National 24-Hour Prayer Watch 21/24 30th May 2024

Respect and Love

We seem to be using the word respect a lot in our nation, but it is indeed limited by what and who we can respect. What happens when we see faults in what others believe and are inclined to not respect them or they don’t respect what we believe? The world wants us to think that we should all have the right to be treated fairly and our differences respected and valued. We should have the right to live in an environment that is free from discrimination, sexual harassment,  victimisation and vilification, a place where our needs are being best met by inclusive practices. While there is a great diversity in our Australian society, there seems to be a longing for it to be a place in which we each can realise our full potential and live in a vibrant culture that respects and values diversity. The hope is that schools and universities can develop curricula that promotes social inclusion, diverse knowledge, and varied experiences. But when we leave God out of what we believe, who we respect or who we love what is our firm foundation?

God has created each one of us differently for His reasons and a purpose which we may not fully understand. Regardless of how we perceive others, we are all God’s creations, and His will is for us to show respect to everyone but the true foundation for respect is love. When we genuinely love one another, then we can naturally treat one another with respect, kindness, and compassion. It is love then that compels us to honour the worth and dignity of everyone we encounter. So let us in everything, do to others what we would have them do to us, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Mt 7:12) Let us show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the king. (1 Peter 2:17) Let us love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring each other, (Rom 12:10) and do everything with love. (1 Cor 16:14) Lots of us engage in something very risky indeed. It is the risk in loving other people. Why is this so risky? Because it involves a degree of vulnerability and the possibility of being hurt. When we choose to love, we face the possibility of that love being rejected. When we reveal ourselves to others to some degree we risk having our deeper self being misunderstood or dismissed. Most of us go on taking the risk of love because any wounds that might come our way are worth it, because love brings its rewards as well as risks. And true love focusses not on our own feelings but on involving the other person.

Let’s pray:

*   For our nation to be blessed by God and learn to be poor in spirit, mourn, be meek, thirst for righteousness, be merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, even when we are persecuted for righteousness.

*   That we recognise any lack of respect for individuals or groups of people and that this does not prevent us loving them unconditionally or that a absence of love does not prevent us respecting people.

*    That Christians will take the risk of loving people, involve a degree of vulnerability, the possibility of being hurt and the possibility of that love being rejected. Pray that we will be willing to risk having our deeper selves misunderstood or viewed negatively.


Protection from Scams

One of the biggest scam syndicates to ever attack Australia is almost invisible on the corporate regulator’s investor alert list. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has failed to include on the alert list a warning about websites associated with the international scam syndicate that fleeced 34,000 Australians out of more than $200m.  The reason for this omission is not clear but is important to alert Australians to the scams they need to avoid. The number of Australians scammed each year is incredible and the amount lost in those scams mindboggling. The figures quoted above are related to just one scam.

Please pray:

*    That regulatory authorities will be more diligent in advising Australians of current scams that have the potential to fleece them of their life savings.

*    That all Australians, especially the elderly, will become much more aware of the potential to lose large sums of money and become a lot more vigilant when approached by strangers by phone or email offering them deals too good to be true.

*     For the overworked authorities responsible for discovering and thwarting such scams, that they would be given divine insight into the ways of the scammers so they can be much more effective in countering this most sinister of crimes.


‘Menacing Anti-Semites in Fake Keffiyehs’

University of Sydney professor Peter Morgan says he was left shaken and some of his students felt intimidated after his lecture was “hijacked” by several masked pro-Palestinian protesters. Professor Morgan arrived to give his lecture on Great Books and Radical Texts to find three students, “unidentifiable due to the keffiyehs which conveniently render them anonymous” and one unmasked student who was addressing the students loudly and aggressively. When Professor Morgan asked, then demanded the protesters to leave he was shouted down.  He became extremely angry, insisting they leave, which they did, chanting “for shame”. His was the second University of Sydney lecture to be disrupted by protesters last week.  In the other incident a Jewish psychology lecturer forcefully and repeatedly asked a group of protesters to leave.  The male protester stood very close to her and exchanged tense words.  The university has offered for security personnel to attend her lectures.

In a letter to Vice Chancellor Mark Scott, Professor Morgan has urged him to deal with the “aggression and racism of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators” and asked for his “most urgent consideration and action on this matter”. Professor Morgan is not Jewish but is part of a group of university staff against anti-Semitism.  Following a media inquiry, Professor Scott sent an email to all staff outlining “unacceptable conduct”.  Separately, the Group of Eight Universities said in a statement they would back the Australian Human Rights Commission review into racism.  “Our universities utterly reject all expressions of hate and prejudice, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or any other form of racism or religious intolerance” the statement reads.

Associate Professor Andy Schmidt, the NSW state coordinator for 5A (Australian Academic Alliance Against Anti-Semitism), which has about 50 members at the University of Sydney, most of whom are Jewish, said they had written repeatedly to Professor Scott about what they deemed unacceptable incidents involving staff since the October 7 attack on Israel, and as recently as May 10.

Please pray:

“When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And he was made father of a multitude of peoples.”  Romans 4:18 MSG   

*   Pray for Jewish students and staff at the University of Sydney.  Pray asking God to protect them both there and at all other universities in Australia where they are intimidated and vilified.

*   Pray that Vice-Chancellor Mark Scott finds the courage and moral strength to stand up to the aggression of pro-Palestinian protesters at his university.

*   Give thanks for Professor Peter Morgan and others who have the courage to stand with the Jewish community.  Pray that we Christians in Australia will not turn a blind eye, but, when everything seems hopeless and our government and university leaders fail to stand against antisemitism, we will stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters.


Praying for Issues in the News

*   The immigration minister is coming under increasing pressure over his handling of his portfolio after revelations that numerous murderers, rapists and criminals accused of domestic violence have had visa’s reinstated under instructions from his department under criteria written by him. Such pressure has resulted in a change to that criteria being issued by the Government which now requires the safety of the community to be the primary consideration when considering visa reinstatement for people who have been in detention. Please pray that these changes will have the desired effect and that our immigration policy will be returned to a place where justice is done to past victims of crime and the community can rest easy knowing that violent criminals are not roaming our streets unsupervised.

*   A phone has been discovered during a search for murdered woman Samantha Murphy as police respond to additional information they have received as to the possible whereabouts of her remains. Please pray that police will be given divine revelation as to where to search so that her body can be recovered to bring closure to her family.


Praying for our Nation

This week let us pray that our nation, and we as individuals, may understand and practice what is means to walk humbly before our God. Micah 6:6-8, James 4:6-10, Matt 11:28-30.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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