Lent & Beyond is now on Twitter!

September 28, 2014

(This post and the following are sticky.  Look for new entries below)

Good News:  Lent & Beyond is now on Twitter!  Follow us @anglicanprayer

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Ebola prayer collection–EXPANDED

September 5, 2014

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A Prayer from Christine Sine for All Saints Day

November 1, 2014

Christine Sine posted this original prayer for All Saints Day at GodSpace today:

Jesus & disciples

God we are surrounded by a cloud

Faithful witnesses who have gone before

Those who have loved where we would have hated

Those who have healed where we would have hurt

Those who have spoken out when we would have remained silent

God may we walk in their footsteps

Learning courage from their sacrifice

Gaining strength from their faithfulness

May we learn to give so that others may receive

May we learn to love so that others may be set free

May we learn to die to ourselves so that others might live

God may we join that cloud of faithful witnesses

Treading paths of loving obedience

Leaving footprints that others desire to walk in

God may we too lead kingdom lives

Amen

Read the prayer in the context of her longer entry about All Saints Day, here.

 

Note: Christine has turned some of her prayers into wonderful prayer cards.  You can purchase them here.

In addition to her prayer posts at GodSpace, she also posts prayers to Facebook at Light for the Journey


Some excerpts from Tim Keller’s interview on Prayer

November 1, 2014

I’m eagerly looking forward to reading Tim Keller’s about-to-be-released book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

As part of the launch of the book, Tim Keller recently participated in a discussion about prayer hosted by John Piper and Desiring God ministries.  There are several audio files from that interview available, as well as a printed transcript.

Here are a few key excerpts from the transcript:

On why Keller finds the Psalms helpful in shaping his prayer life:

The Psalms, in a sense, give you the permission to pour out your complaints in a way that we might think inappropriate, if it wasn’t there in the Scriptures. But on the other hand, the Psalms demand that you bow in the end to the sovereignty of God in a way that modern culture wouldn’t lead you to believe.

The role of meditation on the Scriptures in warming our hearts and helping us adore God in prayer:

…take the truth that you have learned through good exegesis, and once you understand that, you need to learn how to warm your heart with it — get it into your heart.

And it diminishes our prayer life that our hearts are cold when we get into prayer. Without meditation, you tend to go right into petition and supplication, and you do little adoration or confession. When your heart is warm, then you start to praise God and then you confess. When your heart is cold, which it is if you just study the Bible and then jump to prayer, you are much more likely to spend your time on your prayer list and not really engage your heart.

On dealing with the issue of distractions:

How am I going to get to prayer? How am I going to deal with [distractions]? I say, maybe you don’t believe you need prayer. And that is a theological, spiritual problem, and there is nothing I can do except tell you to get your heart and your mind straight on that.

Having said that, once you determine you must do it, inside your prayer time, it is hard sometimes to keep from being distracted. That is where meditation helps. Martin Luther said that if you warm your heart through meditation on the Scriptures, so that your heart starts to really warm up, you go into prayer because you want to pray, because you want to praise him for what you see, and you want to confess your sins.

Meditation on a passage of Scripture keeps me from being distracted in prayer. You say: Okay, what does it mean to me? How do I praise God for this? How do I confess for this? How do I petition for this? Meditation warms the heart and absorbs the mind so I am not as distracted.

On the crucial importance of knowing God as “Our Father” as we pray:

And so if I forget that God is my Father, I may come to him in prayer in a mercenary way, saying: I am going to do this and this and this, and now you owe me this and this and this. First, that destroys the ability to adore God. You are basically in petition. Secondly, it makes prayer a way of manipulating God.  [...]

So I would say calling God Father means, on the one hand, I’m assured of grace and assured that he is always going to hear me. So that makes my petitions stronger. But on the other hand, it also means that I have to confess my sins because this wonderful God who has done all this for me and has brought me into his family at infinite cost of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that I need to obey him because of his good grace.

So to call God Father enhances everything you do in prayer. If you don’t know that God is your Father, it flattens and reduces and thins out every prayer.

Read the whole interview!

Audio files can be found here:


Another Advent Family Devotional book: Prepare Him Room, Celebrating the Birth of Jesus with Your Family

October 31, 2014

Tim Challies recommended this at his blog today. It looks excellent and solid.

prepare him room

 

It’s currently on sale at Wesminster Seminary Bookstore, and is also available at Amazon.

There’s a very helpful 13 page sample that you can download (PDF), which helps you get a feel for the book.

Here’s a brief summary about the book copied from the sample I downloaded.

This book comprises thirteen family Advent devotionals—three for each of the four weeks of Advent and one more for Christmas—as well as an original Christmas short story called “Bartimaeus: AChristmas Story” for your family to enjoy. Each week, the first devotional explores a significant Old Testament prophecy that foretells the coming of our Savior. The second highlights an announcement of the birth of the Savior or his mission, and the third explores a way the earlier prophecy and announcement have been fulfilled in the life of Christ.
Each day features the lyrics of a traditional Christmas carol,in addition to several new songs, that follow the theme of that week’sdevotions. The companion CD,Prepare Him Room: Celebrating theBirth of Jesus in Song, includes the new songs, as well as updated arrangements and new verses to some of the older carols for you to enjoy and sing with your family throughout the Christmas season. Instructions are included on how to make and incorporate anAdvent wreath into your family times.
This is now the third Advent book for family devotions / family activities which we’ve posted in the past month.
Here is a link to find all the Advent books we’ve posted.

Luke 12, Nehemiah 1, and Psalm 40

October 31, 2014

10/27/2014, #7, 4th Quarter 2014

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
      Holy Spirit, help us as a people to recognize the truth of what Jesus is saying to us.

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)
      Lord, we live in a poverty stricken country — rich in things and poor in spirit. Have mercy upon us.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12:27)

But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:31-33)
      Father, move our hearts to seek after your kingdom.

And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, you who keep your covenant and mercy with those who love you and observe your commandments, please let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant which I pray before you now, day and night, for the children of the Episcopal Church your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Episcopal Church which we have sinned against you. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which you commanded your servants Moses and Jesus. Remember, I pray, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for my name.’ Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who desire to fear your name; and let your servant prosper this day, I pray,” (Nehemiah 1:5-11a adapted)
      Holy Father, we are a church that is being scattered day by day. Restore us, bring us back to you.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. (Psalm 40:2)
      LORD, establish my steps.

WORD: You are in my care — keep looking to me for help.
WORD: Come to me; let me help you with your labors.
WORD: Don’t be afraid.
WORD: Look to me.

Daily Lectionary
Friday: 69:1-23(24-30)31-38 * 73; Ecclus. 50:1,11-24 or Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36; Rev. 17:1-18; Luke 13:31-35
Saturday: 75, 76 * 23, 27; Ecclus. 51:1-12 or Ezra 9:1-15; Rev. 18:1-14; Luke 14:1-11;

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the ill and the dying caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Pray for wisdom and compassion for the governments of the world as they confront this epidemic.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, October 30, 2014, 4:50 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, and Chuck Rinaldo from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina

Kermit (man) — “Hope for my girlfriend.”

Dan (staff) — We prayed for his daughter’s marriage.

Ted (volunteer) — “For everybody.” His granddaughter Camille is having all of her old mercury based fillings drilled out and replaced with newer materials.

+Stephen (young man who has prayed for us) — We prayed for courage for him to share the gospel. He blessed us with joy.

Sandra (young woman) — “Pray for my mom Frances. She has cancer.”

+Michael (man) — “My wife has been dead for 6 years and I miss her so much.”

+++Ricos (young man) — Pray for Go to watch over me and my family and friends.”

+Clarence (man) — “For a job and for my son [who is in jail up the street] that he will get out of jail.”

Albany Intercessor


New Advent Resource for 2014: Ann Voskamp’s “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift”

October 31, 2014

Note:  This book is Currently ON SALE at Christian Book Distributors (save 40%)

***

Looking to start a new Advent family tradition?

Ann Voskamp’s newly updated Advent devotional book may be just what you need.  It teaches about how to make Jesse Trees, provides ornaments and daily devotionals for each day, as well as suggestions for family activities. It’s only available in hardcover, so it’s an investment, but this could easily become a yearly family Advent tradition, so I think it’s worth the investment – less than $1 per day of Advent…

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! CHECK IT OUT!

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

Unwrapping Greatest Gift

Ann Voskamp is the author of two NY Times Bestselling devotional books, a popular speaker, and blogger. (Her blog is A Holy Experience).  Her bestselling books are:

  • 1000 Gifts, focusing on the importance of gratitude
  • The Greatest Gift, an encouraging Advent devotional (for adults) – I read it last Advent and really enjoyed it.  It was spiritually refreshing and helped me find moments of quiet and rest to keep Advent holy.

 

 


Prayer collections on Autism and Neurologic Disease

October 31, 2014

One of our primary blog contributors here at Lent & Beyond, Jill Woodliff, has a special concern (personal and professional) for Autism and Neurologic disorders. Over the years, she has written over a hundred prayers related to Autism and Neurologic Disease and injury.

I’ve created tags now to make it easier to find those prayer collections.

Autism
Neurologic Disease

Also, there is this menu of about 90 prayers for Neurologic Disease and healing (not all of these prayers are tagged yet).


Diocese of South Carolina

October 30, 2014

Awaiting the results of litigation–

Proverbs 14:30 (ESV)
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.

O Lord, bless the Diocese of South Carolina with a tranquil heart. Amen.


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