Devotional for Day 29 – 3rd Sept 2013
Intention: Pray that we would boldly declare the truth of God’s Word when contending for a culture of life.
Scripture: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV).
Reflection: In contending for a culture of life, on issues such as abortion, Christians have had some limited success in using the appeals of secular society or the world. There are the different declarations of the United Nations which can sometimes win the day. There also is a growing body of medical research and scientific discoveries which can be used in different battles. Secular social sciences too sometimes can be used to support the Christian view on life issues.
While we can rejoice in every victory that seems to push back a culture of death we must realise that written agreements and reasoned arguments by themselves won’t ultimately transform society the way that we want. What do we do if the UN changes its position or makes other conventions that promote a culture of death? What do we do with hardened hearts and minds that refuse to believe that God is real and that human life is sacred?
The above passage assures us that God’s mighty weapons are available to us as we contend for a culture of life. We need spiritual weapons to demolish spiritual strongholds. These include God’s Word, prayer in the name of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, faith, hope and love. These weapons can break down proud human arguments against God that keep people from seeing God’s truth.
In all our contending for a culture of life we must prayerfully and unashamedly declare the unchangeable truth that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). The declaration that every human being has intrinsic and equal value in the eyes of God is key to our victory.
Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father, thank you that you created human beings in your own image so that we could live in a right relationship with you. Your Word declares that we are your workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). And so we want to honour you as our Creator with lives that are pleasing to you. Forgive us for our reluctance or embarrassment to declare the truth of your Word as we contend for a culture of life. Instead, may we put on the full armour of God, boldly praying in the Spirit, while using your Word the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18). Help us to take our stand against the spiritual forces of evil of this dark world as we contend for a culture of life. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
[Blogger’s Comment: It is a great privilege to comment on this devotion today because I have seen these thoughts lived out in my husband’s life over the past decade since our return from missionary life in Papua New Guinea. It was because of his deep concern over the abortion issue that he often wrote letters to politicians. But he came to the conclusion that the greatest thing we could do was pray. For this reason in 2010, he volunteered to be the prayer coordinator of the Canberra Declaration, which is Australia’s equivalent to the Manhattan Declaration (USA) and Westminster Declaration (UK).
The theme for the National Day of Prayer and Fasting for 2013 was LIFE and it focused on praying for the end of abortion in Australia. When David learnt this, he volunteered to take six months off his paid job to devote time to help with this event. He wrote several tracts to present Biblical teaching on LIFE issues.
- The Theme of 2013 – LIFE – John 10:10
- Contending for a Culture of Life
- Pre-Born Babies and the Image of God
- Why Pray to End Abortion
When the six months were over, we felt God was calling us to full-time missionary work with the Canberra Declaration and National Day of Prayer and Fasting. We thank Him that the past five months of doing that have been stretching but incredibly rewarding. You can read more in the Canberra Declaration News Update 71 from 23rd July, 2013 or on our own website.
Last Saturday we had the privilege of attending a Pro-life Convergence held here in Brisbane in which prayer group leaders representing intercessors came together with pro-life activists to learn, to be encouraged and inspired, and to stand together in prayer. Sam Cerney and Glen Vines, to whom I introduced you in the Day 25 blog, gave the teaching. Sam explained the strong link that many in movements like the Call and Bound4Life and IHOP see between abortion and revival. Praying for an end to abortion and a turning back of the tide of death, as we are doing in these 40 days of prayer, fasting and repentance, is very significant if we want to see revival and transformation in the nations.
In America, Sam’s country, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion and 98% of these are because of personal choice. Worldwide there is an estimated 42 million abortions every year. He reminded us that there were 3 periods in history where babies were being killed – in Exodus Ch 1 before Moses was raised up to deliver God’s people from Eygpt, after Jesus was born leading to the New Covenant coming into being, and today in the killing of the unborn. Could we be on the edge of another major shift that will bring in an end-time revival and usher in the fullness of the Kingdom of God? Sam’s conclusion is that today we are in the fight of our lives and this fight is of a spiritual nature against spiritual strongholds. It can only be won using the spiritual weapons God has given us. David describes these as:
- The Word of God – This sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. Jesus Himself used it against Satan in the wilderness (Ephesians 6:17, Luke 4:1-13).
- Praise – The devil hates it when we worship God declaring His holiness and righteousness for, as we do, God is in our midst (2 Chron 20:22, Hebrews 12:28,29).
- Praying and Fasting – Prayer in the mighty name of Jesus is a strong weapon against the enemy. Fasting makes it even more so (Mark 9:29, 16:17).
- The Power of the Holy Spirit – With divine strength we can be channels of God’s love to push back the dominion of darkness (Acts 1:8, 3:11-16).
- The Blood of Jesus – As we remind Satan of his defeat at the cross, where the blood of Jesus was poured out, he will flee (Revelation 12:11, James 4:7).
Last night here in Australia, we had an example of someone declaring Biblical truth when Pastor Matt Prater, the Chairman of the Australian National Day of Prayer Organizing Team stood up in a live Q&A TV program to ask our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd a question related to his recent change in his position on marriage. You can listen to the film clip here.
It has caused quite a stir around the country and Matt is being invited to speak on a number of radio programs today. Please pray for him and for the Federal elections this Saturday which will decide who will be our next PM.
Continue in the spiritual battle with prayer and fasting as your spiritual weapons to demolish strongholds as the Lord leads you.
- Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
- Pray for a billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- Pray for an end to abortion and for God to turn back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping the nations of the world.
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
Please note this URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for the Middle East from Global Prayer Resources Network.