Last week I was privileged to be at the President’s Conference in Darwin. I was challenged by listening to the stories especially of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. Many of these people were amazingly converted through the revival that went through Elcho Island a few decades ago now. They are still on fire for the Lord. But they have been through immense distress as communities. This has got worse, not better since Intervention in suicides, young people in jail and family violence. For thousands of years, they have had “organised and civilised” moral governance, law and trade (even international). They seek now a meeting of ways with their Indigenous law and the western law to help their young people find hope and a future once again. This includes such things as recognition of sovereignty and treaty. I have been struck by the faithfulness of some of the Christian leaders of these communities. who cry out with the psalmist “How long, Lord?” Yet they also hold fast in Jesus’ name, to their trust in God their Father and Creator and his “unfailing love” and “salvation” for them and their communities.
The psalm for last week, 13:2 echoes Jesus’ words upon the cross and says “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Even upon the cross, in the midst of the seeming abandonment of the Father, Jesus still trusted his Father. We can imagine him lifting up his soul in the time leading up to when he gave up his spirit and crying out in the words of this Psalm “But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation”. (v5) Jesus’ trust in the Father’s love and salvation was well-founded. God raised Him from the dead and raised him up, to seat him at his right hand in glory.
The issues around First Nation are so immense and heartbreaking. At times we can give in to despair and wonder how we and the church can practically help when we look at our own lack and dysfunction. We hear their cry “How long?” Yet may we too join with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, in trusting in the Lord’s unfailing love and the promise of salvation. In that place of trust, amazing miracles can be released not only for first nation people but also for our church. We have a God who can even bring into being that which otherwise did not exist. There is a place where faith and action hold hands when the deep listening to the Father opens the pathway to God’s Kingdom coming. It is here that restoration can take place and the Father’s will done on earth as it is in heaven.
May Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Please uphold in prayer the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. Pray for the work of the only Indigenous independent member in the Northern Territory, Yingiya Mark Guyula, and for the Yolgnu Nations Assembly. Pray for the provision of resources and a house for this important work.
Pray for Helen Nymoba Gandangu who is the chair of the Yolngu Nations Assembly and who travels around Arnhem Land supporting many young people in the courts. Helen is a spirit filled Christian woman with a great compassion from the Father for her people. I had the privilege of getting to know her at the conference. Please pray for protection and provision for her for all she does. Pray for a breakthrough for treaty and sovereignty for Yolgnu people that will spread through the Land.
PRAYERS FOR ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE
Please uphold the Assembly Standing Committee that meets this weekend 7th-9th July starting tonight.
Please pray that the meeting would go BACK TO BASICS.
- That Jesus’ presence and Lordship be obvious
- That they have ears, eyes and hearts open to Jesus and each other and the situation of the church with an attitude of repentance
- That they come with discerning spirits and a willingness to speak and act in obedience to Christ
- That the Holy Spirit is at work in deep ways bringing truth, obedience and repentance.
Please also pray for the ASC as they discuss
- Preparations for Assembly in Melbourne in July next year
- Sovereignty and Treaty following the President’s Minister’s Conference
- Ongoing discussion on marriage and feedback on space for grace meetings
Pray for Stuart, Deidre and Colleen that they would provide good leadership and openness to the Holy Spirit.
Please pray for staff that are taking on new roles at Assembly and for staff that have finished or are finishing their roles at Assembly.