CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Prayer and the Transformation of Nations

Aug 17, 2015

All Christians say they believe in prayer but…. I wonder how much we really believe in the efficacy and vital importance of prayer. If we really did, I suspect we would be praying a whole lot more than we now are. The battles behind the scenes in the spiritual realms are where the real action is.

But because it is in the invisible realm, we so easily ignore or overlook the huge significance of prayer and spiritual warfare. But it underlays everything we successfully do for the Kingdom. Sure, at the end of the day it is the grace of God that brings about such victory, but he works through his people.

And when his people pray like mad – and work like mad – things get accomplished. This is the only real explanation I can give when people ask me why Australia so far has managed to resist homosexual marriage. After all, there have been some 16 different pro-homosexual marriage bills introduced over the past 12 years or so.

Yet thus far every single one of them has been defeated! Why is this? Why are we holding the line while so many other nations have succumbed? I am not sure if we are all that different from many other Western nations that have fallen in this way.

But I do know that prayer and fasting – at least by a small percentage of dedicated Christians – has been a big part of the action taking place here for some years now. Sure there has been plenty of lobbying and letter writing and public meetings and so on.

I have been involved in much of this, as have some others. And all this must be done. But without serious, concentrated prayer, I do not think we could have prevailed. Yet we sell ourselves short so often as believers by failing to pray, and failing to appreciate the power of prayer.

As Alfred Lord Tennyson once put it, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” That is quite right. All these battles – be they over marriage and family, the sanctity of life, the onslaught of creeping sharia – are ultimately spiritual battles.

There are real fights taking place in the heavenlies over all these issues, so we must engage in the spiritual realm. Now, as I keep having to remind people, these spiritual battles are also fought out on so many other levels: the political, the social, the cultural, the judicial, the ideological, and so on.

Thus we must fight on every level if we expect to win these battles. We must pray like we have never prayed before. But we must also enter into the social and political debates. We must visit MPs, we must write letters, we must get involved in political parties, and of course we must carefully inform ourselves about the issues.

Miraculous stuff

There have been some great pro-marriage champs in Australia fighting the good fight. We need every single one of them. But there have also been mighty prayer warriors who have interceded and fasted and prayed often – we need these warriors as well.

I was speaking recently to one champion who embodies both callings. Warwick Marsh and I were both amazed at how things are happening – miraculous things really – in the marriage debate. The simple truth is, everything’s going against us, as usual.

The other side has all the money, all the influence, all the political muscle, all the attention of the media, all the activists with plenty of time on their hands, etc. We have none of this. But we do have one thing the other side does not have: the ability to pray to and call upon the God of heaven to come to our aid, to glorify his name, and to protect his valued institutions like marriage.

We do not have the numbers, the money or the political and media clout, but we do have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That is enough for me. As I have often said, if I end up being the last man in Australia to fight for marriage and family, I will do so, knowing that I am not alone. God will never abandon his own, so that gives me courage to keep on keeping on.

In our chat we discussed the many miraculous events of the past few weeks, and we agreed that all this can only be put down to prayer and fasting. Of course, plenty of hard work has gone into it, but at the end of the day, it is spiritual fire power that has swung things around.

Consider all the heavy duty things happening in the past week or two. Most amazing was the very solid stance by Prime Minister Abbott on the conscience vote, and getting a clear majority of his own side to hold the line there. That was a small miracle – no question about it.

marriage 5And think of all the other amazing things happening of late:

-The pro-marriage display of flowers at Parliament House, Canberra, nicely ignored by the media, but a powerful gesture nonetheless. As Ros Phillips of FamilyVoice Australia said, “We saw the rainbow, but where were the flowers?”

“Canberra Airport, lit up with the colours of the spectrum, was beamed across the nation to promote same-sex marriage yesterday. But the display of thousands of flowers on Capital Hill, thanking the PM for standing firm for marriage’s time-honoured complementary meaning, was effectively invisible.”

-The powerful and moving marriage declaration by members of the Aboriginal community was also an amazing activity witnessed at Parliament House. While much of the media ignored this as well, it was a terrific stance for marriage. See their site here: ulurubarkpetition.com/

-A host of expert speakers from North America have also graced our shores of late. We just had Dawn Stefanowicz for example. She has an incredible story of being raised in a homosexual household. I have discussed her earlier: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/10/25/a-review-of-out-from-under-the-impact-of-homosexual-parenting-by-dawn-stefanowicz/

-We also had Katy Faust from America sharing her moving story of being raised by lesbians, but being fully against homosexual marriage. Not only did she make it on to Lateline last week, but various other media outlets as well. I discuss her time on the ABC here: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/08/13/speaking-truth-on-homosexual-marriage-and-parenting/

-And Dr Ryan Anderson is here this week, speaking in Canberra and Melbourne. He is one of America’s leading defenders of marriage and family. With a new book out, he has so much of help to offer. I reviewed his previous volume here: billmuehlenberg.com/2013/01/07/a-review-of-what-is-marriage-by-sherif-girgis-ryan-anderson-and-robert-george/

-In addition to the rather established pro-family groups like the AFA, ACL, FV, Salt Shakers, and Life Ministries, there are also exciting new groups emerging such as the Marriage Alliance and the Australian Marriage Forum. So fresh blood is entering into the fray. That is great news for some of us old guys.

As I mentioned to Warwick, some years ago when a disastrous political outcome occurred in Australia, I was on my face before God praying all this through, asking why it happened. The answer I seemed to get was from 1 Kings 18:1-4.

This has to do with Elijah’s confrontation with the wicked King Ahab, and the fact that Yahweh had hid two groups of fifty prophets in caves during this time. I really was not sure what that all meant at the time. But now I am beginning to see, with the advantage of hindsight.

God has reserved for himself his prophets, his warriors, his champions. And at the right time they will emerge from where they are, and enter into these public battles. Not only are new organisations springing up around Australia to champion the causes of God and righteousness, but many individuals as well – even young ones.

I have been meeting so many new young Christian warriors who are gung-ho, ready to enter the battles. Five years ago none of them seemed to exist, but now they are emerging all over the place. That is very encouraging!

That which remains

Speaking of Katy Faust, she will be on tonight’s Q&A. This is an interesting outcome of both prayer and activism. After many complaints about the extreme leftist bias of the ABC and Q&A, they have been forced to move ever slightly in the direction of fairness and having all sides given a say.

Thus those on the show tonight can be broken down politically and ideologically as follows:
-Host Tony Jones is a lefty pro-homosexual.
-The two Greens and Labor Senators are lefties and pro-homosexual.
-The Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer is not exactly conservative, and favours homosexual marriage.
-That leaves two who are opposed to homosexual marriage, and they are an odd couple indeed: atheist and Marxist Brendan O’Neil from the UK and Katy Faust from the US.

So the fact that two voices at the same time opposed to homosexual marriage are allowed on to Q&A is itself a minor miracle. So please pray for that debate and please tune in. As I told Katy just recently, we are praying much for her, and our real rest will come in eternity – in the meantime we have a lot of work to do!

So much has already been done with terrific outcomes. But many things remain. Please pray for Katy tonight. And try to get to see Ryan Anderson Tuesday night in Canberra and Thursday night in Melbourne, Also make sure to grab his important new book.

Plenty has been happening in the marriage wars. The other side as always has been extremely active. But thankfully some on our side are working, and hopefully even more are praying. And those prayers are bearing fruit. We have seen a few nice victories these past few weeks, and I believe we will see more to come.

All this because God’s people are praying, fasting, interceding and engaging in much-needed spiritual warfare. Thank you saints for praying. We need many more like you. And thanks to the various prayer and intercession groups which have been so active here.

We must pray even harder and more often in the days ahead – and work even more as well. Who will join with me in this? Remember what D.L. Moody said: “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”

[1708 words]

26 Responses to Prayer and the Transformation of Nations

  • And let’s not forget the incredible timing of Ray Comfort’s new movie Audacity (to be officially launched world wide on Wednesday this week) and Sherwood pictures new movie The War Room.Let us heed the call to continued prayer!

  • Thank you Bill. Will be praying & watching.

  • Will also be praying and watching.

  • ‘Rees Howells Intercessor’ has been a book that showed me the real place of action moving the events of WWII, it was more in a Welsh bible college rather than by those directing their armies on the battle field. I wonder what the new movie “wWar room” is going to be like, the trailer looks interesting.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Let God arise, His enemies be scattered! Let those that fear Him flee before His face!

  • Bill, great article. Praise God for developments so far. I heard Katy Faust on ABC News Radio early one morning recently. She was very impressive. After the interview an ABC reporter said something to the effect that supporters of so-called ‘Marriage Equality’ were concerned that Tony Abbott’s stance would allow supporters of Traditional Marriage time to gather their forces.
    Yes! Please God we can do just that.
    Jane

  • I will be praying for with you for the maintaining of traditional and true marriage

  • St Philomena keep praying for us! Thank you.

    Your feast day, 11th August was the great resistance day to having a conscience vote (blocked) and a first mention of a plebiscite.

    Thank you for making your intercessory prayer felt. You don’t like being ignored at the best of times, do you, little lady?

  • A friend of mine who is against SSM told me it is “inevitable” that we will lose this fight. This is exactly what our opponents want … to break our spirit. I say never!
    Great news Bill, and still plenty more good work to be done!

  • Yes I must say I was plenty surprised they having O’Neill and Faust on Q&A at once. They can’t just right off O’Neill as religious like they will do to Faust. I’ll def be checking it out.

  • Hi Bill,
    There are many of us who WILL NOT give up in this fight. It often seems like a David and Goliath battle but I keep reminding myself of the outcome of this was the victory God wrought through the shepherd boy David, even though Goliath flaunted himself and taunted the people of God for many days.
    I belong to an Intercessory group who has prayed long and hard in this field and recently one of our members was part of the delegation that went with the indigenous people to present the bark petition to Canberra. We are just a small group of women but nevertheless committed to praying for this issue amongst others and for our Government and nation.
    Flowers were sent by myself and friends also. We cannot afford to give up even though we grow weary. There is too much at stake.
    God always works through a remnant and whether by many or by little, we serve a mighty God! I would obviously prefer to see more Christians understand the seriousness of the hour but thank God He is faithful.
    My heart hurts for the people caught in the trap of this lifestyle and we pray much for them also. And especially need to pray for the church to be like the Sons of Issachar!

  • And also keep up the letters and petitions and not forgetting to thank and pray for those politicians committed to preserving traditional marriage.
    Freedom of religion, conscience and speech are too important to let go, apart from understanding the spiritual ramifications of what this agenda really has behind it.

  • I would have thought that Australia would have been well placed to realize the evils of tearing a child through IVF or adoption from its biological parents and selling to queers. Australia has the T-shirt: been there and done it. Does it want to go through another bout of apologizing to children in another fifty years time, as it has done after having torn aboriginal children from their parents and handing them over to whites?
    I would have thought they, above all, would be the most powerful voice against the insatiable demands of these queer narcissists.

    David Skinner UK

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Generations

  • My spirit grieves over my nation, I have never felt so grieved before, and I wonder about where Australia is heading? Many people of the past lie in their graves, and now await the judgement to come, we who are alive, in these so uncertain times await also.
    We who are educated in the Lord Jesus Christ, know that the day approaches when we will see Him riding on the clouds. Many are crying God your kingdom come and your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
    My heart awaits the day, but I must say that the book of Joel, calls the day of the LORD, will be a day of gloominess. A dark day, for most! Here in, our end time disciples may be rejoicing to see the day, my heart grieves knowing that there are loved one’s who have not heeded the times, but are hardened by sin. Sin seduces those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.
    It grieves me to think that my own son, chooses to run with homosexual people. I and other fathers and mothers, who’s sons and daughters, have chosen this path of destruction weep over our wayward sons and daughters. We know that the day will come when everyone will be called before the judgement seat. Knowing that judgement will be final for some, and the end thereof destruction. This gives no pleasure to those who are parents of the wayward. I know that the battle ahead will be arduous. I pray that God will comfort those like myself, who have suffered as a parent in this way. Many of us do suffer, and I know that there are others that have suffered terribly more than myself.
    I have not suffered hunger, only hunger from fasting. I have not suffered beatings, or stripes or imprisonments, I have not suffered shipwreck, or suffered unto death at the hands of sinners. I have not prayed to the point where my skin perforates from pressure. I have never really been in want, for my needs have always been provided. So, even though I have suffered, it is because I know that souls without Jesus Christ, will perish and enter into eternal death. This grieves me much. Gods richest blessings, brother in Christ Jesus Ross Scrivener.

  • Thank you for your kind words. My great verse in the scripture is the story of Balaam’s donkey. If God could use a donkey he can use Warwick Marsh. The good news God has many Donkeys. Here I am typing these words from the green room of Q and A waiting for Katy Faust to go into the lions den which is the ABC flagship. Let us continue to pray because miracles do happen, the impossible takes a little longer.

  • Just saw Katy Faust on Q&A. Just awesome. She rocks. Forceful and all the facts at her fingertips. Completely unfazed by the evil to her left and right.

    And Brendan O’Neil is my favourite Marxist.

  • Daniel 10:12-14 (NKJV)
    12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.
    13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
    14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

    Psalm 66:19-20 (NKJV)
    19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
    20 Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me!

  • I can give you an assurance Bill that you will not be the last Man standing in the Battle against SSM, but I know you would make good your Promise. Although it might not seem so Bill, there are still some out Here who would/will stand with you back to back, shoulder to shoulder in this Decisive Battle. All my Life I have relied on the goodness and Grace of God and Jesus Christ for my very Survival and Prayer has been a great part of that Equation. Too many times Prayer is overlooked as a Resource and reviewed as a last ditched effort where as it should be at the Top of our Priorities. We are commanded to Pray always in our Homes, in our Hearts, even in our Closets. We are commanded to Pray in Privacy, in Public, we commanded to pray in our Fields and over our Flocks and in all we do.

  • Yes most cultures hold marriage as sacred so you have to wonder what is wrong with this generation that they can’t see this fundamental truth. Many others largely only hold their hip pocket sacred. I wonder if people started to realize the costs involved in not honouring marriage, with family breakdowns etc., would they then change their opinion? One of the many untruths from the SS’M’ lobby is that there would be more weddings and money to be made but the truth is, as marriage is disrespected, there are very much fewer occurring and those that do occur are not held in as much honour. The push to redefine our culture and others very much seems to comes from those who are happy to lose and disrespect what we already have.

  • Thanks Bill – a perfectly timed reminder. It is the most powerful thing we can all do.

    Katy and Brendan were brilliant last night on Q&A. Even though the odds were against them (4v2) pro-gay marriage – trad marriage, they did more than hold their own in the lions den.
    Did you happen to see Media watch too? Hold your hat…Paul Barry actually conceded that the media is bias and unfair in suppressing the voices and arguments of people against gay marriage.
    He went further and even rebuked the ABC for not interviewing Sophie York of the Marriage Alliance and for not covering the launch of the Marriage Alliance.
    He also had a bit to say to those who bullied and rallied against tv networks from airing the marriage alliance ads.

    Thanks to you and everyone else who is involved in this battle, prayer and otherwise, the momentum seems to be turning at least in giving our side a better hearing…
    Praise God!

  • Brendan and Katy were fantastic – I will be looking out for the transcripts to quote them.
    I hope and pray Australia holds out and is not a follower.

  • Something to pray for is the upcoming by-election for the WA seat of Canning – billed as a litmus test for Tony Abbott’s whole government.

  • Praise God!
    We thank God for His Church, His children and His servants; especially for the Canberra Declaration (a Christian organization) who organized the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for a “Miracle for Marriage” 20 July – 10 August 2015
    I was fasting, prayed and wrote a letter to our local MP for this issue.
    As God’s children, we must united together in the Lord Jesus Christ to stand and live for Him.
    Fasting prayer is the most powerful weapon in this spiritual battle.

  • Well done Ruth. You are a champion.

  • Hi Bill,
    There’s a small group of us in my rural Qld city meeting together & praying specifically for revival of the church in Australia & for our nation. We’re so encouraged as we hear of more and more Christians awakening and beginning to pray and enter the fight for our nation’s soul. I handed a petition to our local member recently with 425 signatures, in support of marriage. It’s only a small number, but it all helps.

Leave a Reply