The National 24-Hour Prayer Watch will not be produced next week due to editorial staff being absent interstate on ministry assignments. It will resume on Thursday 10th August. 

Creating a Caring Community

It is much harder than most of us expect to create a caring community. There are so many factors to be considered. We all need to play our part including our political leaders, church leaders or community leaders. Unfortunately, many in our society have forgotten God who is most the important one needed to create caring communities. These are made up of our family groups, people living in cities, members of churches or clubs, and the citizens of our whole nation. Jesus shows us that each person matters, families matter and the poor and foreigners’ matter. We all flourish best in caring communities where there is freedom from oppression, and the freedom to pour out our hearts to one another.  The need for caring communities originated at the very beginning. God showed us the need to help others; to take care of the poor; to be mindful of people in our communities. (Lev 19:9-10) He challenges us to forgive one another if any of us have grievances against others and bear with each other. He wants us to forgive as the Lord forgave us and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col 3:13–14).

There has always been a real need to care for people in our society, but sometimes the way this is done leaves those being cared for feeling uncared for, overwhelmed, ignored, or even hurt. Care needs to come from an understanding heart. Unfortunately, not all suburbs, towns, or high-rise buildings are designed to allow people to function together as caring communities. Christian communities should be those places where we can come alongside one another, care for one another and grow and mature in our faith. It is always easy to be suspicious of our neighbours. We can be afraid of them because they are different from us and form barriers that prevent them from being part of our caring community. For years, many original inhabitants of Australia have felt excluded from being part of the nation of Australia.  The Commonwealth government plans for us to vote on a referendum which is designed to incorporate them as part the Australian caring community. They hope that will happen by creating an independent and permanent advisory body called the Voice which would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There are many who think this proposal will help create a unified caring Australian community, but there are quite a number in our nation who don’t. As we are much divided on this proposal, there is a strong chance the outcome of the vote will not help create a caring community. There is a great need for us to pray about the real creation of a caring commonwealth of Australia.

Let us pray:

*   Lord, we humble ourselves, therefore, under your mighty hand so that at the proper time you may exalt us. We cast all our anxieties on You, because You care for us as communities (1 Pet 5.6-7)

*   Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor 1:3-4)

*   Lord create in Australia one caring community in which we really care for one another and are kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave us in Christ. (Eph 4:32).


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:

*     With each passing day it seems greater confusion arises due to our leaders not being able, or not being willing, to offer clear answers to the many questions being asked as to what the Voice actually is, how it will operate and what it is designed to achieve. Please pray that spokespeople on both sides of the debate will be able to speak with greater clarity so that voters will have greater understanding on issues of concern to them before the referendum is held.

*      Pray that neutral people of expertise will arise to assist in interpreting both sides of the debate in a non-partisan way so that ideology takes a back-seat to rational and clear arguments that are easy to understand by all Australians.

*      Pray that people will not lose patience with The Voice debate but understand the enormous implications involved and take their vote seriously by investing quality time in reaching their individual position prior to casting their vote.


 ‘Wellbeing Teams’ in Schools

Parents are alarmed that some high schools are “crossing the line” in supporting students to socially transition to the opposite sex without parents’ knowledge. Furthermore, schools are actively encouraging children to question gender identities.  “Wellbeing coordinators” stationed within public schools in several states are pushing transgender ideology on students and confusing young teenagers by urging them to consider concepts of sexuality and identity they are not mature enough to understand.  “Wellbeing coordinators” often have no qualifications in education or psychology but frequently arrange for trans activist organisations to give talks within schools.  “They flood the school with posters and tell the librarian what books to buy and all the teachers defer to them,” said one public high school teacher.

Parents with children in year 7 at Northcote High School, in Melbourne’s inner north, were recently taken aback when they learned the school’s wellbeing team had emailed all students asking them to fill out a survey if they wish to be known by a different name or gender.  The survey states, “Please note that if you choose to fill this out, your information will be private, and we will not out you! We would just like to organise a time to chat and help you navigate what happens next”. “This is outrageous and shocking,” said a teacher. The concerns follow reporting that lifted the lid on the anguish and devastation of families with teenagers suffering gender dysphoria.  Many families have experience of their children being socially transitioned at school without their knowledge.  Also, schools are frequently reporting parents to Child Protection if they resist affirming their child’s chosen gender. This happens even when parents hold genuine concerns that other mental health issues or issues related to neurodiversity are contributing to gender confusion.

Victorian government policy binds schools to “getting students to affirm their gender identity in order to prepare and implement a student support plan”.  This policy is also reflected in NSW. One parent said, “It feels as though there’s been an institutional ideological capture and people are no longer thinking rationally or making evidence-based decisions in relation to this issue.  It’s very easy to be presented with transgender as a solution to all of a teenager’s problems but it’s an illusion”.

Please pray:

“I do not love the bright sword for its sharp edge, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.  I only love that which I can defend.”  JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings

*   That concerned teachers and parents no longer defer to “wellbeing coordinators”. Pray that their love for their students and children gives them the courage to stand up and defend them against the wicked plan to influence children without the knowledge of their parents.

*   That teachers and parents who do not question the” institutional ideological capture” would become aware and change.

*   That we, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, out of our love for Him and our fellow people would “join the battle” with courage and sacrifice in defending His truth.


Praying for Issues in the News

*    The axing of up to 500 jobs by Telstra is likely to be symbolic of many such actions that will be taken by employers in the current economic slowdown. The loss of income can be devastating to affected families and the forerunner of marital and mental health problems on the part of those impacted. Please pray for all who may receive such unwelcome news in coming weeks that they will receive help and support from friends, Church and society and be able to quickly find alternative means of income to keep themselves and loved ones safe and provided for during the current cost of living crisis.

Praying for Others

This week let us pray for the Palestinian Territories. Pray for children, youth, and young adults receiving education and training. Pray that God will be preparing and guiding them towards a bright future.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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