Almost 5,000 Christians from across Victoria assembled at Festival Hall in Melbourne on Australia Day, 26 January 2007, to mark the beginning of a 40 day period of prayer and fasting to ask God to send rain and renewal to our sun scorched nation.
Brian Pickering, head of the Australian Prayer Network said, “The current drought situation in Australia is crippling the farming community: suicide and farm closures are increasing and now even the big cities are moving into crisis mode with Sydney under 36% water capacity, Melbourne on 38%, Brisbane on 23%, Perth on 27%, Canberra on 38% and Adelaide likely to run out of water entirely in 2008 if inflows into the Murray-Darling don’t increase dramatically. The Darling River could well be in a worse state. Farmers have been told they will not get water this year for irrigation. For some farmers and city dwellers the big dry started in 1996, others in 1999 and for others in 2001. Whatever the case, it continues to this day with the added calamity of bushfires. In Victoria many fires are still burning out of control.
Mr Pickering said, “Our goal in humbling ourselves before God for this 40 day period and gathering at the Solemn Assembly is to deal with the underlying cause of the drought.”
Warwick Marsh, convenor of the National Prayer Council said, “The city wide inter-church prayer meeting organised by Pastor Danny Nalliah at Festival Hall, Melbourne on Australia Day, was the official launch of the Australia Day Call to Prayer. The Prime Minister, John Howard greeted attendees on a 2 minute DVD encouraging the praying people of Melbourne as they joined together to pray for rain.” Mr Marsh continued, “This period of 40 days is merely a time of preparation for our nation to humble ourselves before God and seek his face as in 2 Chronicles 7:14 before we assemble in Canberra at a National Solemn Assembly on 9, 10, 11 March 2007. All Australians are invited to come to Canberra and pray. Australia’s constitution says, ‘Humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God.’ As a nation we have forgotten this and our land is now suffering and needs healing.
“The Australia Day Call to Prayer is the beginning of the answer.”