After a clear NO vote in the referendum there is now a call for great reconciliation with Aboriginal people, but how is this possible. There were many in our nation who could only vote Yes or No but were attracted to the far more positive vision of black and white Australians walking together. We can hope that what has been a divisive referendum may challenge all of us to be more united than any of us dream. Senator Jacinta Nampajinpa Price has said: “We are absolutely not a racist country. We are one of the, if not the, greatest nations on the face of the earth. And it’s time for Australians to believe that once again.” Jacinta proudly identifies both her mother’s Aboriginal heritage and her father’s Anglo-Celtic one. She is like many in our nation who come from diverse ancestral backgrounds. Instead of our focusing on shame, redressing wrongs, or being mean-spirited, she feels there should be an end to the politics of “grievance” When voting No many Australians have not rejected pursuing better outcomes for all of us but have rejected the idea that an entitled recognition of separate indigenous citizens is needed. Price also wrote: “The globally unprecedented Voice proposal will divide Australia along racial lines… It will constitutionally enshrine the idea that Aboriginal people are perpetual victims – forever in need of special measures.”
Many Australians have wanted to vote for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but one not tied to the imposition of a new chapter in the constitution which provided ill-defined powers with unknown legal consequences. When the result of the referendum is broken down by electorates, we might wonder why many of the wealthier electorates voted Yes. Were they more willing to implement the vision of the Voice? The leaders in the Labor party seem now to acknowledge that both those who voted Yes and No were just as committed to the on-going welfare of disadvantaged indigenous and marginalized Australians. Both the government and opposition seem more determined to try to work together to find solutions to indigenous disadvantage. The Scriptures tell us that is only in Christ that the new creation comes: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gives us the ministry of reconciliation: that God is reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. ( 2 Cor 17:17-21)
* Thanking God for the clarity of the Australian nation’s NO vote in the referendum and praying that politicians will have the discernment to respond positively.
* For bi-partisan committees to be established to devise a long-term plan to address the housing, health, employment and education crisis in remote communities with a focus on getting kids to school, adults to work and stopping the abuse of girls and women. That the committees will have active indigenous participation and input.
* That the Spirit of the Lord will be on us and anoint us to proclaim good news to the poor. That He will send us to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the spiritually blind, and set the oppressed free. (Lk 4:18-19)
Pray for Australia
Australia stands at the crossroads on many issues. How we respond to the challenges immediately ahead will decide the future destiny of our nation. We must therefore pray for God to revive His Church which always holds the keys to the destiny of nations.
Please therefore pray:
* For believers to stand firm on the Truth of the Gospel in combating increased secularization of our culture.
* For Jesus Christ to capture hearts of the next generation before they succumb to competing influences.
* For a move of the Holy Spirit to transform Australia and Revive the Church.
Defending the Streets of Our Nation in Troubled Times
It is beyond disturbing that those mourning the deaths and injuries and hostage-taking inflicted on thousands of Israelis by Hamas terrorists could not have their security guaranteed in the heart of Sydney. Members of the Jewish community and their supporters were told to stay at home, away from a government sponsored vigil of support for those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack while hundreds of pro-Hamas activists ignored advice not to attend an illegal rally of protest and rage which ended at the steps of the Opera House. The NSW Greens endorsed the rally showing how ruthless the party is in playing politics even in the most tragic of circumstances. Sheik Ibrahim Dadoun, linked to the nation’s top-ranking Islamic leaders, had already led a rally where he celebrated and cheered Hamas terrorists and murderers. Most Australians welcome freedom of speech and mature, constructive debate. However, they abhor terrorism and the violent scenes displayed in Sydney, on the steps of the Opera House. Let us pray that our authorities will always take the necessary steps to maintain order on our streets refusing the use of violent speech and actions designed to intimidate and stoke division in our nation.
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and a great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:18
* Ask the Lord, in His great compassion to comfort and strengthen all Israelis and Jewish people everywhere, who are reeling from this terrible and evil assault. May they feel supported and valued in Australia.
* Pray that our politicians and leaders and our police will continue to stand against the violent demands of extremists and not cave into their demands because of expediency or lack of courage.
* Let us keep the situation in Israel in our prayers, supporting this nation whilst praying also for all innocent people caught up in the conflict. And let’s keep asking the Lord, the Messiah to reveal himself to his Jewish people in their desperation, their grief and their determination to protect their land and people.
Praying for Issues in the News
* Numerous Australians have been caught up in the fighting in the Middle East on both sides of the conflict. Pray for their safety and protection and for the success of efforts to bring them home.
* The indigenous leaders of the Yes campaign have withdrawn for a week of silence. No doubt they have taken their loss fairly deeply and even personally given the time and effort they put into their case. Let us pray that when they emerge, they will do so without rancour or bitterness and understand that the result of the referendum was not personal or even against Indigenous people but against the Government’s proposal which did not allow the general population to acknowledge the Indigenous people in our constitution without dividing the nation into two classes of people. Pray for the healing of any additional hurts suffered by Yes leaders and the population generally.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for Syria. The community of Christians from a Muslim background is expanding rapidly. Praise God that He is moving hearts and pray that more come to know His love.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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