As Prime Minister Scott Morrison comes under fire for saying his “thoughts and prayers” are with Australia’s bushfire victims, Karl Faase has urged people of faith not to be put off.
The Christian writer, commentator and pastor told Hope Breakfast’s Sam and Duncan that the cynicism of some doesn’t change the very real power of prayer and a God who cares.
“Nobody should be surprised that Scott Morrison gets criticism from those on the other side of the political spectrum, or those without any faith foundation in their lives, who do think that’s just a crutch and a throwaway line,” Karl said.
“Our community, our state, the fire fighters, volunteers, professionals and emergency services, ought to be in our prayers today… Because we believe in the power of prayer, and we shouldn’t be put off by cynics “
He urges people of faith that contrary to the beliefs of some, prayer is powerful and “absolutely necessary” – during this bushfire season, and in all times of crisis.
“Every Christian should be praying today,” he said. “Everybody should be taking some time to pray for our community, our state, the fire fighters, volunteers and professionals, the police, emergency services, and everybody in charge.
“They ought to be in our prayers today because we believe in the power of prayer, and we shouldn’t be put off by cynics who would try to make political capital out of a comment that they don’t particularly like. Put it aside, recognise what it is – and to be blunt, get on our knees and pray, because that’s what we should be doing.
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“Prayer’s not a slot machine, it’s not like every time you pop in a prayer, out comes what you want. But prayer changes things and so we ought to be taking time to pray.
“We’re all on tenterhooks, we’re not sure what the future will hold, but to use a very, very corny phrase, ‘we know who holds the future’. And that’s where we place our hope and so today, no matter where you are and what you feel, just know your hope is in Jesus and that’s held firm in His hands.”
Karl quoted the book of James from the Bible, saying that trials shape us.
“If you think of the moments that defined you as a person, that grew you, that deepened you as an individual, you’ll probably find that most of them weren’t in the easy times but in fact in the toughest times,” he said.
“And the times when you’re thinking ‘it can’t get any worse than this, this is awful, God’s left me, I’m in a black hole’ – sometime later you’ll look back on that moment and know you were carried, and know you were cared for and loved and something grew deep within you that changed you as a person.
“Nobody wants those moments but the funny thing is that in retrospect we’re thankful for them.”