Posted: 23/7/2010 This article can also be found at the website www.24-7prayer.org.It is reproduced here with permission.
We invite you to join with us to call the Christian people of this nation to pray and fast for 40 days starting on Monday the 5th July 2010 and finishing on the 13th of August 2010 which is National Marriage Day.
The focus of our prayers over this 40 day period is for the healing of the land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and the restoration and protection of marriage and family in our nation. Marriage is the cornerstone of families and families are the cornerstone of the nation. When marriage and family suffer our children suffer too. The future of our children is the future of our nation.
Australia will soon be facing a Federal Election and the denigration of our nation’s Christian values is of concern to us all as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The current political machinations of the past few weeks have been a catalyst for this Call to Prayer. Nevertheless these are not the only issues:
- In Victoria, which is our new Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s home state, they can abort a baby up to birth.
- NSW is just as bad with high rates of abortion and the proposed Homosexual Adoption Bill which has been put forward by Clover Moore MP.
Yet no state of Australia has a monopoly on vice as "all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"
We, as the people of God, must accept responsibility and cry out to God for forgiveness on behalf of our land. We must also pray for our leaders as in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 which includes our new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. It is critical at this time that we pray for them.
The scriptural injunction for our prayers is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
In Joel 2:15-17 we read, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
Ezekiel 22: 30-31 says, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
The people of God have a responsibility to intercede for the nation just as Daniel did and say forgive us "our" sin. Daniel is one of the few men in the bible who had no sins recorded against his name but he still said forgive "us" Lord. Abraham did the same as he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah. Fasting is all about humbling ourselves before God. The Hebrew word "Kana" for humbling is used in the same context to describe fasting. It is about denying ourselves as a prayer to God.
You don’t have to fast every day over the 40 day period. Miss a meal once a day or fast once a week. Miss out on your sweets, drop tea and coffee or conduct a Daniel fast and go vegetarian for 40 days. There are many ways to fast. Whichever way you pray and fast do it unto the Lord.
Please join in this Call to Prayer for our nation. It says in Proverbs, "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach for any people". Please pass this information on to all individuals, churches and prayer groups interested in prayer so that as many as possible can join in this 40 Days of Prayer for our nation. Let us believe together for an outpouring of grace and healing from God for our nation.
Yours in His Service
Warwick & Alison Marsh
Notes of further interest:
- The 40 Day Call to Prayer 5 July – 13 August, (National Marriage Day 2010). All Australians everywhere are encouraged to celebrate National Marriage Day.
- The Government of God Convocation will be held 21-24 July 2010 in the Parliamentary Theatrette, Parliament House, Canberra.
- Generation Fire National Gathering 6-8 August 2010 ‘It’s Time to Burn’, Canberra.
- Australian Prayer Network will announce their prayer strategy campaign for the election on the announcement of the Federal election dates.
- Marriage Week is celebrated 12-18 September 2010. All Australians are also encouraged to celebrate this week
God made the first marriage and the first family but marriages and families are under intense attack in our society today. Australia's divorce rate is approximately 40%. The divorce rate for second and third marriages is much higher. Our marriage breakdown rate puts Australia in the worst 4% of countries in the world. When marriages break down it is the children who suffer. It has been proven by numerous studies that children of divorce have an increased rate of divorce in their own marriages. This leads to even far greater levels of family breakdown.
Cohabitation rates before marriage, in Australia, have increased from 18 percent in 1975 to almost 60% today. The increased levels of people living together before they get married produce an even greater level of family breakdown and fatherlessness. A recent UK report says that a baby born to cohabiting parents is now more than ten times likely to see its parents separate, than one born to married parents. Unfortunately Australian, USA and UK statistics are very similar. Australian society is in meltdown.
When a couple has children without getting married children suffer. Of cohabiting couples that later get married, only 17% are still together by the time that child is 16 years old. This is one of the driving forces behind the epidemic of fatherlessness that is afflicting our children today. According to the same report, 77% of cohabiting couples who marry, end up getting divorced. Cohabitation without marriage leads to higher levels of family breakdown. God’s original plan for sexual purity before marriage leads to more stable marriages and a better future for our children.
As it says in Hebrews, “Let the marriage bed be holy and undefiled.” We need God’s help. We need a marriage revolution. The foundational verse for this call to prayer is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”