National 24 Hour Prayer Watch 26/23

Set Free to Change

Across the country, the juvenile justice system is in crisis, according to families of incarcerated young people, lawyers, and human rights advocates. It is believed the conditions at the juvenile detention centre prisons are contributing to declines in the behaviour of young detainees’ mental health, causing them to act out destructive behaviours. For instance, youths in a Western Australia juvenile detention centre prison have recently mostly destroyed it. They damaged buildings, lit fires, threw debris at firefighting crews, and unlocked every cell in the centre. If those detained weren’t traumatised before they went into such facilities, they would be within a very short time of being in it. That’s where young people go (particularly ones from Aboriginal backgrounds) who are most in need and most at risk. Former Premier Mark McGowan described this destruction as a form of terrorism. He dismissed the idea that their mental disabilities could be contributing to what they did. He attacked advocacy groups calling for their better treatment. He believed that the young detainees should grab the chance, while in prison, of becoming better educated. He dismissed studies which revealed that most of those in the prison suffered from some sort of long-term mental disability. He wanted them to be held accountable for their actions and possibly face police charges. But a Social Justice Commissioner wanted them cared for in a more culturally appropriate way in a Centre run by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal kids instead of the frequent use of solitary confinement. There is over-representation of young Aboriginal people in detention. Their isolation and conditions at the facilities contributes to a decline in their behaviour and mental health and it is where young people are put who are most in need and most at risk.  Young Aboriginal youths seek comfort and kinship with young people from similar backgrounds who speak the same language and understand one another because of the traumas they have faced.

Let’s pray:

* For the Son to set free the politicians, prison guards and Aboriginal children and their parents from bondages of their past, from blind eyes, and almost impossible situations, limited vision, and a lack of understanding of the problems of behaviour and learning of Aboriginal children. If the Son sets them free, they will be free indeed. (Jn 8:36)

* For the implementation of sound leadership in the nation to bring about widespread reforms across the juvenile justice systems to help set young juveniles free, including some where children as young as 10 are incarcerated. For young detainees to stop thinking that dying is the only way to get out of detention facilities.

*For people from all cultures to show real love to all young detainees in prisons whose mental health can be causing them to act out their destructive behaviours.

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:

*  For social cohesion and unity in Australia to be strengthened so that the debate regarding the Voice will not be divisive. “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25 NIV).

*   that it will not divide First Nations people from each other nor set some Australians against other Australians.

*   that First Nations people will be healed from the hurts of history and be able to walk towards the future with strength and in confidence.



Peter Cain, ACT Shadow Attorney-General, has written a strongly worded statement on the ACT Greens-Labor Government’s forcible acquisition of Calvary Hospital in Canberra.  He wrote that “in ripping up their 76-year contract and essentially forcing all of the Calvary staff to work for ACT Health, the Government has painted a dire picture for the state of the territory.”  The ACT Government has admitted that Calvary has been delivering good healthcare and is not in any breach of its contract, according to Mr Cain.  He also wrote that many of Calvary’s staff chose to work there because of its good culture which contrasts with ACT Health which has a toxic workplace culture and poor management practices.

Mr. Cain writes that it is very unclear whether ACT Health will be able to manage the hospital services as well as Calvary currently does, when it is itself plagued by so many problems.  He adds that the whole exercise appears to be based more on ideological grounds than on good policy and that many view it as being driven by a hostile anti-faith agenda.  Further, Mr. Cain says that it must be considered what will be the effect of this move on the suburb of Belconnen, which, up till now, has been serviced by the reliable and essential Catholic-run Calvary Hospital.  He queries the cost to the taxpayer which could be hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Cain also questions which will be the next institutions to be taken over forcibly by the ACT Government.

Please pray:

“God, examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”  Psalm 139:23

*   Ask the Lord to increase our faith and hope in Him as we ask Him to intervene in the takeover of Calvary Hospital by the Canberra Government. Let’s keep praying fervently and with confidence, trusting His goodness.

*   Pray for the staff of Calvary as you feel led.  Pray for the patients, also facing much uncertainty.

*   Give thanks for all leaders such as Peter Cain who are opposing this takeover, and all citizens who are actively raising their voices in protest. Pray that this attempt to stifle religious freedom does not succeed and that the decision is eventually reversed.

Praying for Issues in the News

*   School principals have been calling charities to help feed students so hungry they are stealing food from the lunchboxes of classmates. And this is happening in a nation as blessed as Australia. Please pray that this trend will quickly be stopped by effective Government action to stop the continued rise of the cost of living in our economy. Pray too that it will be quickly seized upon by those of the Christian faith as a means of showing the love and compassion of Christ in very practical ways to families struggling to make ends meet.  Give the Church strategies to be able to meet such needs wherever they are exposed.

*   Could a game of cricket damage the international relationship between two nations?  Apparently so from events of recent days. Pray that no matter the rights and wrongs of different actions and decisions that peace will return to the sporting field and that the remainder of the Ashes series between England and Australia will be remembered for its sportsmanship rather than its bitter division. Pray that our national leaders will seek to play down the conflict rather than seek to fan it further for the sake of maintaining good relationships between the two nations.


Praying for Others

This week let us pray for North Korea. Praise God that secret believers like John are receiving aid through networks in China. Thank God for His provision in one of the most dangerous countries on earth.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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