Feel More Respect
It is always a challenge to show and feel respect for people who are different from ourselves. It is particularly true when they have different beliefs about life, the future, or about what is significant. It could help if we were less busy, gave people more attention, listened to their opinions, and treated them with more appreciation and dignity. But it is hard to feel respect when people are aggressive or rude or trample on our religious freedoms, attack our strongly held opinions, or mock us. It can happen in our homes, churches, political arenas, the media, or workplaces. It is so much easier to come alongside those who think like we do, harder when they differ from us and even harder not to judge or try to change them. Paul challenges not to repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing (Rom 12:14). We may be aware that each culture does have its own ways of showing respect and acknowledging being respected. We know the traditional owners of our nation want us to regularly pay respects to their Elders, past and present. This is their way of asking us to respect their culture and who they are. Justice focuses on the respect for human rights of individuals and peoples. These rights are not so much an expression of culture, but something integrated into the life of all societies.
People matter to God. He has created us in His own image. St Peter tells us to show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the king. (1 Pet 2:17) We are also encouraged to respect our mother and father (Lev 19:3). How are these needs for respect important? Does it help us to understand the way people react in certain situations which can help us take steps to create a more positive environment with them. When people feel respected, they are then more likely to show respect to others. If respect is increased and stress reduced in our nation it could have a real impact on the health of our nation. Less stressed and more respected people often feel freer to ask questions, share their ideas and work together with others.
* That we love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and, by showing them respect, be known as sons and daughters of our Father in heaven.
* That more of us will feel more greatly respected, valued, encouraged, and safe to show kindness and consideration toward one another.
* That we will do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves and each of us look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Praying for the Voice
As the referendum comes ever closer and debate over the Voice intensifies it is time to pray into the issue which will have a huge potential impact upon the future of our nation. Over coming weeks, we will highlight areas where we believe we need to concentrate prayer in order that the result of the referendum is the best outcome for Australia and in line with God’s perfect will. Let us pray:
* Australia as a European nation was founded on a Judeo-Christian heritage. Please pray that as a result of this referendum debate this influence will be strengthened not diminished.
* that our Judeo-Christian heritage will influence decision making at all levels within our nation including the outcome of the referendum vote.
* that the words of Jesus will find a place of influence in the debate (especially for believers). “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt 7:24) Please pray that the referendum result will further cement our future as a Nation on the rock of God’s Word not the thoughts or influences of man.
Issues at the Heart of our Nation
Gavin Morris, the principle of Alice Springs Yipirinya School, has come forward with a desperate plea to help students like his who are “in absolute crisis”. He said staff routinely had to contact magistrates to have bail conditions varied for children as young as 12 so they could participate in after-school programmes, but added that his students saw the school as “a place of culture” and “a place where they want to be”. In one incident where a teenage girl had been raped, her young brother who had witnessed the crime came to school with serious signs of self-harm after attempting to take his own life. “For the teenage girls who don’t go home because they’re worried about their uncles coming in, these are the girls who are walking around Alice Springs unsupervised because they don’t feel safe to go home,” Mr. Morris said. He also said, “I’ve got kids coming to see me and saying home life is that bad that they’d rather be in Owen Springs (juvenile detention) and in incarceration where they feel safer. “
Mr. Morris said underlying issues as to why young children were on the street needed to be addressed. “What we’ve proposed and had on the table and have bipartisan support for is around an accommodation facility built at Yipirinya,” he said. He believes some of the $300m promised by Anthony Albanese to address issues in central Australia should be allocated to the project.
“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27
* As we pray for the situation in Alice Springs and central Australia, let’s be like Thomas and overcome our doubts with faith in Jesus’ love and power to change situations and lives.
* Pray for Gavin Morris and the Yipirinya school, its staff and students. Pray that God’s amazing love would strengthen them and protect them.
* Pray that Anthony Albanese and his government will listen to Gavin Morris and allocate funds for student accommodation at Yipirinya School.
Praying for Issues in the News
This week most of the news has been around court hearings and their findings. These decisions have caused some controversy due to strongly held views by some who have been impacted by the facts of each case.
* Firstly, let us pray for all involved in the Ben Robert-Smith case. When a national hero is brought down by accusations that many don’t want to contemplate, pain and hurt is sure to follow. Please pray for Ben Robert-Smith himself, his fellow soldiers who testified against him with unknown consequences for him and themselves, for those who prosecuted the case and those who stood in defence of him. All have different but real needs. Let us pray that for all involved, and for our nation as a whole, God will bring forth good from what is a deeply troubling outcome of the court case that has just concluded. Pray for justice and mercy to prevail for all involved.
* Kathleen Folbigg finally received a judicial pardon after serving 20 years in prison for the alleged murder of her 4 children. New scientific evidence caste sufficient doubt on the original evidence to cause the Judge to rule there was now reasonable doubt that she in fact committed the alleged murders resulting in the pardon being given. Even though the legal system has now found reasonable doubt that she in fact committed the murders many people will refuse to change their opinion making if very difficult for Folbigg to return to a truly normal life back in society. Please pray for her, her husband who still believes she murdered their children, friends and society as a whole that all will find a peace in the midst of what has been a very difficult case and the ability to move on and allow space for healing and restoration to take place in the lives of all involved.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for Central Asia. Praise God that isolated believers are receiving Bibles from local missionaries. Pray that God’s Word speaks to them in relevant and powerful ways.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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