The purpose of this call to prayer is for the Revival and Transformation of Australia as a nation with Jesus Christ as Lord.
The vision is to hold a National Day of Prayer and Fasting every year for 5 years on the Sunday before Lent begins, and to use the National Day of Prayer and Fasting to promote a 40-day period of prayer and fasting during Lent.
During the period of Lent there is a clear focus on what Jesus Christ has done through the work of the Cross which helps bring clarity of purpose and makes unifying across denominational barriers easier. Many churches are already praying through Lent. The vision of this 40-day period of prayer and fasting is the same as the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, that is the spiritual renewal and transformation of our nation through the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. How you choose to observe this call to prayer is up to you.
In 1901, at the time of Federation, 96.1% of Australians claimed to be Christians. In the last census in 2011 only 61.1% of Australians called themselves Christians. The actual figures for those who practise their faith through church attendance is much lower. Church attendance has been falling since Federation with only 8.8% going to church weekly. We need revival and transformation in our personal lives, in our churches and in our society.
Our nation is falling into deep moral decay. Jesus Christ is the only answer (John 14:6). Our nation needs to find God. As it says in Acts 17:27, “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God… and find him”. Our nation can only find God as each individual finds Christ (Acts 2:38-40). That miracle will come as we accept the Scriptural challenge found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray …”
This national call to prayer finds its Biblical inspiration in Joel 2:15-16, “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders. . .”
Now is the time for action. We as people of faith must rise to the occasion and seek God. “Come let us know, let us press on to know the Lord . . . and He will come to us . . .” Hosea 6:3. The only answer for us as a nation is a national awakening. We encourage the Christian people of Australia to rise up and “stand in the gap on behalf of the land” as in Ezekiel 22:30.
Now is the time to make a stand for the truth. Now is the time to share the good news of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Now is the time to see this nation fulfill its DESTINY as the ‘Great South Land of the Holy Spirit’.
The National Day of Prayer and Fasting had been in discussion phase amongst several Christian leaders from different church denominations for many years; Dr Graham McLennan, Warwick Marsh, Bill Muehlenberg to name a few. It was first raised at a meeting of the National Prayer Council at Parliament House in June 2003. It was decided at that stage to proceed with a National Day of Thanksgiving.
Brian Pickering from the Australian Prayer Network is the coordinator for the National Day of Thanksgiving held annually each year in May.
During a meeting of Christian leaders at Parliament House, Canberra for the National Prayer Breakfast on 28th February 2011, a unanimous decision was made to proceed with a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for marriage and family to be held on Sunday, 24th July 2011. It is significant that the 24th July was first proposed by Aboriginal Christian leader Pastor Norman Miller from Cairns.
Following this day, and after much prayer and consultation across the wider body of Christ, it was decided to adopt a 5-year Prayer Plan and place the National Day of Prayer & Fasting on the Sunday before Lent each year starting in 2012. In 2012, the theme was MARRIAGE AND FAMILY; in 2013, the theme was LIFE. In 2014, the theme was REVIVAL. In 2015 the theme was Australia finding her DESTINY IN CHRIST In 2016 the theme was JESUS. The theme. in 2017 was the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The list of supporters and endorsers of the NDOPF is growing daily and now includes key Christian leaders such as Bishop Peter Elliot from the Catholic Church based in Melbourne, and (former) Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Rev Harry Goodhew along with others such as Pastor Paul Bartlett who is on the State Executive of the Australian Christian Churches and Rev Keith Garner from Wesley Mission in Sydney.
Please find below the list of just some of those Christian leaders who were part of the initial launch of the NDOPF at the meeting at Parliament House in 2011.
- Dr Graham McLennan: National Alliance of Christian Leaders
- Ps Matt Prater: New Hope Brisbane
- Bruce Lindley: Harvest International Ministries
- Ps Ben Irawan: Life Centre, NSW
- Ps Matt Madigan: Hope Project Church, Sydney
- Wesley Leake: Business Blessings, Brisbane
- Dr Hilary and Paul Moroney: Canberra House of Prayer
- Warwick Marsh: Australian Christian Values Institute
- Ps Norman and Barbara Miller: Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace
- David and Marilyn Rowsome: Canberra Declaration
- Darryl Stewart: Illawarra Pastors Network
- Bill Muehlenberg: CultureWatch
We would like to thank the many supporters and financial contributors. They include the following:
- 1 Way FM Canberra Canberra, ACT
- Australian Christian Channel Sunshine Coast, QLD
- Australian Opal Cutters Sydney, NSW
- Australian Heart Ministries Wollongong, NSW
- Bible League Sydney, NSW
- Brian Curtis Solicitors Canberra, ACT
- Business Blessings Brisbane, QLD
- Canberra Declaration Wollongong, NSW
- Canberra House of Prayer Canberra, ACT
- Centre for International Reconciliation & Peace Cairns, QLD
- Cherish Life Brisbane, QLD
- Christian Heritage Resource Institute Orange, NSW
- Col Stringer Ministries Robina, QLD
- Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation Unanderra, NSW
- Davideo Productions Melbourne, VIC
- Derek Prince Ministries Sydney, NSW
- Dr T O’Neill Canberra, ACT
- Generation Fire Blaxland, NSW
- Geodex Resources Perth, WA
- HisStory Church Sydney, NSW
- JAYPAQ Productions Melbourne, VIC
- Jireh Financial Chifley, NSW
- Koorong Books Nationwide
- Life Centre International Sydney Arncliffe, NSW
- Mark Harwood Australia
- Molly Joshi Toowoomba, QLD
- National Alliance of Christian Leaders Orange, NSW
- New Hope Church Brisbane, QLD
- Nova Multimedia Canberra, ACT
- Oasis Christian Church Newcastle, NSW
- Orange House of Prayer Orange, NSW
- Partners in Prayer Melbourne, VIC
- Right to Life Canberra Canberra, ACT
- Salvation Army Australia
- Screencraft Canberra, ACT
- Suitor Holdings Pty Ltd Port Macquarie, NSW
- Top Notch Videos Blue Mountains, NSW
- Trinity Christian Broadcasting Brisbane, QLD
- TVU Sydney, NSW
- Unity College Australia Canberra, ACT
- Victory Life Centre Perth, WA
- Visionmix Sydney, NSW
- Vision Radio Australia Brisbane, QLD
- Worldwide Photos Padstow, NSW