Christians will gather in towns and cities on Saturday February 25 to take their faith into the public square.
“We are calling Australia back to God, calling Australia back to Christ,” says Warwick Marsh, a member of the organising committee.
“Our dream and goal is for the revival and transformation of society,” says Marsh. “Transformation occurs as society comes back to Jesus Christ, back to its centre.
“Our Constitution says we humbly rely on the blessings of God – and that was written in 1901 – so we believe that we are calling the nation back to its very strong Christian foundations.”
Marsh tells Eternity that this is an important thing to do, because at many times in the past, Christians have prayed and God has answered.
“We need to make a stand for the truth, and the best place to do it is on our knees.” – Warwick Marsh
Twice in the 1800s, a national day of prayer was called to ask God to send rain, “and within a matter of days and weeks the heavens opened and the drought broke. God heard their prayers,” says Marsh.
The challenges are different in 2017, but God is still the God who listens when his people pray. So on Saturday February 25, at more than 50 locations, Christians will gather together to pray for Australian society.
“We’ve got families collapsing, we’ve got a divorce rate that is increasing, family breakups are getting worse, children are fatherless, we’ve got great social problems, we’ve got challenges against marriage and life in the womb,” says Marsh.
“We need to make a stand for the truth, and the best place to do it is on our knees.
“Our nation needs healing, as do many other nations of the world, but that can only come because and through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit of God.”
“In my experience, when we pray, things happen.” – James Condon
Former Commissioner in the Salvation Army Church James Condon has been involved with the national day of prayer and fasting for a few years.
Condon says: “We need the blessing of God on our church, our nation, we need people to come home to God, we need the prodigals to return.
“We need the church to be light and salt in the community, [and] for us to be the church we should be to the community, to those who need to return or find Jesus, we need to pray.
“God waits for us to call out to him in prayer. In my experience, when we pray, things happen,” says Condon.
The national day of prayer and fasting has been running for seven years, but, Marsh says, “we have to be frank, we haven’t seen what I would call revival … we haven’t seen people come to Christ in the way we’d like to see.
“But we’ve seen glimmers of hope and change … and we have seen God move and bring people to him unexpectedly. So we are seeing some great things happening.
“We are seeing little signs of God’s great blessing and great encouragement as we keep on praying.”
“[There will be] groups of Christians reading the Bible from cover to cover, non-stop.” – Marilyn Rowsome
Marsh is encouraging all Christians to get involved with the national day of prayer and fasting by either joining one of the planned celebrations, or just by celebrating the day in your own way.
At the same time, groups of Christians are gathering in public parks and outside parliament houses to read the Bible from cover to cover.
Convener of the Brisbane Bible Reading Marathon Marilyn Rowsome says that this is exactly what it sounds like – “groups of Christians reading the Bible from cover to cover, non-stop.”
The website of the Brisbane event says: “We cannot predict what will happen as the word of God is read in a public place aloud. Our task is to do it and allow God to do things over and above what we can even dream of!
“Of course, we will be asking God to send his word forth in its power to bring about repentance, a change in people’s thinking and a conviction of their need for a Saviour.”
In Brisbane, the marathon will be held outside the Queensland Parliament House from 6pm on Friday February 24 to about 9pm on Monday 27th. The Sydney marathon will start on February 20 in Hyde Park.