Overcome Evil with Good
Can evil be overcome with good? We live in a world where evil is rampant, destructive, and subtle while good seems ineffective, weak and is often despised or ignored. Evil is currently seen in the ongoing war in Ukraine, the massacre of over 1000 Israelis and the large-scale destruction of many people and buildings in Gaza. Without God how can people live in harmony with others, be unwilling to want to pay back evil for evil and chose to live at peace? Without God it is hard for us not to want to take revenge, and to leave room for God to avenge and repay …not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12: 19&21) Without God how do we as individuals, religious groups or nations leave room for God’s wrath, feed our enemies who are hungry or give them something to drink? (Rom 12:20). It appears to go against contemporary culture to be agents of change and help preserve a troubled world from further deterioration without being seen as morally superior or weird eccentrics. It is challenging to pray for His will to be done and His kingdom to come and for us to be the change agents that God makes use of.
Good is seen as an increasing number of countries are waking up to the horrific abuses and lies of transgender ideology. They are opposing medical and surgical gender transition treatment for minors. Good is seen as the Tasmania’s Anglican Synod faces up to the criticism of transgender people and passes a motion calling on its schools and institutions to uphold the primacy of biological sex as “fundamental to being human”. “America has historically been at its best when we’ve been our most compassionate”.( Brown from Open Doors) Good is seen when religious leaders from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths call on British faith communities to unite and stand against any form of discrimination or hate. Good is seen when the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee becomes swamped with over 7,000 pieces of correspondence and 65 more detailed submissions challenging the hostile takeover of Calvary hospital in Canberra and causes them to establish a public hearing. Good is seen when we use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ”. (2 Cor 10:3-5 Message)
Let’s pray that as Christians we:
* Are not so well-adjusted to our culture that we fit into it without thinking but expect God to change us from the inside out, recognizing what He wants from us, and quickly respond to it. That we do not allow ourselves to be dragged down to the level of the culture around us, but let God bring the best out of us to develop well-formed maturity within us. (based on Rom 12:1-2 MESSAGE)
* Choose not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
* Tear down barriers erected against the truth of God, and not boast in our wisdom, not our might, nor riches, and really understand and know God who practices steadfast love and, justice. (Jer 9:24)
Praying for Righteousness and Unity to be Restored
Serious divisions in our nation have emerged in recent weeks as a result of the Voice Referendum and the conflict in the middle east after the attack upon Israel by Hamus. Words spoken have not always been representative of righteousness nor engendered a spirit of unity amongst us. Let us pray for our nation that we as a people will turn away from sin and receive redemption, restoration, righteousness and unity.
* That each person, family, community, State and Territory will receive all they need from God to overcome, anger, frustration, and receive renewed hope for the future.
* That arrogance will not arise within those who voted “No” in the referendum and that bitterness will not enter the hearts of those who voted “Yes”.
* For the healing of divisions that have developed within families, communities and the nation as a whole and that God’s grace will abound as a healing ointment spread around by the Holy Spirit, in the name of Christ.
Wagering Under Pressure in Australia
Australia’s biggest wagering companies are having to spend more money on marketing and inducements to get people to gamble. Betting markets are shrinking as cost-of-living pressures are hurting the punters and rising taxes are hitting the bookies as the usually lucrative spring carnival approaches.
Sportsbet is the country’s biggest betting company and expects to suffer a fall in profit of about 30% in two years. Other major betting companies are expecting similar losses. In the racing sector, which relies on wagering for most of its funding, betting on the horses has fallen by about 8% to 10% in the three months to June 30.
The market for betting on sports including NRL and AFL is far smaller that the market for betting on races. It expects a growth of about 5%. But overall, the betting market is soft, and companies are having to spend more to maintain their positions.
“My troubles turned out all for the best – they forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine.” Psalm 119:71-72 MSG
* Lord God, the psalmist can see that You have actually used his troubles, affliction and suffering. Help us, your children, to value Your truth more and more. Thank You that the words of Your mouth are more precious than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
* Lord God, there are so many people in our nation who are addicted to gambling and many more who suffer as a consequence, especially families and children. Thank you for this decrease in gambling. We pray for all who are addicted that they find Your truth to be more valuable than gambling.
* We pray for betting companies that profit from the losses of others, that their profits will continue to diminish, and their businesses become unprofitable.
Praying for Issues in the News
* Our Prime Minister is in the middle of a visit to the USA for meetings with President Biden before jetting off to China in a week or so for meetings with President Xi. Both these visits have strategic importance for not only Australia but the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit will hover over both meetings bringing forth results that will be a blessing to both nations and result in the easing of tensions around the world.
* Pray for the safety of all hostages still being held in Gaza and that efforts to free them will be successful in the very near future. Pray for all citizens of Israel and Gaza that they will be saved from full blown war and be kept hidden from harm should fighting continue to escalate in the middle east. Pray for the safe return of all Australians caught up in the conflict. Pray for minimal loss of life in the continued fighting taking place at present.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for Laos. Praise God that believers are receiving Bibles from local missionary agencies. Pray that more Bible deliveries will go ahead and people will hear the gospel for the first time.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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