This is the first of our Friday updates – which we are starting because of the seriousness of the current situation in Australia – and the world.  There is a sense in which we are at  a tipping point – so the need for prayer is ever more urgent. 

Each Friday we will take a passage from Romans to meditate on and then list some prayer points.  The weekly Monday prayer notes will continue.

Read Romans 1:1-7         

v.7 “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Rome was a city which was well used to the plague and various pandemics.  Paul was writing to a church where there were considerable external (i.e. The threat of persecution, economic collapse and plague) and internal (division, false teaching, legalism and liberalism) dangers.  Not so different from our world.  So, what a beautiful reminder to begin we.  Christians are those who are loved by God and called to be saints.  We receive grace and peace as we pray.

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.Australia – is entering the most crucial phase of this pandemic – so far.  Although most States now have no community transmission – that is not the case in NSW and most of all in Victoria.   This week there have been hundreds of cases each day in Victoria – and today we have just been informed of a further six deaths.  It’s now two weeks since the renewed lockdown.   In NSW the news today is good.  There were only seven additional cases and six of them have all been traced to the Thai restaurant outbreak.  If NSW has managed to deal with the three clusters this will be a very good sign for the future and may point to a future way of living with Covid 19 without shutting everything down.  

Also, this week the Federal government reported that the crisis is going to cost $187 billion and see a rise in unemployment to 9.5% and a recession.  Although this is bad news it is not as bad as had been expected.  In fact, of all the G20 countries, Australia is doing the best in terms of both economy and handling the pandemic.  Continue to pray for the Lord’s protection.

One bonus from all the measures being taken is that there have been 400 fewer flu deaths in Australia so far this year!

2.  The World – The US, Brazil, India, South Africa and Russia continue to be the major areas of growth – although there is now increasing concern about the Caribbean islands and Papua New Guinea.    For some reason it appears as though South America is turning out to be the most affected in terms of deaths.

Prayer:   Lord Jesus, we praise you that you have called us and set us apart for your gospel.   We bless you for your resurrection, which proved you are the Son of God and which is the guarantee of our resurrection.    We thank you that you have called us to the obedience that comes from faith – and that we are loved by you.  Lord help us to serve you, your people and your world, in this current crisis.  Teach us to look beyond ourselves, not to despair and to bring hope in the midst of darkness.   In your name. Amen.

A Song of Praise – In Christ Alone – performed by Lauren Daigle (Townend/Getty)