National president of Australian Christian Churches. WAYNE is one of the people behind the National Call to Prayer, A RESPONSE TO COVID-19.

We are certainly not in terribly funny times. We are watching the unemployment rates spike and it’s no doubt going to continue to go higher. We’re already seeing the number of people in our nation, let alone some of the nations overseas, just be smashed by this virus. We just need to right now return to the very core of who we are as believers and we need to believe that God is able.

An interesting thing happened. Only, just over a week ago, I had three phone calls in the space of about half an hour, from friends from different places and spheres of influence. Saying we’ve been praying and wondered if you could play apart in the calling church leaders to get their churches and hence then people within their churches to start to pray. Funny enough I had a text from a friend the night before, saying “Thursday the 19th of March, we should get people to pray on the 19th against COVID-19”.

And my brain began to go a little further. I began to think if we all began to pray at 1900 hours, most of us have got some level of sanity by 7pm at night. Usually families are a little settled, children are fed. So I thought why not get people to stop, turn off TV, and devices at 1900 and pray for 19 minutes or longer, however it suits.

We began to have this conversation, then my friends from the Christian media association picked it up. They’ve escalated this. Church leaders of every style, tradition, denomination have all agreed that as a nation, as believers, we should do this.

 I’d been so encouraged by the level of unity and agreement that we’ve got this common ground. That despite a lot of things we may have some difference on, that now in the light of what’s going on, aren’t that important. We agreed that we could all pray and we could all begin that we can see a reduction of the effects of this virus and ultimately this thing stops.

So that’s how this thing has happened (Call to Prayer). It’s happened fast and it’s been an exciting thing on one side in the midst of all this health challenge, sadness and unemployment. To see the church shine has been very, very encouraging.