MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE
There are so many voices in our world. How are we to discern God’s voice? There is our own inner voice. There are our friends’ voices, Christian voices, and the world’s voices coming through the media or internet. Voices are asking us for help, telling us that we should be grateful or causing them stress. We seem to be living in times of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, fear, and dread. Can we trust the voices of our political leaders, or even each other? God’s voice can help release us from pessimism, fears, or dread when we feel we are victims of circumstances beyond our control or want to blame others. Jesus said “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard” (Mt 10:16) We don’t realise we are in a battle and have forgotten the art of war. So, let’s “Praise be to the LORD our Rock, who trains our hands for war, our fingers for battle” (Ps 144:1) Through prayer we will win the wars we are fighting. For instance, the fight for our nation to become united was, first and foremost, a spiritual battle and not one which was won or lost by a vote at the referendum. Let us humble ourselves, love those who differ from us and trust that we will become a united nation.
Sometimes we find that God’s voice is not always gentle. When Habakkuk asked God “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.” His answer was “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Hab 1:3-5) We are blessed when Jesus says” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”. (Jn 10:27) Recognizing His voice can take time and humility. He sometimes communicates with more subtle leadings and promptings. He may speak through circumstances, people, scripture or by an ‘inner voice’ by which we come to know He has communicated with us. We often find we need to lay down our agendas so that we look for His will to be done and not ours. It took Habakkuk some time to know God’s voice more clearly “ Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the fruit of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab 3:17-19) “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7)
* That His sheep have the discernment to recognise and hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and not follow a stranger‘s voice
* That all those Australian who identify as Christians will humble ourselves and listen to what God is saying to us, including from Aboriginal leaders that God has gifted by His spirit.
* That we may hear Him more clearly, Love Him more dearly, Follow Him more nearly, Day by day.
Let us Pray for His Church in Australia
The Church in Australia is itself a victim of the culture of the age however we must also be the answer and for that to be we must all rise up and be the people of God that we have been called to be, salt and light in the midst of a culture that is fearful and without hope.
Let us pray:
* That the Church in Australia would rise up with a sense of urgency and concern for a return to the culture that characterised the body of believers in past generations, which is needed now more than ever.
* That His people would rise up as salt that penetrates, brings healing and preservation, cleansing and life.
* That we all may serve as light that exposes the deeds of darkness and illuminates the path of righteousness.
Universities deliver ‘Woke’ Degrees to Trainee Teachers Who Demand More Practical Training
“Woke” universities are instructing trainee teachers in gender theory, climate activism and race relations. But young teachers are saying these universities have failed to train them in the practical classroom skills required to manage classrooms and to teach children to read and write. Two of Australia’s most eminent scientists – Nobel laureate and Australian National University Vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt and former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel – recently criticised the poor levels of literacy and numeracy among school students and called for greater focus on schools teaching the basics of English and mathematics. One third of school students failed to meet the minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy in this year’s NAPLAN tests, with students twice as likely to fail than to excel in the tests.
Many teachers are struggling with literacy and numeracy themselves, because of their school education and the universities’ focus on social justice. One University of Canberra final-year student told The Australian the education degree was “teaching us to indoctrinate students… rather than drilling down on the fundamental skills so we can be really effective teachers ourselves”. Charles Sturt University’s course handbook for its Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) has a list of 11 outcomes for its graduates. The top priority is for graduates to be “agents of change”. The fifth priority is that “graduates from this course will teach for student learning”. Federal, state and territory education ministers have given universities until the start of 2025 to update their degrees to focus more on classroom management, children’s brain development, the teaching of phonics-based reading and writing and mathematics.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and mediating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; things to praise not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8
* Pray that all Education ministers, federal, state and territory, have the will and the ability to enforce healthy changes to the content of teaching degrees. Pray that the “wokeness” which promotes lies and half-truths in teaching courses and in schools comes to an end.
* Pray that, even now, students undergoing education degrees will resist “woke” teachings and be awake to the fundamental skills they need to be “really effective teachers” – “the best, not the worst; things to praise not things to curse.”
* Pray for our teachers, whether experienced or new to the profession. Thank God for them and pray for His protection over them. Pray as you feel led.
Praying for Issues in the News
* Apparent hate speech by Islamic clerics appears to be happening in Australia without any meaningful response by law enforcement authorities and Governments. Such speeches do not fit the values of our nation and need to be called out lest they incite violence on our streets and against our Jewish brothers and sisters. Please pray for a stronger response from authorities so that the people of Australia can feel safe in our own country. Pray that supporters of terrorist organisations will be weeded out and appropriate action taken against them so that the long-standing values of our nation will be preserved and not lost at the hands of those who oppose them.
* Whilst the reason for outages experienced by Optus yesterday have not been fully identified, at time of writing, the importance of our cyber and communication networks is very clear for all to see and how easy it would be for an enemy to bring our nation to its knees. Please pray that God would give the wisdom and skill to all our technical and cyber related staff to be able to produce solutions as to how to protect our infrastructure from cyber-attacks and system failure that causes so much damage to the livelihoods of many people but also the safety of those most vulnerable in hospitals and aged car homes etc.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for the Philippines. Local mission groups are looking to expand their work and reach even more persecuted Christians. Pray that God will bless this plan and deliver guidance.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
As this Prayer Watch bulletin is private the standard printing option is not available. If a printed copy is required, you will need to copy the body of the email and paste it into a blank document and print from that document.
Comments are closed