'Awakening' Australia to Jesus
'Awakening' Australia to Jesus
4 October 2018
Every evening at seven o’clock, mobile phone alarms start sounding all over Australia. It is a signal for many Salvationists and other Christians from a wide range of denominations to pause and pray, and to claim Australia for Jesus.
This 7pm concert of prayer is the vision of evangelist Ben Fitzgerald, the former pastor of Bethel Church, Redding, USA, who founded the Awakening Europe movement, and now Awakening Australia.
This daily prayer time, plus a range of prayer and worship events around the country, are leading up to the major “Awakening Australia” event, which will run from 16-18 November at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium (formerly Etihad Stadium).
Ben says the purpose of Awakening Australia is twofold – to equip Christians to “live like Christ”and to encourage “Australians to become missionaries to Australia”, which he believes will result in “a massive harvest (of souls)”.
It is Ben’s vision, together with co-director Daniel Hagen and their Awakening Australia team, to see 100,000 souls saved and discipled in 2018.
“The time for shining the light of Jesus is now – as the Church will never change history from its armchairs at home,” Ben says.
Awakening Australia will be supported by a range of high-profile speakers including Nick Vujicic, Dr Heidi Baker, Todd White, Bill Johnson, Phil Pringle and Shane Baxter. Tickets are just $20 for the entire three days and nights.
Daytime sessions will focus on training and equipping Christians to share their faith, and to break free of the fear of sharing faith, as well as teaching on living and expressing that faith in this period of Australian history.
Evenings will be fully focused on evangelism and, based on the experience in a range of European nations, Ben says: “You will see thousands of people turn to Jesus. You’ll see real Aussies turn to God, running to those altar calls, as they hear the voice of God call to them.”
As well as the stadium event, there is a “pre-flood Melbourne” event with the Awakening team and volunteers from a range of denominations taking to the streets to give out more than 100,000 free tickets to members of the public.
Lieutenant-Colonels Bruce and Debra Stevens, The Salvation Army Victoria Division leaders, recently attended one of a range of “pre-Awakening” prayer and worship events.
“Bruce and I are absolutely excited about Awakening Australia,” Lieut Debra says. “We would love as many Victorian Salvos (and others) to be praying and considering who God would want them to invite to Awakening and to then join together with the body of Christ to lift up the name of Jesus. It is so exciting! We see it as the beginning of a movement of Christians from diverse backgrounds uniting to see the Kingdom come in Australia.”
Captain Darren Kingston, The Salvation Army Sydney Inner West team leader, also attended a pre-Awakening prayer event.
“Awakening Australia is an opportunity for churches to come together and proclaim the name of Jesus and show that we are in unity with the body of Christ,” he says.
“The Salvation Army is all about saving souls and that’s what I believe this campaign is all about. I want to encourage all officers, soldiers and friends of The Salvation Army to get involved and see Australia won for Jesus.”