New Year's Day Sunrise Prayer Relay 2016 Monument hill - Fremantle - Australia
Jesus said: “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.” John 8:12
What a privilege it was to be part of this first International prayer initiative, where prayer services and reading of the “Declaration” at Sunrise on New Year’s Day 2016, to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives, our families, our schools, our towns, our cities, our individual countries and Lord of Heaven and earth, were held at over 100 locations around Australia and many more around the world too. We only had 12 days notice, but with the power of God and the vehicle of the Internet and social media the vision got out there very quickly. With God all things are possible. I actually missed the initial invitation from “The Canberra Declaration” in Australia, but 2 days before the event I had an email from a contact in the US. I caught the vision immediately and sprung into action. Within 30 mins of registering I had a contact from a lady, whom I had never met before, from another part of Perth, who wanted to join our group with 2 of her friends. I found that very exciting and a real God connection, for encouragement!
God is amazing! He will do anything to woo us into a stronger relationship with Him, individually and together. He does not want our relationship with Him to be dead, dull and boring, so He gives us all sorts of interesting topics to pray about individually and lots of interesting opportunities to pray together as brothers and sisters in the Lord. This was a great opportunity to get the New Year started off, on the right footing and on the rock solid foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ, declaring that Jesus is Lord in our country. We read the declaration of Pedro Fernandez de Quiros too, claiming Australia and as far south as the Pole as the “Great South Land of the Holy Spirit”, which interestingly enough on May 14 this year, 2016 it will be the 410th Anniversary of him declaring this on May 14, 1606!
Our group comprised of 7 (God’s perfect number) ladies from 4 different nationalities (an International group in itself), and it reminded me of the women who got up early, before sunrise on Easter morning to visit the grave of Jesus. They found Jesus that morning, risen and alive. We were also up early before sunrise (starting at 4:00am) and found Jesus, as well– on Monument Hill–as we shone our torches in the dark and as the lights sparkled brightly over and around the Fremantle harbour (what a beautiful sight to behold), as the half moon beamed in the clear sky, with Jupiter not too far away from it as well. Venus too, that bright morning star (which we sang about in our service) also shone brightly in the eastern sky, all these representing and reminding us that Jesus is there shining His Light on us and into our dark world. Jesus was definitely present together with the bread and wine and the Word of God in the Lord’s Supper too, which we celebrated together, reassuring us of the forgiveness of our sins, strengthening of our faith and offering us His power to live our Christian life.
It was a very meaningful time together, as we also sang a few songs reminding us that Jesus is the Light of the world and that our God is an awesome God, and as we read some Bible readings of the same theme John 3:16-21; John 12:35,36; and praying (asking God’s forgiveness and praying for our families, country and world) and as we read the “Declarations” at Sunrise (5:13am). The beautiful harbour lights, twinkling like stars, reminded us that we are called to reflect and radiate the love of Jesus out into our dark world, like “stars lighting up the sky” (GNB) Phil 2:14,15; The lights reminded us also that we must be like the 10 virgins, and have our lights burning brightly ready for the Bridegroom’s return at any time (Matt 25:1-12). In the meantime Jesus says:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden”….. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” Matt 5:14-16
Jesus called us to be lights “on the hill” for Him, to several people who came by to see what we were doing so early in the morning. They seemed to be drawn to us and were not afraid. One young couple sat on the steps in front of us as we prayed. We said “Happy New Year and Jesus loves you” as they left. We said the same to two other young men who came by and stopped for a chat, at separate times. Next time we will take Gospel tracts and Bibles to give out to passers by!
We concluded our service with Psalm 91, the Lord’s Prayer and the Benediction, and then enjoyed a time of fellowship and getting to know each other over breakfast at Lyn’s. We all agreed that it was a wonderful way to start the New Year and we look forward to good things happening all round, throughout the year ahead. No doubt this year will have it’s usual challenges as well, but we can all remember that there is nothing that will happen to any of us this year that Jesus and I can’t handle together.