I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.
Religion is often equated with being narrow minded, and perhaps often this is true. But biblical Christianity is the opposite. The way may be narrow, but it leads to a renewed mind and a broader mind. Understanding God’s ways, meditating on them, holding fast to His statutes, and being strengthened with His Word – these things do not lead to a narrowing but rather an opening. They open us up to God, His people, and His world. We need to run in the path of God’s commands.
1. The World. There have been 243,606,283 cases of COVID-19 (+2,975,444, or a 10% increase). There are now 4,947,548 deaths (+49,751, or a 12% increase). Russia continues to be an area of growth … as is Ukraine, Rumania, Serbia, Georgia, Latvia, Singapore and Belgium. There have been substantial drops in Brazil, Iran, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Israel, Vietnam and Japan.
2. Australia. There have been 158,547 cases in total (up 15,412, a slight decrease).
Weekly Change TW/LW
Change in Deaths TW/LW
+ 2,101 (+2,687)
+ 0 (+ 1)
The surprising news this week is that two weeks after lockdown easing, there has been no increase in NSW numbers and the numbers in hospital have really fallen. Meanwhile in Victoria, they have the highest numbers yet, but the state is now re-opening. All the policies have changed. NSW and Victoria are going to open to the rest of the world. There have been 1,192,229 tests in the past week. There are 1,312 people in hospital (-129) with 276 in ICU (-22). There are 30,054 active cases (+950).
3. Vaccines and Cures. 3.82 billion people in the world have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or 49.8% of the population. Australia now has 74% at one dose and 61% fully vaccinated. NSW has 85% fully dosed and 93% first dose. Victoria has over 70% double dosed. Some countries are already mandating a third dose.
4. Church. There are many issues that come in and divide churches. These are not just theological and personal, but increasingly often political. Views on COVID-19, climate change or cultural issues become tests of orthodoxy and fellowship. Pray that we would unite in the Christian faith and have diversity on other issues.
5. Personal and Family. Pray for young families who in some areas of the country struggle to get on the property ladder. Pray that people would be able to purchase or have affordable rents for homes. Also pray that property would be used for housing, not speculative finance.
A Prayer of Repentance
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law. (Psalm 119:27-29)
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Lord, we thank You for good news in Australia as regards this virus. We praise You for answered prayer in many other ways. And most of all we praise You, that whatever our personal circumstances, You are the same – yesterday, today and forever. May we delight in You and meditate on Your wonderful deeds. Amen.
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