National 24-Hour Prayer Watch 08/24

In Christ Alone Hope is Found 

In a recent Youth Survey, four issues were found to have especially occupied the hearts and minds of 15–19-year-olds in Australia in 2023. They were the environment (44%), equity and discrimination (31%), the economy and financial matters (31%) and mental health (30%). Knowing this might help us pray for them with greater insight as they struggle to come to grips with such issues that also often occupy the minds and hearts of those of us who are older. The young may struggle with these thoughts without finding they can discuss them with others including their family members or older adults. They then can become anxious about the environment and how the climate appears to be changing and want governments and concerned adults to do more about it. They can also identify that equity and discrimination are some of the most important issues in Australia today often based on their own personal experiences. They may feel they have been treated unfairly or discriminated against because of their physical appearance, race/cultural background, or gender. There are cost-of-living crises and interest rates rises, that cause them to have a great level of concern when it relates to the possibility of their being homeless or unable to buy a house or a unit as they become increasingly expensive.

Issues such as these that could contribute to creating mental health crises among the youth. There could be deeply personal issues causing at least a quarter of them to face a mental health challenge. If young people choose not to share their stressful experiences it may lead them to having greater anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or even undiagnosed disorders or attitudes of self-harm. Some may even feel there is no one who can help them and would value knowing what supports are available. The results of the Youth Survey have been shared with governments, non-government organisations, schools, and the media. But sometimes Christian organisations that have brought loving care and support to their communities have been left out because of the fear they might use them for proselytising. But we do know parents often deeply appreciate the work of school chaplains and school counsellors in the States that allow them.

We know that in Christ alone their hope is found, when He is their light, their strength, their song, This Cornerstone, this solid Ground is firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! Their Comforter, their All in All, here in the love of Christ they can stand.

Let’s pray:

*   That more of the youth of our nation will come to know the truth that in Christ alone their hope is found, when He is their light, their strength, their song. Pray too that Christians and Christian organisations will take up the challenge to present this truth to them.

*   That young people will learn to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let their requests be made known to God; and experience the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guarding their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

*   Those parents, teachers, and other older members of society, together with state and Commonwealth governments, will take greater concern for the godly wellbeing of the up-and-coming generations.


Containing Anti-Semitism

Jewish creatives doxxed by pro-Palestine activists have received death threats, had their families harassed, been sent swastikas and called a “cancer” in online hate mail – saying the drawing up of “Jew lists” evoked the Holocaust.

One of those targeted, Zara Cooper, said she could never previously understand how the Holocaust had happened. “Now I can viscerally see what our ancestors must have felt,” she said. The February 9 doxxing prompted the government to accelerate legal protections, with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus signaling criminal provisions could outlaw the malicious disclosure of personal information. Five of those who had their details leaked – some with their picture, included in what one described as a “most wanted” list – said they had a “target on their backs”.  Some had anti-Semitic stickers plastered outside their workplace, received hate mail – one from a convicted stalker – and had business partners told they were working with a “genocidal maniac”. Others said they had gone into hiding.

Please pray:

*   that acts of antisemitism will continue to be exposed with perpetrators subject to the full force of anti-hate speech laws.

*   that Jews exposed to hate-filled actions or speech will be strengthened in their resolve to stand firm against such actions thus nullifying their power to offend or cause pain

*   for our governments to start speaking out against those within our society seeking to establish disharmony and prejudice and strengthening laws that seek to prohibit such actions.


Aged Care Failing to Close Registered Nurse Gap

The residential care sector needs almost 6000 more nurses this year, to meet tough new rules.  This shortfall has barely reduced during the last three months, which casts doubt on whether many services will be able to continue to operate.  According to The Australian newspaper seven aged-care facilities closed in the three months to December, despite escalating demand for residential services as the population ages and baby boomers enter into aged-care services. The Department of Health and Aged Care figures show that 54 aged-care homes have shut since September 2022 because they were unable to meet the staffing demands introduced by Labor.

The Australian revealed that the aged-care sector has had to rely on expensive agency workers to fulfil Labor’s stringent staffing reforms. Providers are calling for the government to delay the deadline for the suite of reforms.  They also call for innovative solutions such as nursing support by video or phone conferencing. Catholic Healthcare Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit group of health and aged-care services, called for the re-establishment of Health Workforce Australia to act as a dedicated government agency to lead labour planning because at the moment no agency has sufficient oversight of either current or future workforce needs in Australia’s health and care sectors.  The aged-care sector, acute care sector and disability services are all competing for workers.

Please pray:

“Wisdom is with aged men.  And with length of days, understanding.” Job 12:12

*   Let us ask Jesus for forgiveness for the way we think of and treat the vulnerable elderly members of our society.  Where we should honour and respect them, we are often treating them as a nuisance, with disrespect.

*   Ask the Lord to multiply the residential care sector nurses.  Pray for an increase, a miracle, such as He performed near the Sea of Galilee when He fed 5000 people (Mark 8).

*   Pray for the Department of Health and Aged Care, that those responsible can adopt innovative solutions and reverse unhelpful decisions.


Praying for Issues in the News

*  The Dunkley by-election this coming Saturday will be a test for both the Government and the Opposition. Please pray that God would guide the voters of Dunkley to elect the person most suited to the task of representing them in Parliament.

*  ASIO Spy Chief Mike Burgess has warned that Sunni Islamic violent extremism poses the “greatest threat in Australia” and revealed previously classified details of a ­foreign interference operation to recruit and target politicians, public servants, academics and business leaders. In his annual threat assessment in Canberra, Mr. Burgess acknowledged a “realistic possibility of a terrorist attack or attack planning in the next 12 months” and expressed concern about the rise of nationalist extremists including some seeking a race war. Please pray that our Security Agency will be given divine wisdom as to how to protect our nation and its people from any terrorist attacks in coming weeks/months and that every plan of the enemy will be thwarted before it can be implemented.  Pray God’s protection over our politicians, public servants, academics and business leaders.

Praying for our Nation

*  Cry out to God for His righteousness, just nature, and rulership to be established in Australia through our elected Governments, as it is in heaven.

 Source: Australian Prayer Network

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