National 24-Hour Prayer Watch 6/24

Father Forgive

Before we can pray effectively, we could find the need to ask our Father to forgive us and to forgive others whenever He prompts us. Asking for forgiveness or forgiving others may not change what we pray for, or how we pray, but may change us. Our constant relationship with God can’t be changed. It is so precious. Our prayers matter and, in some profound and special way, we are valued by God as we express our concerns. They make a real difference, but we can’t precisely define how. Martin Luther describes it strongly “ To be a Christian without prayer is to be alive without breathing.” When we forgive others whose words, attitudes or actions have hurt us it can lead to our having greater feelings of understanding, empathy, love, and compassion for them. We often forgive without saying a word and find what we think about a person and how we pray for them changes too. There is peace.  But forgiving can be a process. When what has caused an original hurt comes back again there is the need to reestablish a fresh relationship. Being hurt by someone, particularly someone we love and trust, can cause anger, sadness, or confusion. Dwelling on past hurtful events or situations, allows grudges, filled with resentment or hostility, to take root. Allowing negative feelings to crowd out positive ones, we may find ourselves filled with feelings of bitterness or a sense of injustice and need to forgive again and again. When Peter asked Jesus how much he should forgive. Should he forgive 7 times? Jesus said seventy times seven (Mat 18:22)

A small but significant memorial garden in Oatlands, Sydney which was opened on 3 February 2024 celebrates how forgiveness leads to a transformation and lasting hope. Love will keep on triumphing over loss. Leila, whose children were killed by a drunken driver, reflected on her journey with Christ. “He turns your pain and agony, your darkness, your sadness, brokenness into holiness, strength, hope and forgiveness and turns it into his greater good,” We need to be reminded that “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, but it’s a constant attitude, something we live with every day,” (Martin Luther King). Scott Morrison has recently referred to the Lord’s Prayer and its message of forgiveness. “We know the words by heart. We think we knew what they meant but when you must face it, when you have to confront pain and suffering in the extreme, then you realise how truly difficult that is.”

Let’s pray:

*That we learn to forgive and how to forgive from the heart and what to forgive until the peace and compassion and love of God overflow our hearts and minds.

* That we also forgive those in authority who have passed damaging laws and policies and even as they still pass them and thus undermine our society, but let’s continue to pray for mercy for them.

*That the impact of truly learning to forgive starts in our hearts, spreads to families, and reaches into our communities and parliaments. That it releases us to intercede in challenging situations with liberty and love.


One Third of Australian Children Cannot Read Proficiently

Australian students are struggling to read, with new research revealing a third of children cannot read proficiently and their poor performance could cost Australia $40bn over their lifetimes. A new Grattan Institute report, The Reading Guarantee: How to give every child the best chance of success, shows students who struggle with reading are more at risk of falling behind their classmates, becoming disruptive or dropping out of School. The institute wants to set a long-term target for 90 per cent of kids to be reading proficiently, with the proportion of proficient readers increasing by at least 15 percentage points over 10 years.

Please pray:

*   For the Education authorities who decide methods and content of teaching principles that they would recognise that current methods of teaching are not working and seek to bring new concepts to the table and rid the curriculum of “woke” concepts which are holding our children back from the kind of knowledge that will set them up with the life skills they need to succeed in life.

*   for our teachers who are ham-strung by outdated teaching methods which result in our children receiving less than satisfactory instruction in the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic whilst being indoctrinated in “woke” ideology.

*   thanking God for the many dedicated teachers who persist in trying to give our children the best education they can in spite of the shackles put on them by the Education system. Pray that God would strengthen their resolve and multiply the impact of their efforts in the lives of their students.


Court Rules Telehealth for Voluntary Assisted Dying Illegal

The Federal Court has rejected a push by voluntary euthanasia advocates to allow Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) medical consultations to occur via telehealth.  Dr Nick Carr, a Melbourne VAD doctor, had sought a ruling from the court on whether a federal law banning the use of phone or internet to “counsel” suicide applies to state VAD systems. All states have legalised VAD. Justice Wendy Abraham KC ruled that the relevant section of the commonwealth criminal code act does indeed apply to ending someone’s life under VAD.  She ruled that “The better interpretation of those words (Voluntary Assisted Dying) is that they simply bear their ordinary and natural meaning, the intentional taking of one’s own life, and the act of doing so.” Opponents of changing the law welcome Justice Abraham’s ruling.  They argue that telehealth consultations do not allow adequate assessment of a person’s state of mind and and whether or not they are being coerced into VAD.

Please pray:

“The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.  The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.”  Psalm 19:7 MSG

*   Please pray that counselling by telehealth or phone for voluntary assisted dying never becomes available. Pray for all who are desperate enough to consider VAD that the Lord would reveal Himself to them and help them to pull their lives together.

*   Give thanks for Justice Wendy Abraham and her ruling and refusal to be influenced by attempts to reinterpret the federal law. Thank God that His signposts are clear and point out the right road, even in our secular law.

*    Thank Jesus that He so loves the world that He gave His life for us.  He gave us a life-map showing the way to joy. Pray that Christians may demonstrate that joy and hope to a hurting world.


Praying for Issues in the News

*   The result of the Presidential elections in Indonesia may not appear to affect Australia, however as our closest Muslim neighbour, relationships with Indonesia have strategic ramifications for us as a nation. The current favourite to be elected (Prabowo Subianto) is a person with a chequered history on human rights and was refused entry to Australia many years ago for those breaches. A former Army General he is now the current Defence Minister. Please pray that whoever is finally elected that Australia will be able to form meaningful and positive relationships with the new President to the mutual benefit of both Australia and Indonesia.

*    Dozens of foreign murderers, rapists and violent criminals, in our country as illegal immigrants, continue to roam our streets after the High Court ruling declaring it unlawful for them to be kept in prison without proper court approval. Whilst some have reoffended since being released it appears that the Government is in no hurry to try and correct the situation through the introduction of new laws to deal with the problem. Please pray that the continued pressure being applied within Parliament will have effect and that the Government will move to address the situation as a matter of priority. Pray too that in the meantime God would protect all Australians from those roaming our streets without any seeming oversight.


Praying for our Nation

This week let us remind ourselves of the promises of God to us as a Nation.

*   Giving thanks for His word to us as contained in Isaiah 41: 10 “fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Pray that such truth will be understood by us all and applied as God’s promise to us as a nation.

*   Isaiah 41: 11 “behold all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded: those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish”. As you pray for God’s protection over our nation, please remind Him of His promises to us in His word.

*   Isaiah 41: 14 “I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel”.  Pray that our nation will understand the truth of His word and call upon Him to make true His word.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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