King David wrote in one of his psalms, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). This was the wonderful challenge before us during the 40 Days of Delight which finished on Sunday 29 March.
Since 2012, the Canberra Declaration has been a main proponent of the National Day of Prayer & Fasting followed by 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting during Lent. Here you can watch the first of six episodes of a TV series produced by Trinity Broadcasting Network during the 40 Days of Delight. Each episode showed some footage from the 2015 National Day of Prayer & Fasting Prayer Service in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra.
40 Days of Delight – Episode 1 with footage from National Day of Prayer & Fasting in Canberra
Each year it has been our joy to share what we discern are possible answers to prayer. In this Good News Update we want to highlight three possible answers to prayer which relate to one of the main focus areas of the Canberra Declaration – the sanctity of human life. We thank God for these life breakthroughs.
Day 7 (24 Feb) – Despite our Prime Minister’s Week from Hell, 26 January to 1 February, a leadership spill threat on 9 February and his lowest ratings in 5 years, Newspoll showed that Tony Abbott’s ratings actually jumped on this day by four points! How do we explain this?
During this year’s National Day of Prayer & Fasting on 15 February, a Korean minister from New York asked if he could say a prayer for Tony Abbott and the Government. We believe the prayer he prayed on his knees in the Great Hall (listen to it at 6:53 min in the above footage) as well as many prayers for our nation during the 40 Days of Delight are being answered.
We need to continue to pray that Tony Abbott will complete his term as Prime Minister. He upholds the sanctity of human life and the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. If a motion to spill the leadership ever succeeds, the main challenger will most likely be Malcolm Turnbull who is a supporter of abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’.
A BIG THANK YOU!
We thank God that the push for a conscience vote on homosexual ‘marriage’ fizzled in the Liberal Party Room on Tuesday 24 March (Day 35). And the second reading of the Freedom to Marry Bill planned for Thursday 26 March was withdrawn. Praise God!
Thank you to everyone who wrote emails to Liberal MPs and Senators. Tens of thousands of emails were received by each one of them. A comment was made that those asking the Liberals to keep their strong marriage stand were 5 times more than those against.
Please pray against any further mutinous intentions in the Liberal party against our Prime Minister.
Director of HOPE
Day 23 (12 March) – The Northern Territory Branch of the Australian Medical Association expelled Philip Nitschke, often referred to as Dr Death, from its ranks. This news came immediately after the death of Nitschke’s legal council, Peter Nugent QC, who apparently ended his own life. The decision was a long-awaited development of a legal process which began in July last year when Nitschke, as a medical doctor with duty of care, failed to refer a suicidal Perth man for counselling. Many were wondering why the process was going so slowly. We believe this life breakthrough is an answer to prayer!
Paul Russell, Director of HOPE: preventing euthanasia & assisted suicide based in Adelaide, shared that “the suspension of Nitschke’s medical licence continues pending the hearing of a dozen complaints to the Australian Health Professionals Regulation Agency about the activities of the Exit ‘death cult‘ (as journalist Angela Shanahan called it) and Philip Nitschke. He has lodged an appeal to the original suspension and that hearing is listed for the Supreme Court in Darwin in early April”. Please keep praying.
Day 35 (24 March) – Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse led prayers during a 40 Days for Life vigil outside an abortion clinic in Canberra. This is the very first 40 Days for Life campaign in Canberra which this year joins 559 cities in 27 countries around the world to pray and fast for an end to abortion. This includes six other Australian cities – Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane.
We thank God for the leadership example of Archbishop Prowse who believes that the pro-life movement is linked to “the essence of the [Christian] gospel”. Please pray that more church leaders will have the courage to publicly stand against the shedding of the innocent blood of approximately 100,000 unborn babies each year in Australia.
These round-the-clock peaceful prayer vigils which started in 2007 have had some amazing results. On Day 34 the joyful news came announcing that the number of lives of babies known to be saved through 40 Days for Life prayer vigils had reached 10,000! Also as a direct result of 40 Days for Life around the world, 107 abortion workers have quit their jobs and 60 abortion centers have closed!
10,000 Babies Saved through 40 Days for Life
This Easter time let us remember that we are not alone in our prayer and fasting. The challenges before us are huge but we read in the Bible that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” and later in the same chapter “Christ Jesus, who died – more than that who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:26,27,34).
We believe that when God’s people pray and fast we are indeed “more than conquerors” for “if God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31,37).
As we continue to delight in God let us believe that He will respond to the desire of our hearts for more life breakthrough. May God turn the hearts and minds of many Australians from a culture of death to a culture of life.
David Rowsome and Warwick Marsh
PS. After Easter we look forward to sharing Double Our Numbers strategies with you. Together we can look to God to double the number of signees to the Canberra Declaration from 50,000 to 100,000 by our fifth anniversary on 23 July 2015.