It’s a sight Australians probably wouldn’t have seen even a decade ago.
A Muslim father standing alongside his two sons with their shoes off, facing west and openly praying in a popular beachside children’s playground.
The boys’ mother, wearing a traditional head-to-toe Islamic chador, watched on and cradled the boys’ baby sister while other children played around them.
But the scene at Arthur Byrne Reserve Playground near Maroubra Beach, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is a sign of the changing face of Australia as revealed in the 2016 census.
In a sight rarely seen in Australia a decade ago, a Muslim father stands alongside his two sons with their shoes off, facing west and praying in a popular beachside children’s park in Sydney
The scene at Arthur Byrne Reserve Playground near Maroubra Beach, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is a sign of the changing face of Australia revealed in the recent census (pictured)
The latest figures revealed last month show the nation’s Muslim population is almost double what it was 10 years ago.
Soaring to more than 604,000 people, it has now overtaken Buddhism as Australia’s most popular non-Christian religion.
Catholics now make up just over 22 per cent – or 5.2 million people – followed by 3.8 million Christians – or 16.3 per cent.
Like most religions, prayer is important for followers of Islam, with some taking time out to pray up to five times a day.
Soaring to more than 604,000 people, Islam has now overtaken Buddhism as Australia’s most popular non-Christian religion (Pictured is Arthur Byrne Reserve Playground, Maroubra)
Like most religions, prayer is important for followers of Islam, with some taking time out to pray up to five times a day
While they were a rare sight in recent decades, modern day Australia sees rooms for private prayer often located at sports grounds, airports and even train stations.
It is also encouraged by the Australian Human Rights Commission for employers to include a prayer room in the work place.
‘Providing a quiet room for the purposes of prayer… in the workplace can assist employees to meet their religious duties, with minimal disruption to their work commitments,’ the AHRC website says.
by Matt Slick
If the concept of Trinity is true that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the one God, then is it not possible that we can pray to each of the members of the Trinity? Or, should we only pray to the Father, or only pray to “God”? Jesus told us to pray to the Father in Matt. 6:9 when He said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” What is the proper method of prayer?
We can answer this question when we realize that God Himself is worthy of prayer and God is a Trinity of persons. Therefore, it would seem fair to say that we can pray to each member of the Godhead.
Jesus said in John 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Therefore, it would seem safe to say that we can pray to Jesus and ask Him to answer our prayers. Also, we can see further confirmation of this by looking at the phrase, “call upon the name of the Lord.” In the Old Testament that phrase is used only of God and it includes the meaning of worship, adoration, and prayer. Psalm 116:4 says, “Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!’ What is interesting is that this phrase is applied to Jesus in 1 Cor. 1:2, “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Paul obviously knew the significance of the phrase, which included prayerful appeal, and applied it to Jesus.
In 1 Cor. 1:9 it says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” The word “fellowship” is the Greek word koinonia which is also translated as the word “communion.” 1 Cor. 1:9 says that we are to have an intimate fellowship with Jesus. That is fine. But, how can we have fellowship with someone with whom we never talk? Therefore, this verse can also be used to support the idea of praying to Jesus.
If it is okay to pray to the Father, and the Son, is it alright to pray to the Holy Spirit? The answer would be yes because the Holy Spirit is also God. Nevertheless, we never see an instance in the Bible where anyone prays to the Holy Spirit. Why is that? The answer is that the Holy Spirit does not bear witness of Himself. He bears witness of the Son (John 15:26). But still, we can pray to the Spirit because we are also called into fellowship with the Spirit. 2 Cor. 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
Finally, we can simply pray to God. We can address God, the Lord, in our prayers and as we feel led, address the members of the Trinity.
We know that having a prodigal son or daughter can be a heartbreaking experience. Especially when you know that you did everything possible to lead that child in the right path.
You are not alone in this journey because there are many parents that are going through the same situation as you are right now.
The bible tells a well known story called the Prodigal Son
“11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
You must consider that even you were a prodigal at one point to your Heavenly Father before you came to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You wanted to do things your own way. Still God was patient with you, never stopped loving you, until you came to the place of repentance and accepting that God’s way is the right way and your turned to him. (Romans 3:23) “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Your prodigal child is going through the same thing. There is a process: The prodigal child has to get to the end of themself before they will accept the fact that their way may not be the best way. Sometimes it will get worse before it gets better. There has to be some repentance and then change happens. If you look at the story in the bible you see that the son ended up eating with swines before he came to his senses. He had to go through this process.
What do you do in the meantime? You PRAY. Get as much support as you possible can. Don’t interfere in what God may be doing in your son or daughter’s life. Don’t try to control or manipulate the situation. Be patient and pray. Put your son or daughter’s name on every possible prayer list you can think of. Get 1 or 2 faithful intercessors to pray with your consistently over your child.
Here are some things you want to consider when Praying for your Prodigal Adult Child.
- You should acknowledge if you have any responsibility in your adult child moving away from God. If you do you will need to repent for this. Ask God to show you, repent and accept His forgiveness. This will help you in not repeating the same mistake when your child returns. (1 John 1:8) “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
- Your job is not to enable that adult child or interfere in the process. The father of the prodigal son didn’t go chasing after him to coerce him to come back. Instead the son came back of his own volition when he recognized that the servants in his father’s care were living a better life than he did, and he’s a son!
- In your moments of anger don’t say mean or nasty things that you will regret later as your child may not feel comfortable coming back to you or the church. Remember that the Prodigal son went back home to his father and focus on the reception he received. If you sever all ties with your child then even if they want to come back they may not because they may be unsure of your reaction.
- Remember that you are to solicit prayer for your child from faithful prayer partners at church, not gossip about your child. Again, when your child returns he or she may not want to go to that church because everyone knows every detail about their situation. Use wisdom in what you share and with whom you share it.
- There may be demonic interference involved that may cause your prodigal child not see that the path they are taking is a wrong path.
- You’re going to need to remain faithful in prayer and declaring scripture. You may even need to fast.
Here is a Prayer for your Prodigal Child
Father, I come to you in Jesus Name first asking that you would forgive me of all my sins. Forgive me for any responsibility I may have in sending _________ astray. I ask that You would give me wisdom to know how to pray specifically for my child. Show me the areas that need to prayed and lead
me to the right prayer group or intercessors that can stand with me until ________returns to you. Give me wisdom to know what to say and when to speak. I pray that you would bind the hand of the enemy from interfering in _________ return to You. Surround my child with Christians at work, in their circle of friends even on the street. Send angels to minister to him/her. Show them that they are loved by You and their family. Cut off the speech of the enemy from speaking lies to him/her. Create distance between him/her and the friends or family members that continually draw him/her away from you. Most importantly Lord, protect _______. Surround ______ with your angels. Use even this for your glory and build a powerful testimony in his/her life through this experience. We will be careful to give you all the glory for their miraculous transformation, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Here are some scriptures that you can declare and pray over for your child:
Philippians 1:6, Psalm 121, Psalm 91.
We would love to hear from you! If you’ve struggled with a prodigal child, please leave a comment below and let us know how you made it through.
God Bless You.
Here are some other bible verses and prayers related to this topic:
Bible Verses About Love
Prayer on Bullying with Bible Verses
Bible Verses About Family
Bible Verses About Hope
Praying for God’s Favor
Proverbs 22:6 -Prayer For Students