The power of praying together

A group of Christian followers engaged in a group conversation with God on the National Day of Prayer for Defence at RAAF Base Williamtown.

CAPTIONSamuel Hays (centre) leads the National Day of Prayer for Defence at Saint John’s protestant chapel at RAAF Base Williamtown. Story and photo by Corporal Melina Young.

Samuel Hays, an area representative, led the prayer session at Saint John’s protestant chapel.

“It’s simply Christians wanting to pray and ask for God’s blessing on all workings of Defence, operations and the services provided,” Mr Hays said.

The session focused on praying for deployed personnel, Defence members’ health and wellbeing – including their families, and senior leadership within government and Defence.

Mr Hays said while it’s for believers, it’s also for those who want to explore Christianity.

“Prayer is really just talking to God, and because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, he made the way possible to talk freely to the Father in Heaven,” he said.

At the end of the session the group prayed for local needs including: construction to improve bases services, safety during base redevelopment, and wisdom and leadership for local unit commanders.

Mr Hays said the event has attracted Defence contractors, public servants and uniformed and family members during his 15-years leading the sessions.

He emphasised the importance of having an avenue to gather and proclaim Christian faith.

“People come to the chapel, we sit around in a small group and talk about the Bible, God, and Jesus, and they get encouraged, which is helpful in their own faith,” he said.

Squadron Leader Vicky Bezuidenhout is a Military Christian Fellowship of Australia advocate involved in promoting and supporting Christianity within Defence.

She has attended National Day of Prayer gatherings since 2010 and says the meetings help her connect with other Christians on base and give her a sense of belonging.

“As Defence members, we are generally good with physical health, and looking after our mental health and social wellbeing. But, for me, it is just as important to look after your spiritual wellbeing, which contributes to my total wellbeing,” Squadron Leader Bezuidenhout said.

“It is also a time for me to reflect on my ethics and values, and my state of mind.”


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