The National Day of Prayer & Fasting had its beginning at the ‘Second Canberra Declaration – Prayer and Strategic Planning Consultation‘, held in Parliament House on 28 February, 2011.
About 30 Christian leaders from different churches and ministries heard from some Senators and MPs that a bill to redefine marriage would most likely be passed in Government. In response, we all knelt on the floor of the conference room and cried out to God. Together we felt an urgency to gather Christians to pray and fast at the seat of our Government. And so on 24 July 2011 the first National Day of Prayer & Fasting took place in Canberra in the Great Hall of Parliament House.
The three National Days of Prayer & Fasting and 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting held since then have been strategic opportunities to cry out to God for the revival and healing and transformation of our nation. Each year has focused on a special theme. For Australia to reach its destiny, we believe we need to see Australians turn back to God and live with Jesus Christ as Lord. Laws are not enough. We need changed hearts.
And so in 2015 the theme is DESTINY. This year the 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting are being called the 40 Days of Delight for it is as we delight in God that we find our personal and national DESTINY. Please watch this short video to find out more and know how you can get involved.
In the video, Dr Graham McLennan, one of the visionaries for the Canberra Declaration and now on the National Day of Prayer & Fasting Organising Team, is quoted as saying, “For Australia to find its DESTINY we must first understand our Christian heritage”.
A thrilling example of this is the 1902 Revival in Melbournewhich ignited a worldwide awakening! The Evangelisation Society of Victoria had invited Reuben A Torrey, an American minister to come to Melbourne to conduct meetings. A woman in Melbourne who read his book ‘How to Pray’ started to organize prayer meetings all over the city. When R A Torrey arrived he found 1,700 neighbourhood prayer meetings praying weekly for revival. In four weeks, nearly 9,000 became Christians! For the next six months Torrey travelled throughout Australia preaching. Revival swept the nation. The news spread like wildfire to many other places around the world.
In 1904, Torrey was in Wales and because of a minimal response to preaching the Gospel, he called for a day of prayer and fasting. Suddenly things changed dramatically. Within six months 100,000 had come to faith in Christ! According to Torrey, on the day of prayer and fasting a young man, Evan Roberts, who had been praying for revival for 11 years, received an anointing of the Holy Spirit with great power. Here the mighty Welsh Revival began!
In his book ‘How to Pray‘ Torrey writes, “If we want to pray with power, we should pray with fasting. There are times of emergency or special crisis, when men of earnestness will give themselves up solely to prayer. There is mysterious power in such prayer. Every great crisis in life and work should be met in that way.”
Yes, the world is in a time of emergency and Australia is a nation in crisis but let us reflect on our Christian heritage and the great things that God has done in Australia in the past. We might think that revival can never happen today but Jesus said,
“What is impossible for men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
God can bring revival again, if He can find people who will pray.
Yours for Australia reaching its DESTINY,
David Rowsome and Warwick Marsh
for the Canberra Declaration team
PS Thank you for your prayers and passing on the invitation to the Australian National Prayer Breakfast which took place last Monday. Many who have attended past Prayer Breakfasts thought it was one of the best ever. We share the event with you in these photos.
We are excited to announce that in 2015 there will be a number of ways for you to take part in the
National Day of Prayer & Fasting in Canberra and in different locations around the country.
Our goal is to have as many Christians and churches as possible observe this day and pray together for God to fulfill His destiny for Australia.
1. You are invited to Canberra to pray with others in the Great Hall of Parliament House on Sunday 15 February 2015 from 10 am – 4 pm. Christians from all denominations united together in prayer in our seat of Government is a powerful testimony to our leaders.
2. Each local church Australian-wide is encouraged to participate in the National Day of Prayer & Fasting where they are on 15 February 2015. Suggestions, including a Declaration and Prayer for Australia, will be provided on the website.
3. Individuals or groups of people can watch online from anywhere worldwide the live webcast from the Great Hall in Parliament House in Canberra on 15 February 2015.
4. NEW! As well as this, in 2015, we hope to have a State Day of Prayer & Fasting in each capital city as a pre-event on Saturday 7 February 2015. This will prepare the way for the National Day as well as allow those who cannot travel to Canberra to be involved in public united prayer across denominations.
Events are presently confirmed for Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
5. NEW! As well as this, in 2015 we are encouraging many regional pre-events (in cities, towns, communities, para-church groups, home groups or other groups) on Saturday 7 February 2015 or at a convenient time in the week leading up to the National Day of Prayer & Fasting. This will allow even more Christians to be part of this prayer movement to see revival and transformation in our nation.
For more information about the National Day and 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting please read these Updates.