I have been praying about Australia having another “Call” prayer gathering. Six thousand people gathered in 2004 at Homebush Stadium to pray for Australia and I think it’s time to gather again. So I went to the US to check-out “The Call” Sacramento with three mates from our church, New Hope Brisbane. Dan, Tony and Chris and I had a life-changing trip! With lots of laughs, journaling together, and enjoying the American culture.

The US is 400 years old, has 300 million people - 40 per cent of whom attend church regularly, and it is the country that influences the most and is the most powerful country in the world. I learnt that John Winthrop, one of the pilgrim settlers of the US proclaimed that America would be “a city on a hill, and a light in the darkness.” Right now, despite a Christian foundation, their moral standards are lowered. Can a nation be turned back to God through prayer?

In the year 2000, one million men from Promise Keepers ministries prayed for America in the mall in Washington DC.  A year later 400,000 young people gathered to pray for the first “Call”. They prayed for a nation to turn back to God, to end abortion, for Godly marriage, and for revival. At the time 38 per cent of the US were pro-life. Ten years later, there have been numerous “Call” prayer days of 12 hours prayer and fasting with 100,000’s gathering in stadiums and malls all over the US. Now the US is 52 per cent pro-life. They believe that the answers to prayer will turn up on the front pages of newspapers and news headlines the next day. They have seen a shift in their nation!

The key passage for "The Call" comes from Joel 2:12-17: “'Now, therefore,' says the Lord, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.' So rend your heart, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God,  For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,  And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent...Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation...Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, 'Spare Your people, O Lord'..."

It was while in the US that I felt God tell me to start a 40 day fast seeking divine strategy for an Australian Call. Since then, I have shared with a number of pastors about a national day of prayer. I believe the Call is a movement not an event, so we will have a number of local, statewide and national events. A group of us recently had a phone conference and felt the need to have a national day of prayer on 31st October.

The 31st October is an historic day for a number of reasons: 

• Reformation day. Celebrating Martin Luther’s push to see the church return to preaching the Gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ;

• The birth of the Welsh Revival. Evan Roberts lead a movement that saw hundreds of thousands come to Christ all over the world;

• The charge at the Battle of Beersheba on 31st October, 1917, where 800 Australian lighthorsemen took the town and crucial wells of Beersheba, made history. We need to pray for the peace of Israel, and to have the same courageous spirit as our forefathers; and, 

• It’s Hallowee - we must pray for our youth to see the light of Jesus, and not be deceived with the darkness of Halloween.

It is also interesting to note that our Catholic brothers and sisters have a worldwide 40 day call to prayer for life that finishes on 31st October. Please check out their website at www.40daysforlife.com. Their key verse is from II Chronicles 7:14. It is important to support each other in our various endeavours.

You and your church are invited to join us on the National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life (And Revival) on Sunday, 31st October. One of the prayer points would be the success of the Canberra Declaration petition for life, marriage and religious liberty which we have just launched on Monday. 

I know this is short notice but we seem to be enduring a wave of anti life activity across Australia at the moment. The Greens have euthanasia laws on the table in federal and many state parliaments. There has also been a concerted push by Get Up to legalise abortion in Queensland. I believe we have to consider launching a national prayer offensive and quickly.

Pastor Matt Prater, of www.historymakersradio.com, is one of the instigators of the National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life. For more information on the day, see www.canberradeclaration.org.au.