The ABC this month posted the results of a survey on Australian society and it had some interesting results on faith and public life.
Notably, it found some 70 percent of those surveyed believe that people of faith are subjected to discrimination. It is a strong indicator that there is a need for religious discrimination laws.
The survey also found just over half of people wanted others to keep their religious views to themselves. I would like to see some more explanation of this because it seems rather strange that people would be concerned about discrimination – but not what the discriminated against believe. I think it is a hangover of the old chestnut – never talk about religion or politics.
Given the number of people who are shouting their politics from the rooftops – why shouldn’t people of faith speak about what motivates them.
This is what Jesus urged his disciples to do – and if that faith is worth following, it is worth speaking about.
I’m Russell Powell for the NSW Council of Churches.
Our heavenly Father, creator of all things and especially the creator of this land and its original peoples, we call out to you in these desperate times as we see the first catastrophic fire warnings for New South Wales, as fires have already swept across several parts of our land.
Our hearts cry out to you in desperation for those whose properties are affected by ravaging fires and whose very lives are in danger.
Father we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life.
Guard those who selflessly step into the breech to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced. Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss.
Remembering that long ago you extended your hand through your servant Moses to stop the waters and then to return the waters to their normal course, so we pray for rain.
In your mercy, we pray for drenching rain.
We pray that despite the forecasts, in your miraculous power you would bring forth rain to quench these fires and to bring life back into the earth, so that crops may grow and farmers may bring forth the harvest of the land again.
We bring these requests before your throne, in the name of your Son, who died and rose again for our deliverance,
This prayer comes from the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies.
Originally published on SydneyAnglicans.net.