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Prayer Under Fire: praying for Australia’s military

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The first ever Defence Day of Prayer was held on April 2, 2011. The Skype scandal story broke three days later, on April 5.

Three years ago, the wife of someone within the Defence Force came to the Military Christian Fellowship with a vision. She said God had told her the ADF needed prayer, and to hold a national day of prayer in the first week of April.

What she didn’t know was that in March, two ADFA cadets would conspire to film one of them having sex with a female cadet and stream it on Skype, without the woman’s knowledge, to their mates in a nearby room.

The first ever Defence Day of Prayer was held on April 2, 2011. The Skype scandal story broke three days later, on April 5. Since then, the Military Christian Fellowship has met annually to pray for the ADF, not least of all for culture change in the Defence Force.

This year’s National Day of Prayer will be held this Saturday. Jamie van Heel, Chairman of the Fellowship says each year they pray for four key areas.

“The four key aspects that we look at which are fairly constant are: looking at defence culture and training settings, deployed personnel, their families and those who’ve returned…, praying for senior leadership—and that’s particularly appropriate for this one because the Chiefs are changing over in July this year—and then the other one is praying for the different ministries of defence, including our chaplains.”

Anyone with an interest in praying for the Defence Force is welcome to attend the day of prayer which will be held at the Duntroon Chapel. The bulk of those in attendance will be Christians in the Defence Force, public servants in the Defence department and those ministering to the ADF.

“I believe it’s a spiritually strategic, significant event for the defence force,” says Lt Col van Heel. “It provides a focused day to lift the ADF up to God, because he is our Commander-in-Chief.”

If you’d like to pray for the ADF, here are a few prayer points taken from their National Day of Prayer guide:

Defence Culture

  • Pray for the operational phase of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.
  • Pray for the three unique programs that the Taskforce has developed: the Defence Abuse Restorative Engagement Program; the Defence Abuse Reparation Scheme; and the delivery of contracted counselling services around Australia under the Taskforce’s National Counselling Scheme.

Training Settings

  • Pray for wisdom to deal with the difficult outcomes that sometimes occur.
  • Pray for their family life relationships.
  • Pray that Christian military ministries and chaplains operating with the training institutions will be successful in bringing the word of God to the trainees.
  • Pray that the trainees will be open to hearing the gospel and acting on it

Deployed personnel, Defence members and families

  • Pray for the families of ADF personnel, especially those who are currently deployed.
  • Pray for returned service men and women who are coping with physical, emotional and spiritual injuries. Pray for their well-being, for healing and wholeness.

Senior Leadership

The Chief of the Defence Force and the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force conclude their terms in July 2014.  Pray over the selection process for the right people to fill these positions and the new ADF leadership team. Pray for the future direction for Defence in White Paper outcomes.  Pray for the future patron of MCF-A.

Chaplains

ADF Chaplaincy is ministry without borders.  Pray for ADF chaplains that they will be Christ’s ambassadors in the ADF and that they will be able to exercise the spiritual component of their responsibilities well.

ADF Faith Under Fire Course

Pray that Defence Christians will facilitate and lead this course across ADF bases and that service personnel will attend the course and seek for themselves who Jesus is and what they should do about matters of faith.

Feature Image: U.S Army via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License.

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