The Power of God
It is easy to focus on the way politicians seem to be determining the destiny of our nation. Sometimes they do things which result in the wellbeing and smooth running of our nation, but at other times what they do appears harmful. Jesus has given us the assurance that He has the power to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). We need never be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16) including the salvation of our nation. Politicians have passed laws on such things as abortion or euthanasia which often deeply damage the lives of many individuals and even limit our potential as a nation. They are anxious to create racial or gender equality. God’s plan is that there are neither Jews nor Greeks, slaves nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. (see Gal 3:28). We know God has created each one of us and values each of one of us as being uniquely created in His image. If we as God’s people align to God’s will, there will no need to restrict freedom of speech, religion, association, or conscience. The power of God would guard our human rights and enable both diversity and inclusion. His power would give us religious freedom and enable the charitable work of Christian organisations to flourish. Through His power the well-being and good prospects for our children, grandchildren, and other vulnerable individuals could flourish. Let us pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources he will empower us to know what and how to pray with inner strength through His Spirit. (Eph 3:16). We are of God and have overcome the spirits of evil: because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. ( 1 Jn 4:1) and being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. (Col 1:11)
Let’s pray, as we are led, knowing that greater is the one who in us then he that is in the world:
*That Australian politicians are challenged like the Prime Minster of PNG was in 2023 at PNG’s National Day of Prayer and Repentance when his overarching thought which permeated his spirit was “That a nation who fears the Lord God of the Universe, shall be blessed” and bowed before God in humility and prayer, to seek His forgiveness, love, and direction in the turbulent times of confusion, fear, and panic.
*That laws that build up our nation will be created while those that undermine it or cause people to be damaged will be challenged and, where possible, removed.
* That we shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us and be witnesses to Jesus in cities, in all country areas and to the ends of the earth around us (Acts 1:8)
Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Children of mothers who drank during pregnancy are driving the increase in learning difficulties in schools as well as youth crime, Queensland’s new Minister for Education and Youth Justice has warned. Di Farmer said a good education “starts with conception’’. Too many children were dropping out of school because of dysfunctional home lives and undiagnosed disabilities, she said. “Life is tough for them. We’ve got to get those first years of a child’s life right, and that is from conception. “It’s got to be about supporting mums not to drink during pregnancy.’’ Ms. Farmer, a qualified speech pathologist, was previously a minister for child safety and domestic violence and is the only state education minister whose portfolio includes youth justice. Across Australia, 25% of school students have been diagnosed with a disability – up from 18% in 2015 – and nearly a million children require extra support in the classroom. Ms. Farmer said some teenage criminals had struggled to learn at school because of alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which damages an unborn baby’s brain when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. “In the youth justice system, there are a number of kids with fetal alcohol syndrome,’’ she said.
* that the message that any consumption of alcohol by pregnant women is unsafe for their babies will be strongly promoted and heard by all women of childbearing age.
* that Governments across Australia will pick up on this message being promoted by the Queensland Minister for Youth Justice and there will be a nationwide move for change.
* for those children suffering from alcohol spectrum disorder that they would be able to receive treatment that will reduce the impact of their disorder on their young lives.
Australian Children Are Struggling
Australia’s primary school age children are angrier, lonelier, more anxious and less able to control their emotions than they were 5 years ago according to new research. This is despite the increased societal concern for childhood wellbeing and focus on resilience. The picture is similar in secondary school students where one in two say they feel “very stressed”. 56% say they have a hard time controlling their sense of worry. Adolescent mental health expert and psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg, said in my 30 years in the field I’ve never seen anything like the level of stress and anxiety that today’s children and adolescents are going through”. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute professor of pediatrics Harriet Hiscock said that social media has been part of the reason behind the numbers. “It’s a two-edged sword where kids can connect through it, but there is the other side where they feel like others’ lives are better. And access is 24/7 with home no longer a safe haven.” Other concerns troubling children are cost of living, getting a job, climate change and the future of the planet.
However, the upside is that a large majority of primary and secondary students consider themselves a “happy person” despite the increasing levels of stress and anxiety. Dr Carr-Gregg said that with positive relationships, support and love, young people do feel positive about themselves even while experiencing negative feelings associated with stress. Due to the very large, and growing, demands of the academic curricula of schools there is little time available to teach students about managing stress and negative behaviour. And while many parents are very motivated and have the time, they often do not know how to develop their children’s social-emotional strengths.
“There is only one life leader for you … Christ.” Matthew 23:10 MSG
* Pray for revival, for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that parents can teach and train their children, so that teachers can train and teach their students, and so that our young may grow up strong and resilient and knowing the love of God and following His teachings.
* Pray against the tide of apostasy and unbelief flooding our schools. Pray for insight, courage and vision for Christian teachers, both in Christian and in secular schools.
* Pray for all parents, for all families, as Christ, our life leader, shows you.
Praying for Issues in the News
* With Parliament resuming this week let us pray for our leaders. Pray that Parliament will be used to make laws that further the good of our nation and not further the good of vested interests such as unions, big business or vocal minorities.
* Please pray for King Charles as he faces his battle with cancer. Pray too for his family and especially that it will bring the family closer together and heal the wounds that happens when broken relationships occur within families.
Praying for our Nation
This week let us pray that we as Christians and the nation as a whole will hear the heart cry of God in Joel 2:12 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Pray for a conviction of our need for God in our individual and corporate lives to descend upon us and move us to tears and mourning.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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