Christians unite in prayer for rain

Speaking on behalf of the Australian bishops, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has called on Catholics to join other Christians in next week's National Day of Prayer for rain.

The proposal for a National Day of Prayer emerged at a national meeting of Christian leaders in Sydney last week which discussed calls from church groups and other Australians for ways to show their support for drought affected farmers.

"We should remember the many people on farms and in small businesses who are suffering, often in a deeply personal way," Archbishop Wilson said, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"Local churches are already providing practical and personal support, and will continue to do their utmost," he said.

The Church leaders yesterday agreed to a National Day of Prayer on Sunday 26 November when Australians will pray for desperately needed rain in drought hit parts of the country and for those severely affected by the drought.

"We invite all Australians to express their solidarity with those who are suffering by taking a few moments to pray or to join a local worship service where prayers will be offered," Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said.

The church leaders also called for prayer for "commitment to responsibly care for all our natural resources".

Churches supporting the National Day of Prayer include the Anglican Church, the Catholic Church, Antiochian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Assemblies of God, Assyrian Church of the East, Baptist Union, Chinese Methodist Church, Churches of Christ, Congregational Federation, Coptic Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church, Religious Society of Friends, Romanian Orthodox Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Uniting Church and the Salvation Army.

The Church leaders acknowledged the recent statement of Queensland Church leaders: "We are very conscious of the life and death needs that beset so many people around this world every day and we in no way intend that much needed prayer be deflected from these situations.

"At the same time we recognise that water is an urgent and immediate need affecting so many of us here and now in the most basic ways. So it is with the confidence that Jesus urged upon us that we simply go to God with this need."

Last month, Archbishop John Bathersby joined the Queensland Premier and other heads of Christian churches for a prayer for the launch of "Water: a Time for Prayer" campaign.

Pray for rain, say church leaders (Sydney Morning Herald, 16/11/06)
Church leaders promote National Day of Prayer in time of drought (National Council of Churches in Australia, Media Release, 15/11/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
National Council of Churches of Australia

Qld Catholics to join other Christians in rain prayer (CathNews 27/10/06)
Call for prayer as bush faces a 'winter of fear' (CathNews 5/6/05)
Bishops urge prayer for rain (CathNews 14/5/04)
Church leaders declare Sunday a day of prayer for rain (CathNews 27/11/02)

16 Nov 2006