Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Twelve representatives from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia attended Voices for Justice, a four-day advocacy event held in Canberra earlier this month.
Almost 200 Christians from around Australia came together to pray and lobby their local federal politicians to increase Australia’s foreign aid and commit to combating climate change.
The event, run annually by Micah Australia, culminated in a candlelight vigil on the lawns of Parliament House with church leaders from various denominations praying for the nation’s leaders.
Micah’s national coordinator Ben Thurley said prayer was a central focus of the event. “If we define advocacy as speaking to the powerful on behalf of the powerless, then prayer itself is a form of advocacy as we cry out from the depths of our hearts to the God of grace and justice,” Mr Thurley said.
For the first time, five Avondale College of Higher Education students attended Voices, including international development studies senior lecturer Dr Brad Watson. He described Voices as a “fantastic way to engage with Australia’s elected leaders”.
“It was a humbling experience to meet with Christians from around Australia, to worship together and meet with members of the upper and lower houses to humbly and prayerfully ask the Australian government to reverse the cuts to the aid budget,” Dr Watson said.
Mr Thurley said prayer “sends a powerful message to politicians—we hold them to their highest calling, which is to work for the common good and to protect the rights of the poor and needy both within our borders and beyond them”.
Micah Australia is a coalition of church and Christian organisations—including ADRA Australia—whose mission is to inspire and empower Australian Christians to raise a powerful voice for global justice.