Thank you for taking the time to join Christians across Australia as we spend the month of October praying and fasting for marriage and families. As we do so we will focus more on marriage, because marriage is the foundation stone for the family. And family is the foundation of our nation.
For this period of prayer and fasting we are asking you to fast as you are able. Some might choose a vegetarian ‘Daniel Fast’ , others might choose to miss a meal a day, or fast certain days of the week. Whether you choose to do a full fast or a partial fast, the important thing is to do ‘something’. See this YouTube called ‘ Tips for Prayer and Fasting ‘.
Marriage is a sacred and special institution, one that was created by God for the purpose of bringing together the two halves of humanity – male and female – into a relationship of deep intimacy and trust that reflects the intimacy of the Holy Trinity.
Marriage is part of the grand design of creation, so much so that it has found its expression in every single surviving human culture.
Marriage has always intended to be a union between one man and one woman.
Scripture also tells us that marriage was always meant to be a cord of three strands (Ecclesiastes 4:12) – one man, one woman, and God.
Yet for many of us in our modern society, the heart of God’s intent for marriage has been lost. Many have followed pathways that have ultimately caused deep pain to themselves and their families and isolated themselves further from God’s presence. Many feel so alienated from God, that they no longer trust in God’s love for them.
Without the third strand, without God, our marriages will struggle, and they will fall short of what they were meant to be.
So this month we are praying and fasting for marriage and families and the issues that surround marriage and families.
Each week follows a theme, and each day has its own devotional, told through story with an accompanying Scripture, prayer and video clip.
Our intention and aim through this month is to bring honour and glory to God, and to love him, and our neighbours, in line with Jesus’ teaching in Mark 12:28-34.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus,“is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
We must seek to love God with all that we have, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. This is not to say that we are to love as the world does, but instead to love as God does; without compromising the truth, without considering ourselves better than others, without comparing our needs to those of others.
If we cannot do these things, then we will not fulfill Jesus’ teachings in our lives.
If we cannot do these things, then we will not show our neighbour the love of God that changes lives.
To do these things is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices; that is, to love God completely, and to love our neighbour as ourselves, is more important than the law.
These devotionals will seek to fulfill Jesus’ teaching from Mark 12:28-34, but it is up to each of us as to how we respond to the word of God. May we all submit our lives to the will of God!
We thank you for the gift of marriage and the gift of family. Both are part of the grand design of your creation.
We pray for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit, that men and women would know your love for them and understand that your will for their lives is that they love you, and love one another as you love them.
Help us to speak the truth with love, and to partner with you in your work to create a marriage revival where you, O Lord, are acknowledged and celebrated as the third cord in marriage, the strongest cord, the cord which binds all others by your will.
In Jesus name we pray,
Yours in truth and love,
Ben and Thea Pratt
Ben and Thea Pratt have been married for twelve years, have four children, and live in the New England region of New South Wales. Thea spends her days homeschooling their children while Ben serves and trains in their local church and community. They are both keen supporters of marriage and families; Ben advocates at a local, state and national level for the rights of families, and Thea works with support groups that help women who are isolated/at risk of abortion
Devotionals written by Ben & Thea Pratt with editorial assistance by
Warwick Marsh & David Rowsome from Canberra Declaration with thanks for input and advice from an interdenominational editorial team. The team at the Canberra Declaration also thank the team at the National Day of Prayer & Fasting for their kind assistance