By Spencer D Gear PhD
(The bushfire in Bunyip State Park, Victoria, Australia. Picture: Ionee Reid. Source: Supplied, courtesy news.com.au)
If we want to deal with the devastation of Australia’s drought and other catastrophes, we need to start with a clean up of the churches and a call to repentance by the nation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s voice has been silent about this core issue that associates Australia’s spiritual condition with the drought, floods, fires and other crises.
1. A core issue
Why hasn’t the PM called the nation to HUMILITY, PRAYER AND REPENTANCE for our sins and for God to send rain to break the drought?
We need leadership from the Prime Minister to call for a Day of Repentance and Prayer for rain. Step up to the mark Mr Morrison and lead the way! What an example it would be to see a Christian Prime Minister, ScoMo, and many MPs in local churches praying as they repent and ask God to heal the land and send rain.
This also means reversing the ungodly legislation that is a ‘disgrace’ to the people and the nation.
Other nations have called their people to repent in times of disaster.
King George VI had called the people of Great Britain to National Days of Prayer and Repentance four times [during World War 2]. Yet, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, in  years as the Queen of England, has not once called for [a] National Day of Prayer. The last time Britain had a National Day of Prayer was during the Second World War (Newman 2012).
South Africa’s Colin Newman related what happened in South Africa after his conversion to Christ in 1977. The President called for a National Day of Repentance and Humiliation before God. As a new Christian he was impressed with the masses of people in central Cape Town who filled the churches to overflowing. It was a time of intense, earnest heart searching prayers of repentance.
The rains came a couple days later and he was awe struck Newman 2012).
(map of southern Africa courtesy Biofocuscommunicatie)
Since Zambia officially was declared a Christian nation in 1991, its President has called the nation to days of prayer during drought, and the nation has also celebrated National Days of Thanksgiving when God graciously answered their prayers with rain (Newman 2012).
Could you imagine this kind of statement appearing in any mass media outlet in Australia in a capital city or elsewhere?
“Our [Zambian] identity is established in the Lord Jesus Christ. The values, principles and ethics which we embrace as a people reflect the person of Jesus Christ.
“Love, dignity, integrity, honest, hard work, patriotism among others are the hallmark of who we are as a people,” she said.
That’s from the Lusaka Times 2016. Zambia commemorated its 25th anniversary of the declaration as a Christian Nation (online), 29 December. Lusaka is the capital and largest city in Zambia, with a population of about 1.7 million people.
With parts of Alabama [USA] suffering an exceptional drought, Gov. Bob Riley [was] turning to God for help and asking other Alabamians to join him in praying for rain.
Riley issued a proclamation Thursday declaring June 30  through July 7 as “Days of Prayer for Rain” and asked citizens to pray individually and in their houses of worship.
“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty. This drought is without question a time of great difficulty for our farmers and for communities across our state,” Riley said in a statement.
I know I’ll be criticised, especially by the media, for reminding you and our communities that droughts provide us with a reminder that human beings and government cannot control the creation of when rain comes or when the heavens are closed. Surely this drought reminds us we depend on a Higher Power – the Lord God – who sends the rain and stops the rain.
(James Edmund Allen 1938, prayer for rain, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Australia’s Brian Pickering explained:
It was back in 2006 when Australia experienced a severe drought. God called for Australia to repent following national prayer to end a severe drought. God is still waiting according to the leader of the Australian Prayer Network, Brian Pickering.
God Is Still Waiting for Australia to Repent.
I add: God is still waiting for Australian legislation to be determined by God’s standards. Quit this human morality and practise God’s justice in ALL legislation.
How could my headline be changed to reflect what Australia can do about the BIG drought?
The big dry: ‘See us, hear us, help us Lord God Almighty. We repent of our sins against You. Lord, encourage Aussies please, please to dig deep and send material help to the farmers’.
Prime Minster, Scott Morrison, and church leaders: Australia needs your leadership to call all God-fearing people to pray for an end to the drought.
Why should God break the drought when ‘righteousness exalts a nation’ and Australia legislates laws that are a disgrace, i.e. promoting wicked, immoral behaviour?
We can take action as a nation by repenting of our sins, returning to God, and legislating God’s righteousness. That will mean cancelling legislation that violates God’s commands of righteousness.
There was an opinion piece in ABC Religion & Ethics by Bryon Smith. It was titled: ‘Faith without works: Why the Prime Minister’s call to pray for rain is offensive’ (Smith 2018).
It was a response to Morrison’s speech in Albury: ‘It’s great to see it raining here in Albury today. I pray for that rain everywhere else around the country. And I do pray for that rain. And I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that’.
Byron Smith found fault with this statement:
For many Christians, this was a small but encouraging gesture: the nation’s most prominent public official acknowledging that rain is a blessing we receive as gift, an expression of our dependence upon a whole network of creaturely relationships overseen by a Creator.
for many atheists, it was a small but offensive gesture: the national leader talking to a sky fairy, embracing and promoting irrational superstition. Some responded on social media with angry mockery, warning of theocracy or taking the opportunity to criticise Morrison’s particular brand of Christianity.
As a Christian, I found Morrison’s comment to be offensive. But not because a Prime Minister speaks publicly of prayer or is open about his Christian beliefs.
Rather, what I find truly offensive is the profound disconnect between his professed prayers and the pro-coal – and thus anti-farmer – agenda of his government. To pray when facing a crisis like widespread drought is not the problem. But when the government Morrison leads has spent many years doing little or nothing about the root causes of the warming that is worsening such extreme weather, then inviting the nation to pray in response is somewhat galling (Smith 2018).
So, according to Smith, prayer is unacceptable until the government gets its act together over global warming.
Byron, who sends the rain and who withholds it? You’ve left the Lord God out of your equation, even though you say you speak ‘as a Christian’. Is God’s intervention that far down your priority list?
On 22 April 2007, The Sydney Morning Herald had this headline:
(photograph John Howard courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
The report stated:
Prime Minister John Howard has urged Australians to pray for rain as hard-hit agricultural regions face zero water allocations due to drought.
Mr Howard warned last week that farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin faced having no water for the coming irrigation year unless heavy rain fell in the next six to eight weeks.
On Sunday he said he intended to meet irrigators over coming weeks to discuss the grim situation.
Meanwhile, he encouraged people to seek divine intervention.
“It’s very serious, it’s unprecedented in my lifetime and I really feel very deeply for the people affected,” Mr Howard told ABC Television.
“So we should all, literally and without any irony, pray for rain over the next six to eight weeks”
What was the result?
God held off the drought-breaking rains until 2010-11. The headline in ABC News, 14 April 2010, was:
Flood rain reaches Murray-Darling Basin
Chrissy Arthur, ABC News, Brisbane, Qld: Posted 14 Apr 2010, 7:47am:
A river expert says water from the Paroo River in south-west Queensland is flowing into the Darling River in New South Wales for the first time in 20 years.
There were record floods in the Paroo River last month (March 2010) and authorities say that is providing a boost for the Murray-Darling Basin.
(No way through to Glenorchy, where the Wimmera River has flooded houses, sheds and farm properties. At Ashens, just north of Glenorchy, in the Wimmera region of NW Victoria, crops are under water. Photo courtesy Laura Poole)’
Former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, got it right on one point I’ve stressed in this series of articles:
‘“We can’t make it rain. But we can ensure that farming families and their communities get all the support they need to get through the drought, recover and get back on their feet” the government said in a statement’.
He didn’t give any hint as to whom or what can cause it to rain. God Almighty has his reasons for delaying the rain, sending cyclones, allowing fires. Some of these include:
- The link between a nation’s morality and God’s judgment.
- ‘‘Righteousness raises a people to greatness; to pursue wrong degrades a nation’ (Prov 14:34 REB).
- Ungodly legislation and practices in Australia are a disgrace to the nation and lead to Australia’s doom.
- Only God sends the rain and withholds it.
- Godless, secular Australia refuses to bow the knee to the Lord God Almighty.
- We want his blessings of rain without the commitment to Him. We deserve what we get.
- When will local, State and national leaders call the nation to prayer to break the drought and stop other disasters?
(image courtesy Pinterest)
 Available at: https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/heatwave-prompts-serious-health-alert-and-fire-bans/news-story/45600fce2e3251bf4838a19c0b9e4578 (Accessed 25 May 2019).
 She began her reign in 1952 and the coronation was in 1953. As of 2018 she has reigned 66 years and was aged 92 in 2018.
 Lusakatimes.com 2016. Zambia commemorates 25th anniversary of the declaration as a Christian Nation (online), 29 December. Available at: https://www.lusakatimes.com/2016/12/29/zambia-commemorates-25th-anniversary-declaration-christian-nation/ (Accessed 18 August 2018).
 Available at: https://www.lusakatimes.com/2016/12/29/zambia-commemorates-25th-anniversary-declaration-christian-nation/ (Accessed 18 August 2018).
 Wikipedia (2018. s.v. Lusaka).
 Phillip Rawls 2007 (Associated Press writer). Riley calling for statewide prayer for rain. The Decatur Daily (online), 29 June. Available at: http://archive.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/070629/rain.shtml (Accessed 6 November 2018).
 Vision Christian Radio 2018. God is still waiting for Australia to repent (online). Available at: https://vision.org.au/radio/2016/09/15/god-still-waiting-australia-repent/ (Accessed 18 August 2018).
 Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/pray-for-rain-urges-howard-20070422-gdpyx1.html (Accessed 7 January 2019).
 Chrissy Arthur 2010. Flood rain reaches Murray-Darling Basin. ABC News Brisbane, Qld. (online), 14 April. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-14/flood-rain-reaches-murray-darling-basin/395022 (Accessed 7 January 2019).
 ABC Rural and News reporters 2010. Drought breaks at last, as Victoria floods (online), 5 September. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/site-archive/rural/news/content/201009/s3002960.htm (Accessed 7 January 2019).
 Stephanie Bedo 2018. Australia’s crippling drought crisis: Overcoming past mistakes to save ourselves for the future. news.com.au (online), 6 August. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/australias-crippling-drought-crisis-overcoming-past-mistakes-to-save-ourselves-for-the-future/news-story/136436de96fee5f33809de8d607f413c (Accessed 7 January 2019).
 North Queensland Register is based in Townsville City, Qld, Australia. Available at: https://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/contact-us/ (Accessed 4 April 2019).
Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 24 May 2019.