While true justice can unite and uplift people, another kind of so-called social justice can create division. Many of us seem to be hardwired to value justice and fairness. When we are wronged, or see examples of injustice, we can have strong feelings of anger, frustration, or confusion. We long to see ourselves and others treated fairly and society to function in a way that ensures that justice is afforded to all, “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” (Ps 11:7) For some social justice means redistributing resources to the disadvantaged and to those who come from different backgrounds so that they can achieve social and economic equality. For others it comes when those who feel hurt or wronged are given back what has been wrongly taken away from them. The Bible sees the word “justice” to mean “to make right.” Justice is, first and foremost, a relational term — people living in right relationship with God, one another, and the natural creation. The Bible makes social justice a mandate of faith and a fundamental expression of Christian discipleship with its biblical roots in a triune God who time and time again shows his love and compassion for the weak, the vulnerable, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the disinherited. Like Him we are told “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute,” (Ps 82:3) and “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause,” (Is 1:17) Justice means loving our neighbour as we love ourselves and is rooted in the character and nature of God. When Jesus told the parable of a widowed woman who pleaded for justice from an unjust judge, he just relented to get her off his back. But Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? …He will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8).
* That both as individuals and as a nation we will seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with (our) God” (Mic 6:8).
* For wisdom to be given to those in authority in our nation and guide us all in the way of righteousness and peace so that we may share with justice the resources of our land and work together in trust and seek the common good. (Anglican prayer book)
* Thanking God for the many times when justice has happened in our nation in cases such as the overturning of the false conviction of Lindy Chamberlain
Pray for the Nations on Our Doorstep
Australia has a unique place and responsibility amongst the Island Nations of the South Pacific. Much has been given to our nation by way of wealth and opportunity that is our responsibility to share with our brothers and sisters in the nations that inhabit our part of the world. Some are now citizens of Australia but many more continue to live back in their own nations away from the hustle and bustle of the Western world.
* for a new missionary movement to the thousands of unbelievers in the many Island Nations of the South Pacific. Pray a blessing over those who have come and blessed our nation through their hard work and for those who have prayed for our nation for many years. Let us now share what God has given to us through His word so that the spiritual foundations of the Island Nations of the South Pacific will continue to grow and mature, and all their people may be led to citizenship in His kingdom.
* for the peacekeeping forces that help in maintaining order and peace when trouble occurs within some of these nations. Pray for their safety and protection and for the building of relationships between Australia and individual nations so that outside powers such as China are not allowed to gain a foothold within the South Pacific.
* Other religions have infiltrated the South Pacific Islands over the years. Let us pray that the Gospel would be delivered in such a way within the Island communities that many will find Christ in their everyday life and turn from other religions to discover the truth that is only found in Christ.
Doctors Question Gender Clinics Treatment
Doctors treating children at NSW Children’s Hospital Westmead (CHW), a major public hospital gender clinic, have questioned the basis of the “gender-affirming” approach in medicine. They highlighted the sparse evidence justifying the use of puberty blockers, the instances of serious side-effects from the drugs, the ongoing mental distress following transition and the significant potential for later regret among patients. Senior physicians at the CHW gender clinic have studied the physical and mental health of 79 patients in an academic study of the outcomes of children who presented with gender distress and gender dysphoria. The findings cast doubt on the scientific basis of the gender-affirming approach followed by the nation’s other children’s hospitals such as the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital (RMCH). The RMCH describes the long-term effects of puberty blockers as reversible. But international evidence is casting doubt on whether the effects of these medications are in fact reversible. CHW doctors also identified concerns around the increasing prevalence of female patients with “late rapid-onset or adolescent-onset gender dysphoria” and no prior history of gender distress. The doctors suggested that these particular adolescents were being drawn to the construct of gender dysphoria because of some evolving social process.
One of the central justifications for gender-affirming medicine is that it alleviates psychological distress. This result was not borne out in the experience of the young people studied. Some 44 out of 50 patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria reported ongoing mental health concerns 4 to 9 years after presentation at the gender clinic, many after transitioning. Some doctors who practice gender-affirming medicine are coming under scrutiny in court as parents seeking to block prescription of puberty blockers to their children call expert witnesses to challenge the evidence. A solicitor who acted for one of these parents said, “What became apparent is that the science and the evidence didn’t seem to support the recommendations of the gender clinic…I became alarmed that this is one case and there are hundreds of children being put on a conveyor belt and young children are being told they have gender dysphoria without the whole picture being addressed. I felt it was a form of child abuse…An inquiry should be held as to how these clinics are operating. I think they’re exposing themselves to a massive class action.”
“The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear. The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” Proverbs 18:14-15.
* Please pray for our youngest generation, exposed to so much misinformation that crushes their spirit. Pray that they be exposed to the love and care, truth and guidance of Jesus.
* Pray for all doctors and staff at gender clinics such as the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital, that they will discern the truth and have the courage to look for better ways of treating the disturbed young people who attend their clinics. Pray that they will no longer pursue unproven and dangerous medical practices. Pray that surgical and medical treatments to change a child’s gender be banned until the age of 18.
* Let’s all thank our God that He has everything in control. Thank Him for His love and wisdom. Ask Him to teach us how to pray and how to act wisely on His guidance.
Praying for Issues in the News
* The Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has found that senior government advisers and public servants were acting in the “perceived interests” of ministers and the Premier in handing a contract to a Labor affiliated union without a competitive tender process. This is just one of a number of corruption enquiries that have been conducted around the conduct of the Victorian Government and its ministers in recent times. Let us pray that corruption in any Government of Australia will be exposed and dealt with so that we can again have confidence in the integrity of those who rule over us. Pray too that the people of Australia will take a stand against corruption in the public sphere at the ballot box by refusing to re-elect any found guilty of corruption or suspicious conduct within our governments.
* Recently State Premiers have taken to visiting China on the basis of seeking to increase trade between our two nations. Unfortunately, the secrecy that has surrounded such visits has raised questions over what other issues may have been on the agenda and why they were invited to visit China in the first place. There is little doubt that China will use the visits to increase pressure on our Federal Government who is trying to improve our relationship with China but with much more prudence than appears to surround the visits by the State Premiers. Pray that the attempts by China to by-pass our Federal Government and thus create tension between our State and Federal Governments will not succeed and that nothing will be agreed to in those visits they will compromise our national security.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for Egypt. Pray over the hearts of extremists in Egypt. Pray that God will be speaking to them in powerful ways and using them to fulfil His Great Commission.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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