MELBOURNE, Australia -- Although the smoke is beginning to lift over Melbourne, it will take some time before the people here come to grips with the worst wildfires ever to strike their nation.
In the wake of the deadly fires, Christians gathered in downtown Melbourne to pray for God's mercy, for rain and for the hearts of Australians to be turned back to God.
CBN News Senior Reporter Wendy Griffith is in Australia covering the aftermath of the wildfires. You can watch her reports on The 700 Club and on CBN News' Newswatch program. Check local listings. You can also find her exclusive reports here on CBNNews.com.
"Father, we ask forgiveness, soften our hard hearts," prayed Catch The Fire Ministries pastor Danny Nalliah. "We commit our nation and rededicate it into you hands. Have mercy on us."
Nalliah caused quite a stir recently when he released to the media a dream that he had last October. In the dream, God warned him about the wildfire tragedy.
"I saw Victoria up in flames and I was really shaken up by that," Nalliah told CBN News. "I had the words come to me very clearly from the Lord, 'for My wrath is about to be released upon this state and this nation for legalizing the killing of innocent children in the womb.'"
Abortion Legal in Victoria Up to 23 Weeks
Last Fall, the Australian State of Victoria made abortion legal for any reason up to 23 weeks into pregnancy. Nalliah was not the only one who felt God's warning for Victoria.
" I cried," said Melbourne resident Gordon Milborn. "Within my heart, I couldn't contain myself. I said, 'Lord, can't you hold this off? He said, My children are dying in the womb.'"
Milborn and others say people need to remember that God is both a God of Love and a God of judgement.
"I believe God does not kill and destroy, but I believe what's happened is that God's protection has been lifted off the state of Victoria and devil has killed and destroyed," Nalliah explained. "For we believe through the crisis that God is going to bring a multitude of souls into the Kingdom of God."
Even as the people who gathered for worship cried out for revival, they prayed for something very practical.
"Lord, send the rain!," Nalliah prayed.
They prayed fervently for rain and that this terrible chapter in Australia's history may soon be over.
*Originally aired February 19, 2009