We could see the departure from Christianity continue in Australia—or if we pray persistently, we could see revival in our nation once more.
“Then he spoke a parable to them, that men always to pray and not to give up… ‘I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?’” —Luke 18:1, 8
Reflection In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus gave us a parable about the power of persistent prayer. He said there was a poor widow and an unjust judge. This poor lady took her problems to this judge. Sadly, she had no money to offer him and so he sent her away.
The next day, the woman went to him again. Once again, the judge sent her away without helping her. She persisted day after day with no success. Eventually, after asking the judge many times for her, he answered her request.
Hear his words: “I don’t care about God or man, but this woman’s continual coming wearies me so I will hear her case”. Jesus then contrasts this with God, who does care: “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, although He bears a long time with them?”
Jesus is teaching us here that when we have a major problem, we need to persist day and night until God answers our prayers. This should help us as we join in prayer for the revival of Christianity in our nation.
In this parable, Jesus also puts forth another challenge. He is asking an almost unbelievable question: when He comes back, will there be any faith on the earth? Indeed, many church leaders feel that we are nearing the return of Jesus Christ to earth.
As you read the prophecies about Jesus’ return, you discover there are two things that will happen at the same time. According to Matthew 24, in the last days there will be a great falling away and giving-up on Christianity. Everywhere we look in the Western world today, we are seeing that decline increasingly. Many churches are getting smaller, numbers are dropping, and the future looks grim.
However, in many parts of the world there is great growth of the church. This is the other part. In Acts Chapter 2:17, God says: “It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” This happened on the day of Pentecost and thousands joined the church.
The same thing is happening in parts of the world today where literally hundreds of thousands of people who were not Christian have turned to Jesus and believe in Him.
So it seems to me that Jesus is speaking about two possibilities. If the church rises and prays, we will see growth and revival. If not, we will experience slow death and decline.
Sixty years ago, Australia saw a great move of God. Billy Graham came to Australia after setting up prayer meetings all across the nation for the two years prior to his arrival. The statistics of his meetings are astonishing. Over three million people—nearly a third of Australia’s population at that time—attended his meetings in person.
2% of Australia’s population, or 130,000 people, made decisions for Christ. The biggest crowd in the MCG’s history, which has never been surpassed, was 143,000, and this was for Billy Graham’s crusade. In Sydney, the two main stadiums had to be used to cater for the 150,000 who turned out. God changed our nation through prayer.
Prayer Lord, we come boldly before You and plead for our nation and our people, young and old. We pray that Your Holy Spirit will touch the hearts and minds of our people and cause them to pause and reach out to You in the midst of rebuilding from drought, fires, floods, and now Covid-19. We ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
31 Days Prayer Points
1. Pray for five people and share the Good News of Jesus with them.
2. Pray that God would use His people to reach one billion people this May.
3. Pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, both in Australia and globally.
Andrew Evans studied at theological college, planted churches and served as a missionary in PNG before pastoring Paradise Community Church in Adelaide. He went on to serve in many leadership roles, including General Superintendent of AOG Australia for 20 years. He also founded the Family First party. Andrew has been awarded the OAM and continues ministering the gospel throughout Australia today.
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