National 24-Hour Prayer Watch 11/24

Overcome by Grace

We are increasingly hearing about offense caused by words. When will we see grace instead of offense caused by racial slurs, gender slurs, religious slurs, or be haunted by what we have done in the past. Sporting personnel are being fined or taken to court for saying offensive words. New aggressive laws determine what is offensive. Bearing grudges is poisoning our nation as people feel offended. Feeling grieved can permanently change our lives, but so can the grace of the Lord. Grace is about receiving what we don’t deserve. There is grace being shown by a formal acknowledgement of country in schools and daycare centres, but grace is lacking when it’s taught that the land was stolen from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by Europeans. Children are feeling shame or anger when we commemorate Australia Day by flying the Aboriginal flag at half-mast or observing a moment of silence. We need to know both that this land is your land, and this land is our land. This land was made for us all by God. Those who were born overseas or here can feel excited about being Australian. Talking positively about Australia can help to create a very different atmosphere. One where grudges don’t flourish, and children are encouraged to be aware of cultural events that bless this nation as well as ones which create division. It would be great if on a national day we could reflect on what is true and worthy of praise about Australia. We do need to be more sensitive about aspects of First Nations culture as well as other cultures which could cause offence. Instead let us show grace and forgiveness. It is easy for invading nations to be blind to first nation cultures and for First Nations to fail to value the strengths of the invading ones as well as their weaknesses. May the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. (2 Cor 13:14)

Let’s pray:

*   For those who have truly experienced hurt or legitimate offences find they can forgive and see the world and others in a better light. Let them not nourish those offenses but know God who chooses not to accumulate grudges but dispense grace and forgive. For the foundation of this learning to begin when children enter preschools centres as infants.

*   For children to not be caught up in “culture wars’, but learn to value what is true, honourable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, know what is excellent and worthy of praise and focus on those things. (Phil 4:8)

*   Lord, forgive each one of us for the slights we can easily hold against others. Enable us to forgive those who hurt others or hold grudges against individuals or groups of people.


Self-Diagnosis of Mental Health Issues Harming our Youth

Young Australians are increasingly “diagnosing” themselves with mental health conditions based on social media messaging, according to one of the nation’s top mental health leaders. Ian Hickie, co-director of the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, said while social media had been a valuable tool to raise awareness and direct people to seek help, it had also convinced some to wrongly believe they suffer from specific mental health conditions. “TikTok and Instagram – these forms are more appealing to young people, and that’s where a lot of this debate around ADHD, around eating disorders, around anxiety and depression has played out much more assertively in those younger populations,” he said. “The danger is pushing people into clinical care or believing they have a need for clinical care when they don’t.” Experts warned of a sharp rise in this kind of self-diagnosis following the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the trend had continued, Dr Hickie said. “If what has happened is, you’ve arrived at a self-diagnosis or a conviction through social media, that’s what it is and there isn’t any other possibility, it really skews the type of treatments offered,” he said.

Please pray:

*  That the obsession with mental health disorders will be brought under control and that young people in particular will not self-diagnose conditions based on social media discussions with friends or acquaintances but seek proper help and see that what they consider a condition that afflicts them can often be put down to just the passage of life as one grows up and can be dealt with in other ways.

*   That authorities will be able to develop strategies to communicate better with young people, and all who feel overwhelmed by daily life, to encourage them to seek professional help rather than relying on self-diagnosis.

*   That the Church will be able to assist in tackling the issue through Biblically based teaching that promotes images of positive self-worth in our young people and that the Christian community will learn how to support each other through positive relationship development.


Childcare Children Told Land Stolen from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Some childcare centres are teaching toddlers and preschool children that Australia was stolen from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. More than 7000 schools and daycare centres have a formal “acknowledgement of country” in place. These can include children singing or reciting that the land belonged to Indigenous people, that the land was stolen from them and that they should be ashamed of their country. Indigenous leader Warren Mundine said, “The elite minority need to stop attacking Australia and Australians.”    Indigenous Liberal Party Senator Kerryanne Liddle said, “Australia Day is a day to celebrate for all Australians”, and that changing the day “was not going to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous people”, who are disproportionately represented in our appalling domestic and family violence rates. “Focus on improving the best possible services and practical things.  That’s the way to be inclusive and ensure all Indigenous people receive the best possible service and treatment,” Liddle said.

The childcare regulator requires centres to “embed” First Nations perspectives in teaching and activities.  Its official curriculum for childcare centres says students should be aware of cultural events including Easter, Harmony Day, NAIDOC (National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day) and Sorry Business of Indigenous mourning.  It makes no mention of Australia Day.  Early Childhood Australia chief executive Samantha Page said daycare providers “need to be mindful of the different connotations Australia Day has for First Nations families”.

Please pray:

My soul is satisfied with a rich feast and my mouth praises You with joyful lips when I think of You on my bed and mediate on You in the watches of the night, for You have been my help and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. ” Psalm 63:5-7

*   To cause little children to be ashamed of their country and to teach them to feel responsible for the wrong which happened in the past is indoctrination not teaching.  Pray for these little ones, asking the Lord to protect them from worry, to protect their minds from evil and to shadow them under His wings and give them joy.

*   Pray for the preschools and the preschool teachers and staff who are indoctrinating the children in their care with lies and half-truths.  Ask the Lord to change their hearts.  May they teach children to be grateful and happy for the good things in their lives rather than feel guilty for what they cannot control.

*   Pray for Warren Mundine and Kerryanne Liddle and all leaders who refuse to endorse a spirit of victimhood for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but instead want to see their people thrive.


Praying for Issues in the News

*   The Federal Labor Government faces calls to outline a Plan B for dangerous non-citizens who have their ankle bracelets and curfews removed amid several legal challenges to visa conditions, with one barrister saying the commonwealth had “covertly” settled at least three High Court matters to avoid embarrassing losses. In Parliament the Opposition called on the Albanese government to explain what it would do if strict monitoring and curfew conditions were found to be punitive. Detainees released as a result of the landmark NZYQ High Court ruling overturning indefinite detention – including murderers, pedophiles and rapists – were mandatorily fitted with ankle bracelets and had curfews imposed on them, but in some cases, they were later removed following a review by the independent Community Protection Board and a decision by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles. Please pray for this situation to be resolved in the interest of all Australians, and for order in our immigration system to be restored with all criminals returned to lawful detention.

*   Controversy has erupted after a television interviewer raised the question of Donald Trump (the possible next President of America) as to whether he could work with the Australian Ambassador to the USA Kevin Rudd after Rudd had made numerous disparaging comments towards Trump in the lead up to his appointment as Ambassador.  Trump made a comment that he would not last long as Ambassador if he continued to make such remarks in the future. Please pray for relationships between Australia and the USA to be put on the best possible footing for the sake of both nations and for issues between the two leaders to be resolved prior to the American elections later this year.


Praying for our Nation

This week let us repent of the division within the Church which leads to many expressions of division within the Nation. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13

Source:  Australian Prayer Network

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