National 24 Hour Prayer Watch 27/23

The Rights of the Powerless

What rights do the powerless have?  We are told in Lev 19:15 “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great but judge your neighbour fairly”. “But if you treat one person as being more important than another, you are sinning. You are guilty of breaking God’s law”. (Jam 2:9) The Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. (Zech 7:9) When Commissioner Catherine Holmes handed down her findings at the recent Royal Commission hearing on Robo-debt she found that the Coalition administration had totally lacked compassion for those in most need. It was a costly failure in both human and economic terms. It introduced a crude and cruel mechanism which was neither fair nor legal, that made many people feel accused like criminals. They became traumatised in the mistaken belief they might owe money. We all know that many of us can, at different times in our lives, need income support – on a temporary basis some for study or looking for work or as we experience longer-term problems based on getting older or some disadvantage or disability. Traditionally this need has been provided for with support and respect and not seen as a drag on the national economy or a burden on the taxpayer. None of us wants to experience being seen as an undesirable social security recipient, but the Robo-debt scheme seemed to exemplify this. The Bible tells us ‘to learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Is 1:17) We are to defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.(Ps 82:3) but also not to pervert true justice.

So, politicians need to be careful, as they create policies and laws, to ensure they are legal and honest, and not try to implement them in a rush. They need the assistance from departmental staff. to help them think carefully how laws could affect people such as welfare recipients, not to create complex requirements for those who claim benefits and give advice as to what is legal or immoral. There seems to be evidence that some of the wisdom of the public servants in relation to creating Robo-debt was not always followed by those in power. Some public servants feared pushing their opinions  could jeopardise their careers.  Legislation always needs to be created with wisdom and integrity. We always need to pray there will be a God given base for what is legislated. As we pray let’s cry out to God “Create in us a clean heart, oh God and renew a right spirit within us. Cast us not away from Thy presence, oh Lord and take not Thy Holy Spirit from us. Restore unto us the joy of Thy salvation and renew a right spirit within us.”

Let’s pray:

* That each of us, including those in positions of power, are willing to humble ourselves, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit to hear both when walking in error and needing to repent or when needing wisdom and how to pray. Let’s be thankful and rejoice.

* That more of us will be quicker to recognize the suffering of others and then take action to help knowing that compassion gives us a real feeling of love for those who are suffering. That we will speak with kindness, ask for forgiveness when we’ve made mistakes and listen carefully, without judgment, to encourage one another.

* For each of us, particularly those in positions of power, to have a greater understanding of people and their needs; to love them and have a genuine concern for them, to follow this up by taking action, where appropriate, to help them flourish.


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:

*    That those both for and against the Voice would have a robust but civil debate without intimidation and abuse.

*    That people will not be silenced nor intimidated from expressing their point of view.

*    That the debate will clarify for many the real issues at stake in this subject and result in better informed decisions being made by voters prior to the referendum.


Prison Ministry Transforming Lives

In the Maximum-Security section in Goulburn Correctional Centre God has been sparking a work of trivial.  A couple of men started to share from the Bible and pray each day out in the open prison yard.  There are now around 20-30 men gathering there daily. As a result, a number have come to believe in Jesus, others have reconnected with their faith and others are curious seekers. This movement of faith has been changing lives and gaining momentum. It has resulted in a large increase in demand for Bibles in the jail and many have signed up to the Crossroads and Emmaus Bible study correspondence courses. Because these men are openly unashamed of their faith, they are impacting the rest of the jail and many officers and fellow inmates are taking notice and saying they have not witnessed a spiritual awakening like this in jail before.  Holy Spirit is transforming lives for good in a miraculous way.

The Maximum-Security Chapel is closed because of needed refurbishment and the Chaplains have been unable to hold regular Chapel services there. But the Holy Spirit has moved these men to gather around God’s word on their own and pray and support each other. God is transforming lives in Goulburn Jail.

Please pray:

“My heart was broken…

You saw it,

You claimed it,

You touched it,

You saved it…

While I’m worth my room on this earth

I will be with you,

While the Chief puts Sunshine on Leith

I’ll thank Him for His work.

And your birth and my birth.”  from ‘the song “Sunshine on Leith” by The Proclaimers

*   Please pray that these young Christians would be well discipled and nurtured in their faith and that the seeds planted will not be snatched away by the evil one.

*   Pray that the gospel of Jesus would continue to be declared boldly and that it will transform many more prisoners’ lives, including the youth in jail who we prayed for last week.

*   Pray for the Chaplains in Goulburn Correctional Centre as they seek to follow up these inmates. Please also pray for the Chaplains in all prisons throughout our country.


Praying for Issues in the News

*  Genuine debate appears to be finally happening within the medical profession as to the integrity of performing surgery on underage children suffering gender dysphoria. Surgeons have confirmed that as the medical transition of young people has grown more common, there are also more people approaching them who want surgical procedures reversed. Please pray that Governments will awaken to the serious consequences that occur when irreversible surgery is done on children who do not yet understand the ramifications of such surgery and pass legislation to forbid such surgery to be done until the patient is of adult age. Please also pray that the whole world will soon wake up that humans cannot act contrary to God’s created order without serious consequences and would look for His way forward to a resolution in these difficult circumstances.

*   In a move to improve the Education standards in our nation, federal and state education ministers have endorsed principles to redesign the university training of teachers. This strikes at the heart of the decline in Australian school standards and gives opportunity to enhance teaching professionalism and confront the defects in classroom methods that have held back Australian schoolchildren for decades. Please pray that each state will introduce the reforms and that universities, as the principal agents in teaching training, will put aside culture wars and woke ideology and return to the kind of training of teachers that once resulted in Australian education practices being seen as some of the best in the world.


Praying for Others

This week let us pray for Nigeria. Pray that the Nigerian government would lead the nation with wisdom in the face of conflict, poverty, disunity, and extreme violence.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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