by Rev Anne Hibbard, National Prayer Network Coordinator, Assembly of Confessing Congregations within the Uniting Church in Australia
The Church in Australia needs to awaken from its slumber and live in the light and glory of Jesus.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light … Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
(Ephesians 5:8,11-14 NIV)
We all know the story of sleeping beauty. She eats an apple from a wicked witch and falls into a never-ending sleep. Although still breathing, she lives a life of death in the shadows of her dreams. All around her becomes overrun and wild. It is only by the true prince’s kiss that she awakens and lives again and order comes to her surroundings.
The sleeping beauty is the Church, the Body of Christ in Australia. She has flirted with the world and has become increasingly numb to life in the Spirit. Forgetting she is a child of the light, she sleeps in a seemingly endless coma – in the dark. As she slumbers everything is growing wild around her in Australia, overrun with the “deeds of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). She does not have the power to awaken herself.
But Praise be to the Lord! Christ is the Prince of Peace, the long-awaited bridegroom. He searches for the Australian Church through the brambles of neglect and awakens us with the kiss of his love. No one else can awaken us and bring us out of our sleep of death. He has paid the price on Calvary to revive his longed-for bride.
As we begin to wake up, Christ’s light and glory shines upon us (Ephesians 5:14). Christ shows to us others who are slumbering. He wants to wake them too. The light shines into the darkness and everything illuminated becomes a light (Ephesians 5:13) including our marriages, families and community (Ephesians 5:21-6:9). All glory be to God on High!
Heavenly Father, you alone can turn the shadow of night into the brightness of day. Only Christ your Son can awaken our faith, so that we as the Church in Australia might rise up on our feet and shine for your glory. Forgive us for the ways we have indiscriminately partaken of that which is harmful in our culture. Forgive us for falling asleep and being unresponsive to your Spirit of light. Empower your Church to awaken by the love of Christ, so that we may “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Then we can participate in Jesus’ awakening of this slumbering nation to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. May your light shine brightly and transform not only the Church but Australia’s marriages, families and communities as together we await with longing the final coming of our Lord.
In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen
Watch The Beautiful Bride of Christ – www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwA3XyJkLh8
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- AWAKENING to Christ: Renewal in the Church and Revival in the Nation – with millions coming to Christ. John 3:16
- AWAKENING for Marriage: Renewal of marriages and restoration of marriage. Ephesians 5: 25 -32
- AWAKENING for Family: Renewal and healing for families. Isaiah 61:1