Ebenezer

September 30, 2009

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
1 Samuel 7:12

I drove across central Mississippi yesterday morning, crossing rivers overflowing their banks, gazing at the sparkling dew on the fields. I turned off the highway onto Galilee Road, then Harmony Road, past Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church, and to the Ebenezer Community Center, a rundown doublewide trailer in a field littered with beer cans and broken bottles.
Forty intercessors sat in a circle under a pavilion, a concrete slab with a roof of particle board. There was a hole in the particle board (?made by a baseball), and the sun streaming through it made a patch of light in the center of the circle.
We came together because we are witnessing a greater level of racism than we have seen in the last 20 years, and we did not want to lose the spiritual healing that has happened. Afro-American, Hispanic, Jewish, and Caucasian ethnic groups were represented. Several persons had some Native American ancestry. Intercessors came from all over the state of Mississippi (and a few from the Memphis area). Different denominations stood together as one body of Christ.
Invitations had been issued by relationship. There were no e-mail lists, political agendas, Power Point presentations, or name tags.
It was called a solemn day of prayer and fasting. Our prayer was that Mississippi would not become a flashpoint for racial violence.
My great-grandfather was a slave owner; he had beaten one slave to death. I confessed my heartbreak at the sins of my fathers and my own sins of racism. I added an armful of mimosa seed pods to the other symbolic representations in the center and prayed that the blood shed in racial hatred, crying out to God from the soil of Mississippi, would become the seeds of racial reconciliation.
The sounds of the shofars, the guitar strings, the testimonies, and the prayers flowed like living water. A cool breeze quickened and pulsed with the prophetic words. The presence of God suspended time, and the seven hours seemed a moment.
We human beings are but dust. It is a great marvel that the glory of God would choose to dwell within.
JW


Matthew 7:13-14

September 30, 2009

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” (Matthew 7:13)
      Lord, we pray for all those who are on that broad highway that leads to destruction: even now turn their hearts to repentance.

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
      Jesus, help us daily choose the narrow way. Guide us by your Holy Spirit today. Use us to bring people back to you. Thank you.

      A word received: Look to me; let me be your guide today.

Wednesday: 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30; 2 Kings 18:9-25; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Matthew 7:13-21
Thursday: 105:1-22; 2 Kings 18:28-37; 1 Corinthians 9:1-15; Matthew 7:22-29

      Notes from the Front Line

***** The Christ Church Sunday School lesson for this coming Sunday is posted at http://christchurchsundayschool.blogspot.com/.

Albany Intercessor


Psalm 100

September 29, 2009

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! (Psalm 100:1)
      Sing hosanna!

Serve the LORD with gladness; come before his presence with singing. (Psalm 100:2)
      Sing hosanna!

Know that the LORD, he is God; it is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:3)
      Sing hosanna!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. (Psalm 100:4a)
      Sing alleluia!

Be thankful to him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4b)
      Blessed, blessed is he, who comes in the name of the LORD

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
      Sing hosanna!
      Sing hosanna!
      Sing hosanna!
      Sing alleluia!

      A word received: Yield this day to me.
      Let me be the judge.
      Don’t be afraid and do not fret.
      I AM with you, holding you up.

Tuesday: 97, 99, [100]; 2 Chronicles 29:1-3, 30:1(2-9)10-27; 1 Corinthians 7:32-40; Matthew 7:1-12
Wednesday: 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30; 2 Kings 18:9-25; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Matthew 7:13-21

Albany Intercessor


Matthew 6:25-29

September 28, 2009

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
      Jesus, I put my whole trust in your grace and love. (BCP, page 302)

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
      Father, thank you for providing for us all these years.

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:27)
      Holy Spirit, please help me to cease from anger and forsake wrath; to cease fretting — it only causes harm. (See Psalm 37:8 )

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:28-29)
      Father, please help me come to you daily, trusting in you for your provision for me and my family.

Monday: 89:1-18; 2 Kings 17:24-41; 1 Corinthians 7:25-31; Matthew 6:25-34
Tuesday: 97, 99, [100]; 2 Chronicles 29:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:32-40; Matthew 7:1-12

Albany Intercessor


Yom Kippur

September 28, 2009

Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment, is the culmination of 10 days of repentance. To the Rabbis, Yom Kippur marked the climax of the trial of the people; it was when God sealed names in the book of life, or in the book of death. Yom Kippur is so important to the Jews that it is sometimes referred to as “the Sabbath of Sabbaths” and is the only fast day that can fall on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath). The day is spent in Synagogue praying and supplicating to God to be sealed in the book of Life. Yom Kippur is not a sad day; it is a day of reflection and atonement. Fasting is used not as a punishment, but as a cleansing of the body as well as the spirit.

Oh Lord, what sinful creatures we are! Bring to our minds those unconfessed sins You wish us to give to You. Remember that we are dust and remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Amen.
Psalm 103:12-14


Zachary Andreas Ould

September 27, 2009

Many of you know Rev. Peter Ould, Anglican priest and blogger. He and his wife Gayle had a son, who has now died in utero. The boy had Edwards Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 18), where an extra chromosome 18 was present in all of his cells. The son’s name is Zachary Andreas (”God has remembered”, “Man”).

Jehovah God,
By Your word were the heavens made. All the hosts of heaven were made by the breath of Your mouth. The vast Whirlpool Galaxy exuded from Your being, its heart from Your heart. Your breath exploded with subatomic particles; every electron spin comes from Your heart.
Your love unfailing fills creation. Where can we escape from Your Spirit? Where can we flee from Your presence?
You know Zachary Andreas through and through. Every cell adhesion protein molecule reverberates from Your heart. Every day in his life is recorded in Your book.
You have rescued him from the domain of darkness and brought him into the kingdom of Your dear Son. Your way is perfect. You have remembered Zachary Andreas. You have re-membered his genome; Your word is flawless. You spoke him into being; You created him in Your image.
How precious are Your thoughts, O God. They cannot be numbered. We do not understand the brevity of his life, but we trust in You because we know that all things are held together in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 1:26, 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalm 33:5-6, 139:15-17, Colossians 1:17

Some of the ideas for this prayer came from Louie Giglio.


Luke 5:1-11

September 27, 2009

So it was, as the multitude pressed about him to hear the word of God, that he stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When he had stopped speaking, he said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:1-4)
      Jesus, help us hear your words of direction to us.

But Simon answered and said to him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.” (Luke 5:5)
      Holy Spirit, please move in all of our hearts so that we will respond to Jesus’ word as Simon Peter did.

And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. (Luke 5:6)
      Father, bring all the parishes and ministries of this diocese to such obedience to Jesus’ words that there is a great catch.

So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:7-8 )
      Holy Spirit, please help all of us throughout this diocese respond in humility as Simon Peter did when we see the evidence of Jesus’ work among us.

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:9-10)
      Jesus, help us go forth at your word to be fishers of men.

So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed him. (Luke 5:11)
      Holy Spirit, please help us let go of everything that hinders our following Jesus. Thank you.

      A word received: Look to me, my people.
      Keep your attention on me.
      Look to me — heed my word to you in Scripture.
      Let me write my word on your hearts.
      Let me give you a heart of flesh for your heart of stone.
      Look to me; return to me.
      Renew your covenant with me.

Sunday: 66, 67; 2 Kings 17:1-18; Acts 9:36-43; Luke 5:1-11
Monday: 89:1-18; 2 Kings 17:24-41; 1 Corinthians 7:25-31; Matthew 6:25-34

Albany Intercessor


His eyes

September 27, 2009

Psalm 66:7
He rules forever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations—
let not the rebellious rise up against him.
Selah

Hubble telescope images that look like an eye:
here, here, here, and here.


Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table report

September 27, 2009

Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table report September 19, 9:15-10:30 AM Torre Bissell and Don Foust
+–indicates received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.
It was another beautiful, crisp autumn morning in Schenectady.

We see the effects of the Prayer Table on the people of the Neighborhood in a number of ways: from passers-by wearing Dennis Adams’ wooden crosses, to people for praying for the ministry of the Prayer Table, to folks giving us words of encouragement, to those in cars waving to us, to people trying to start Prayer Tables in their own organizations, to people regularly stopping by the Table for pray, and especially in the changes in peoples lives. On Saturday, we saw all of these signs.

The Prayer Table has become a regular stop for a number of folks in the Neighborhood, and we have added their names to the bottom of the Prayer Table Report.

+Teresa–“I certainly could use some prayer”; Teresa gave birth to Meagan 2 days ago. Prayed that Teresa would grow into the wife, the mother, the woman, the child of God that the Lord was calling her to be.

+Keith– Keith was reluctant to stop; he was playing with his dog Princess. We prayed for healing for Keith’s leg (he walked with a limp–the result of a recent operation). Prayed for protection for both Keith and Princess.

+Miguel–Did not speak English. Prayed for blessings in his life.

Man across the street–Stopped and prayed for us, then continued on his way. We also prayed for this unknown man.

Man on a bicycle–Said, “Keep up the good work”, as he rode by.

+Joseph–Looking for his lost, white dog “Disco“. Prayed for his protection and success in his search.

+Charlette and +Claude–prayed for health and protection for this couple.

Jim (regular)–Jim offered a prayer to God for “all the gifts in his life”. What a change we have seen in Jim’s life–from a man who was hurting and kept to himself, to a person who eagerly stops by the Prayer Table to praise God. Pray for continuing healing in Jim’s life.

+Chuck– Chuck got off the bus to meet his friend Kai. He saw the Prayer Table and directly came over. We prayed for his family and for protection.

+Kai (Chuck’s friend)–had a Bible in hand. We prayed for provision and for his family.

+Michael–young man from Syracuse–Prayed for healing of his hand (He just got out of the hospital). Chuck also has a lung problem (COPD–Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). We prayed for healing of this disease. On Michael’s return trip down State Street, he was smiling and wearing his new wooden cross. We again prayed for healing of the COPD.

Howard–Howard attends the Seventh Day Adventist Church across the street and was wearing one of Dennis Adams’ wooden crosses. We prayed for his family. He prayed for our continuing ministry in the Neighborhood. Howard related a story about the Salvation Army in Schenectady. He had experienced our Prayer Table and had wanted to start a Prayer Table at the Salvation Army. What eventually was instituted was a “Prayer Basket“. People would write prayer requests on slips of paper and drop them into the basket. Typically 10-15 prayer requests are submitted every week. Howard commented that there are many different ways to spread God’s Word. Sometimes people “push” it on you; other times, you have quiet invitations like the Prayer Table and the Prayer Basket. Please pray for those spreading God’s Word in the city of Schenectady.

Ishan–This young man is a Moslem form Morrocco who has stopped at the Prayer Table many times. He gave us copies of the Quran and we gave him a copy of the Bible. Ishan is drawn to the Prayer Table, pray that he will discover Jesus.

+Theodore–teen-age boy. We prayed for protection and for his family. He asked that we pray for Sarah Moore. Sarah (a 25 year old woman from Schenectady) was arrested this summer for the arson-related death of a 10 year-old girl (Avion Bell) on Congress Street.

Prayer Table Regulars

Kayla– Pray for healing in her life after being raped. Pray for her mother Laura, her son Nassir, her brother Josh, and Josh’s son Deanthony.

Jim–Pray for healing in his life from abusive parents and for his personal peace after the death of his 31 year old son Robert.

Bill–Pray for his health and no more epileptic seizures.

Lucinato and Eddiberto–Pray for protection for their family

Paulette and her children Monique and Taishawn–Pray for provision for this family

Clarence–Pray for direction as he seeks to change his life.

Linda–Pray for her family in Guyana

Albany Intercessor


Renewal

September 26, 2009

Lord God,
I have loved You imperfectly for I have been disobedient to what You have required of me. Have mercy, Lord. Have mercy. Forgive me for resenting Your call on my life. Help me to love You where I’m at. Amen.
John 14:15


Matthew 6:19-24

September 26, 2009

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;” (Matthew 6:19)
      Holy Spirit, teach us where to put our hope.

      Jesus, you are my hope.

      Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
      Father, please help us be about your kingdom work and your will for us.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
      Jesus, please help us set our hearts on the things which endure to eternity.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)
      Jesus, please help us see by the light of your word.

“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)
      Holy Spirit, let it be said of this generation, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
      Father, we pray for those in the Episcopal Church who are double minded: that they will make Jesus their Lord and Savior and serve only him. Thank you.

      A word received: Come to me, my people; return to me.
      Let me be your guide — I AM faithful and true.
      Don’t be dismayed — I will be with you.

Saturday: 87, 90; 2 Kings 11:1-20a; 1 Corinthians 7:10-24; Matthew 6:19-24
Sunday: 66, 67; 2 Kings 17:1-18; Acts 9:36-43; Luke 5:1-11

Albany Intercessor


The gates of Jerusalem

September 26, 2009

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France accused Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying it has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years.

O Father,
We speak truth at the gates of Jerusalem. May the judgments at the valley gate, the gates of the fountain, the sheep gate, the fish gate, the old gate, the dung gate, the water gate, the horse gate, the east gate, the gate of Miphkad, the gate of Ephraim, and the prison gate make for peace. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Amen.
Psalm 122:6, Zechariah 8:16, Nehemiah 2, 3, 8, 12


Psalm 88:1-5

September 25, 2009

O LORD, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before you. (Psalm 88:1)
      LORD, we cry out to you; have mercy on us.

Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. (Psalm 88:2)
      Lord God, hear us as we cry out to you.

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave. (Psalm 88:3)
      Holy Spirit, lift the burdens of our hearts and give us your comfort.

I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength, (Psalm 88:4)
      Jesus, it only as you come and meet us that we are able to accomplish anything good.

Adrift among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, and who are cut off from your hand. (Psalm 88:5)
      Father, have mercy on all those who are adrift, and draw them to your son Jesus. Thank you.

The lone wild bird
      in lofty flight
Is still with thee,
      nor leaves thy sight.

And, I am thine,
      I rest in thee;
O Spirit come and
      rest in me.

The ends of earth
      are in thy hands.
The sea, dark, deep,
      and far off, land.
(Dorothy Atneave)

      A word received: Pray for my people; hold my people up to me in prayer.
      Pray for the lost and the strays.
      Pray there will be shepherds who will lead them back to the flock.
      Pray for my faithful shepherds, that they will know my peace.

Friday: 88; 2 Kings 9:17-37; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; Matthew 6:7-15
Saturday: 87, 90; 2 Kings 11:1-20a; 1 Corinthians 7:10-24; Matthew 6:19-24

Albany Intercessor


Motion, sound, and fruitfulness

September 25, 2009

I’ve been reflecting upon the order of events in the creation story:
–The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
–And God said
Let there be . . . .
Movement followed by sound followed by fruitfulness. The same pattern is present in other stories, like the walls of Jericho coming down.
Take note of God’s instructions of the design of the hem of priest’s ephod (Exodus 28:33-34, 39:24-26): pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet alternating with golden bells. (This is the only instance of bells in the scripture.) Every time the priest moved, the bells made sound.
Today a group of clergy is meeting with Bishop Duncan Gray. Join me in praying for them. JW

Dear Heavenly Father,
We cry out for the movement of the Holy Spirit over the chaos and darkness of the Episcopal Church within the Diocese of Mississippi and within this meeting. May Your Spirit be like the the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
Speak through Your servants. May Your truth ring out clearly. Let there be love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, and self-control. Command Your blessing, Lord, even life everlasting. Amen.
Psalm 133 NLT


Confession

September 25, 2009

O Lord,
You alone spread out the heavens. The nebulae boldly certify Your existence, and the tally of the stars recount Your glory. The days gush forth Your teaching, and the nights declare Your wonders without number.
Forgive us for failing to walk with You in humility:
–for resisting the spirit of truth.
–for discounting Your rich promises for the future.
–for being ashamed of the good news of Christ, the power of God to heal.
–for shirking our responsibility to expand Your kingdom on earth, out of sloth and fear.
–for presuming to know Your ways.
–for dwelling in bitterness.
–for rebelling against biblical authority structures.
Have mercy, Lord. Do not retain Your anger. Pardon our iniquities. In Your compassion, throw all our sins into the depths of the sea. Amen.
Psalm 19:1-2, Micah 6:8, 7:18-19, Job 9:8-10, Romans 1:16


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