The important thing is to mobilise your church to pray.
The vision was to hold a National Day of Prayer and Fasting every year for 5 years on the Sunday before Lent begins, and to use the National Day of Prayer and Fasting to promote a 40-day period of prayer and fasting during Lent.
Many churches are already praying through Lent which in 2013 is from 13th February to 24th March and in 2014 starts on 5th March.
The foundational vision of this 40-day period of prayer and fasting is the same as the National Day of Prayer and Fasting – that is the spiritual renewal and transformation of our nation through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How you choose to observe this call to prayer is up to you…maybe a Daniel Fast, maybe missing one meal a day or fasting one day a week.
For more information about prayer and fasting go to: http://www.ccci.org/training-and-growth/devotional-life/personal-guide-to-fasting/index.htm
During the period of Lent there is a clear focus on what Jesus Christ has done through the work of the Cross which helps bring clarity of purpose and makes unifying across denominational barriers easier. Our focus for this second year of the 5 Year Prayer Plan is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Saviour. If this nation is to come back to Christ we must first see individuals come to Christ as He is the only hope for our nation. The theme for 2013 is – LIFE.
In 1901, at the time of Federation, 96.1% of Australians claimed to be Christians. In the last census in 2011, only 61.1% of Australians called themselves Christians. The figures for those who practise their faith through church attendance is much lower. Church attendance has been falling since Federation with only 8.8% going to church weekly. If we are going to have a Life Breakthru we need to see churches filled with people who believe in life and love life. When a child is born new life comes into the world and when an individual is born again God’s life brings new life to the human heart and true transformation begins.
Our nation is falling into deep moral decay. Jesus Christ is the only answer (John 14:6). Our nation needs to find God. As it says in Acts 17:27,“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God… and find him”. Our nation can only find God as each individual finds Christ (Acts 2:38-40). That miracle will come as we accept the Scriptural challenge found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray …”
This national call to prayer finds its Biblical inspiration in Joel 2:15-16, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders. . .”
Now is the time for action. We as people of faith must rise to the occasion and seek God. “Come let us know, let us press on to know the Lord . . . and He will come to us . . .” Hosea 6:3. The only answer for us as a nation is a national awakening. We encourage the Christian people of Australia to rise up and “stand in the gap on behalf of the land” as in Ezekiel 22:30.
Now is the time to make a stand for the truth. Now is the time to share the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Now is the time to see this nation fulfil its destiny as the ‘Great South Land of the Holy Spirit’.
The National Day of Prayer and Fasting was in discussion phase amongst several Christian leaders from different church denominations for many years; Dr Graham McLennan, Warwick Marsh, Bill Muehlenberg to name a few. It was first raised at a meeting of the National Prayer Council at Parliament House in June 2003. It was decided at that stage to proceed with a National Day of Thanksgiving.
Brian Pickering from the Australian Prayer Network is the coordinator for the National Day of Thanksgiving.
During a meeting of Christian leaders at Parliament House, Canberra for the National Prayer Breakfast on 28th February 2011, a unanimous decision was made to proceed with a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for marriage and family to be held on Sunday 24th July 2011. It is significant that 24th July was first proposed by Aboriginal Christian leader Pastor Norman Miller from Cairns. After much prayer and consultation across the wider body of Christ it was decided to adopt a 5 year Prayer Plan and place the National Day of Prayer and Fasting on the Sunday before Lent each year starting in 2012.
The list of supporters and endorsers of the NDOPF is growing daily and now includes key Christian leaders such as Bishop Peter Elliot from the Catholic Church based in Melbourne, and (former) Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Rev. Harry Goodhew, along with the likes of Pastor Paul Bartlett who is on the State Executive of the Australian Christian Churches, and Rev Keith Garner from Wesley Mission in Sydney, to name a few.
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