The richest place on earth is the cemetery—it holds the untapped potential of many young First Nations men and women. Our prayer is to reverse the curse.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.—Psalms 139:13-24
Currently, Indigenous Australians represent just three percent of the entire population of Australia. This is important to note when considering suicide rates for First Nations Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians are six times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous Australians, and the Kimberley in WA has among the highest suicide rates in the world. Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for First Nations Australian people. For men, it is the second highest cause of death; and for females it is the seventh.
When focusing in on youth, suicide rates for First Nations Indigenous Australians aged 15-24 years (39.4 per 100,000) are far higher than the national rate for young people (10.7 per 100,000), and higher than the global suicide rate among young adults 15-29 years, which accounts for 8.5 per 100,000 of all deaths.
I believe a contributing factor to the high suicide rates affecting Indigenous Australians is the lack of knowledge and support for young people when understanding and overcoming trans-generational trauma. Trans-generational trauma (the scientific name being epigenetics) is changing how your body reads your DNA sequence as a result of trauma. That is then passed down from generation to generation and can be inherited unknowingly.
This is important, because trans-generational trauma is not discussed with young people in schools. This weight is crushing them, and they have no understanding of where these feelings and thoughts and processes are coming from. They therefore have no understanding of how to address the trauma and heal from it.
When understanding trans-generational trauma and looking at the current social climate, we can see that our young people are not only dealing with their own issues, they are also carrying the trauma that has been passed down from previous generations, too.
Suicidal tendencies, like mental health issues more broadly, can run in a family and be passed down through generational linage. Epigenetics is important because when looking back at the history of colonisation and the numerous policies and legislative periods, we can understand the trauma that young people are carrying and understand the weight.
Finally and most importantly, when understanding trans-generational trauma, it’s encouraging to recognise that the trauma can be broken and you can change the way your body responds and reads DNA sequences. It takes one person to break that line, and then it makes way for a different healing, that can ultimately be passed down through generations.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your faithfulness. Truly You are the God of the breakthrough. Thank You Lord for all You have given to us in this nation, this Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. We seek Your face and Yours alone, for You have the answer to every problem that man has brought on himself. Lord, I thank You that You are the source of all blessings. We humbly approach You on bended knees as we lift up our young people who battle with trauma and mental health issues. Lord, we speak salvation, reformation and transformation over this nation.
Your Word says in Acts 17:26, “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth”. We stand as more than conquerors in You, united as one nation in You. I thank you that we are victorious in You.
Isaiah 53:5 tells us that Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” We claim this truth in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, You said in John 19:30, “It is finished”. You finished everything for mankind on the cross. We thank You for the salvation and deliverance of the millions of young people and their families who are coming through trauma and mental health challenges.
In Isaiah 54:17, it says that “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Lord, we speak that over this nation and over our First Nations youth. We break off every curse and every lie that has been spoken over the First Nations people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer Points for October 2020
1. Pray for a Breakthrough for LIFE, specifically an end to abortion and euthanasia in our nation. Exodus 20:13
2. Pray for a Breakthrough for INDIGENOUS LIFE, specifically an end to high youth suicide and premature death due to ill health. 3 John 1:2
3. Pray for new POLITICIANS for LIFE, especially pray for the upcoming elections in Queensland (31st October), ACT (17th October) + USA (3 November) & New Zealand (17 October). Proverbs 29:2
4. Pray for the Revitalisation of SPIRITUAL LIFE, namely repentance, renewal & transformation, that our nation might return to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Pastor Peter Walker and his wife Maria have been involved in ministry for more than 35 years. Peter pastored Redfern Indigenous Church for 10 years and is the Founder of Australian Indigenous Christian Ministries. Pastor Peter is a descendant of the Bunjalung Indigenous Australian tribe and now resides in far north NSW.
We invite you to join the daily 1-hour Zoom video National Prayer Call every night:
DATES: 1st– 31st October 2020
TIME: 8pm-9pm AEST
ZOOM URL LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184
ZOOM MEETING ID: 776881184
See Zoom tutorial here.
Daily devotions brought to you by the Canberra Declaration.