourselves heard with the spiritual truths we carry. It is of critical importance that the Christian voice be heard again on those issues that have the ability to change who we are as a nation.

Please pray:

*   that God would open doors for the Biblical position on issues to once again be put forward in our nation in a way that can be recognised as truth by those who hear it.

*   that God would empower our Christian leaders to be bold in their expression of the Gospel as it affects our everyday lives, and that that would inspire other Christians with a voice to also become vocal in speaking out the truth of God’s word.

*   asking God to protect those who speak out publicly on moral issues from being cancelled or vilified for the stand they take. Ask God to raise up more and more men and women prepared to speak without fear of reprisal.


Changing Education Standards

In a politically correct watering down of NAPLAN test results, illiterate students will be described as “developing” their reading skills.  References to underperformance will be removed.  Catholic schools in NSW are fighting radical reforms to the national literacy and numeracy tests such as these.  The Catholic Schools NSW chief executive Dallas McInerney warned against  “losing sight of the most at-risk students”, saying  that new reporting rules will fail to identify thousands of struggling students who need urgent help with basic reading, writing and maths.

Other changes proposed by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) mean that this year’s results cannot be compared to the past 14 years of data.  This makes it much harder for parents or teachers to track the impact of school disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic.  ACARA wants to scrap the category of “below national minimum standard (NMS)” and ‘at NMS”. Instead, it proposes the terms “developing”, “approaching proficient”, “proficient” and “highly proficient”.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare would not say if he supported ACARA’s proposals.  Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said she would “carefully consider all the options. Victorian Education Minister Natalie Hutchins said ministers would discuss “how we make NAPLAN more useful for teachers and parents to support students’ education.

Please pray:

“And now here’s what I want you to do: Tell the truth, the whole truth when you speak.”  Zechariah 8:15

*   Pray that attempts to cover up the true level of illiteracy in Australia will not succeed.

*   Pray for Federal Education Minister Jason Clare, that he will understand ACARA’s damaging proposals and reject them.  Pray that his efforts to radically improve our education system are successful.

*   Let’s pray as we feel led for our teachers and students, for God’s truth and wisdom and love to impact our schools.


Praying for Issues in the News

*   Last weekend’s NSW election saw the last Liberal/National Government on the mainline defeated giving the Australian Labor Party complete Governmental control of all mainland states and territories. In a democracy it is not good for one party to have total control without the counterbalance of an effective opposition to keep them accountable. Pray therefore that the internal issues that have impacted the Liberal Party now for many years will be addressed and overcome allowing a renewed contest of ideas across the political spectrum for the good of our Nation.

*   Australia will experience the biggest two-year population surge in its history, with an extra 650,000 migrants anticipated to arrive this financial year and next. Whilst our nation has been built on immigration, the arrival of so many newcomers at a time that coincides with the current cost of living crisis, will likely place considerable strain on house prices and rentals amongst other cost of living expenses. Pray that our Federal Government will be given wisdom as to how to manage such an influx without it putting further undue strain on the budgets of ordinary Australians through inflation charged cost increases in budget sensitive areas.


Praying for Others

This week let us pray for Bangladesh. 24-year-old Jobayer was threatened by his colleague with a knife for wearing a Christian T-shirt. Pray for his provision and safety now he has lost his job. Pray also for others who are persecuted for their faith in this predominantly Muslim nation.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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