“The family that prays together stays together” was a reflection shared by Chris Noone, Moderator of Bread of Life Fellowship, during our national day of prayer on Sunday 22 August as we sought God’s mercy for Australia.
The word that Chris shared stuck in my mind — and at 3am the following morning I had an encounter with the Lord in which He revealed to me something deep from His heart about my past.
As a child, family prayer time was an essential morning activity. My husband Viney and I adopted this same practice when we had children, sharing a devotion with our young family each day when we lived in the country town of Blackall in Central West Queensland.
In 2005, we enrolled our oldest son in boarding school far away from the family for secondary education. Sadly, the decision proved disastrous. He was subjected to sexual abuse and introduced to pornography. This led to us making the difficult decision to buy a family home in Pittsworth so the boys could attend school in Toowoomba. Vinny kept his job in Blackall and continued commuting to keep both family and work.
During the 40-minute drive to school each morning from Pittsworth to Toowoomba, Viney would call us during his own commute and we would pray together as a family over the phone. We made decrees that God gave our family to declare every morning. The Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, and Psalm 91 became part of our daily declarations.
One day I asked God if this style of prayer over the phone was unique to my family. I felt sorry that we were forced to pray this way, and I even wondered if we were somehow dysfunctional. God didn’t answer me then.
But this week, sixteen years later, He has answered me. He told me, “Molly, I have all of Australia on the same page as you now, praying on the phone and by Zoom together as one big family.” I wept before the Lord.
Prophetic people often have to learn to live out the prophetic word God gives them. In His merciful admonition during my early years, God showed me that in my zeal for my own personal prayer life, I was way ahead of my family. I had a choice to keep going alone, or to turn back and take my family with me, such as our car prayer times.
It was a great blessing this weekend to see my husband Viney tune in from Port Pirie in South Australia, along with my son Jonathan, a final year medical student from James Cook University in Townsville. With them, I joined up with 800 other members of my Christian family from all across Australia to pray as one.
I saw two Scriptures fulfilled to the degree that God would reveal in this hour and season. Malachi 4:5-6 says,
“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Before I come and have utterly struck the land.”
The spirit of Elijah is the spirit of prayer. The mercy of God allowed the Australia Prays event to make room for His word to come alive and turn a curse away from our land.
As my husband Viney and my son Jonathan joined on the call, God allowed a father and son reconciliation to take place. He also allowed generational blessings to be passed from one to the other as they prayed for all health workers currently involved in the COVID-19 crisis — and for a new breed of doctors for wisdom, understanding and revelation from God to bring medical innovations and breakthroughs in Australia.
The second Scripture is from Genesis 12:3 — “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” As the seed of Abraham in Christ, we the body of Christ are blessed to be a blessing. By faith, through us the families of the earth are blessed.
Over the weekend, we saw the coming together of the ecclesia (the church) with denominational, political, Indigenous and civic leaders — together with the whole family of God from across Australia — united as one in prayer.
Father God said to me,
“As you become one family, I will now bless you to bring the breakthrough of unity for the families of the earth and the nation of Australia.”
Father, we say Amen! Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you that we are becoming Your family that will pray together and stay together as one body of Christ.