Lenten Prayers: A Prayer of John Knox – help us not to receive thy word in vain

March 31, 2009

O LORD, strengthen our faith; kindle it more in ferventness and love towards thee, and our neighbours, for thy sake. Suffer us not, most dear Father, to receive thy word any more in vain; but grant us always the assistance of thy grace and Holy Spirit, that in heart, word, and deed, we may sanctify and do worship to thy name.

Help to amplify and increase thy kingdom; that whatsoever thou sendest, we may be heartily well content with thy good pleasure and will. Let us not lack the thing — O Father! — without the which we cannot serve thee; but bless thou so all the works of our hands, that we may have sufficient, and not be chargeable, but rather helpful unto others.

Be merciful, O LORD, to our offences; and seeing our debt is great, which thou hast forgiven us in JESUS CHRIST, make us to love thee and our neighbours so much the more. Be thou our Father, our Captain and Defender in all temptations; hold thou us by thy merciful hand; that we may be delivered from all inconveniences [i.e. hardships], and end our lives in the sanctifying and honouring of thine holy name, through JESUS CHRIST our Lord and only Saviour. Amen.

Let thy mighty hand and outstretched arm, O LORD, be still our defence;

thy mercy and loving-kindness in JESUS CHRIST, thy dear Son, our salvation;

thy true and holy word our instruction;

thy grace and Holy Spirit our comfort and consolation, unto the end and in the end. Amen.

O LORD, increase our faith. Amen.


The full prayer is here


Apologies for lapse in Lenten blogging

March 31, 2009

Apologies to all our readers and regular Lenten visitors for the recent lapse in Lenten blogging. I had a whole long list of prayers and quotes to post here in recent days, but I’ve been out of the office in meetings many days, and/or had a terrible internet connection much of the time I have been at my computer. Such is life in a developing country!…

Lenten blogging should resume on a more normal level (internet connection allowing) tomorrow, April 1 – no joke! I also have already “pre-posted” a lot of entries for Holy Week, so hang in there with us. I hope and pray the Lent-themed devotional entries we have posted almost every day of Lent have been, and continue to be a blessing.

— Karen B.


Psalm 120

March 31, 2009

In my distress I cried to the LORD, and he heard me. (Psalm 120:1)
      Father, thank you for hearing me when I cry out to you; thank you for hearing me even before the words are on my lips.

Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue. (Psalm 120:2)
      Jesus, set me free from the deception of sin.

What shall be given to you, or what shall be done to you, you false tongue? (Psalm 120:3)
      Holy Spirit, cleanse the words that come from my mouth and purify them; don’t let my tongue lead me into deception.

Sharp arrows of the warrior, with coals of the broom tree! (Psalm 120:4)
      LORD, discipline me and restore in me the joy of your salvation.

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! (Psalm 120:5)
      Holy Spirit, establish me among your people and surround me with your witnesses.

My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. (Psalm 120:6)
      Jesus, please help me find my rest in you.

I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. (Psalm 120:7)
      Father, help me seek for your peace in my heart and protect me from those who revel in strife. Thank you.

      A word received: Pray for my people. Pray they will choose me as their refuge in the storm.

Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123; Jeremiah 25:8-17; Romans 10:1-13; John 9:18-41
Wednesday: 119:145-176; Jeremiah 25:30-38; Romans 10:14-21; John 10:1-18

Albany Intercessor


Correction

March 30, 2009

I had reported the diocese of Louisiana had passed a Sanctity to Life resolution, amended. I was wrong. I misunderstood the webpage. The motion to defer was passed. I apologize for the incorrect report.
One eyewitness described significant anger in those who opposed the Sanctity of Life resolution.

Jehovah-Shalom,
We are a conflicted church. Help us to remember that Your mercy extends to the sinner; yet, guard us from justifying sin.
I ask Your blessings on the proponents and the opponents of the Sanctity of Life resolution. You know their names; You know their needs. Bless them, dear Lord.
Bless all of the unborn in Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, and bless their parents.
Lastly, Lord, I ask Your blessings on the pro-life advocates across the Episcopal Church. You raised them up. They are lonely and sometimes rejected. Grant them peace, and strengthen their hearts. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.


Huron bishop election

March 30, 2009

Dean Terrance “Terry” A. Dance has been elected the new suffragan (assistant) bishop of the London, Ont.-based Anglican diocese of Huron.

Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. John 9:6-7

Dear Heavenly Father,
Your servant Terry has been sent by the diocese of Huron. We pray that Terry will go, wash in the pool of living water, and see. May he know and understand the mind of Christ. Amen.


Psalm 31:1-5 and Sunday School Lesson

March 30, 2009

In you, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in your righteousness. (Psalm 31:1)
      Jesus, thank you for your righteousness; thank you for setting things right between me and your father; thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit.

Bow down your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. (Psalm 31:2)
      Jesus, you are my rock, thank you.

For you are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3)
      Jesus, please lead me and guide me, give me wisdom and discernment for this day’s work. Thank you.

Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for you are my strength. (Psalm 31:4)
      Holy Father, protect me from every deception of the evil one.

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. (Psalm 31:5)
      Jesus, thank you for rescuing me from sin and death, thank you for being who you are and for your great mercy to me and my family.

Monday: 31; Jeremiah 24:1-10; Romans 9:19-23; John 9:1-17
Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123; Jeremiah 25:8-17; Romans 10:1-13; John 9:18-41

      STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL, LESSON 30, April 5, 2009
                    Palm Sunday
             Jesus: the Shepherd and the Lamb
Theme Verse: “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
Readings: Isaiah 53; John 10: 1-18,25-33, 39; John 19:28-30
Optional: John 1:29-31; 1 Peter 1:20, 2:24-25
Memory Verse: “I AM the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
       Old Testament prophecy about Jesus’ death and its meaning. Isaiah 53
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1) A word received: I want the children and the adults to choose to believe the report of Scripture about me. “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2) A word received: I had nothing the world values to help me. I had the Holy Spirit — he is the helper. I want you to have the full power of the Holy Spirit as well.
      “He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him.” (Isaiah 53:3) A word received: I AM still despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. I know your grief and I intercede for you. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4) A word received: I have borne them and I will bear every grief you bring to me.
      “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) A word received: I want you to be able to say, “Jesus was wounded for my transgressions.”
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) A word received: You are called to recognize and repent of the ways that you have gone astray, as individuals and as the Body of Christ, the church.
      “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) A word received: I chose to bear your guilt and your affliction so that you could enter into the freedom of the children of God. “He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare his generation? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people he was stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8 ) A word received: I willingly went to the cross for you. “And they made his grave with the wicked– but with the rich at his death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9) A word received: I have told you what is true.
      “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10) A word received: My father loves you and sent me to bear the cross for you.
      “He shall see the labor of his soul, and be satisfied. By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11) A word received: This is my joy — I have brought many sons and daughters to my father. “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12) A word received: Bring your burdens to me: I can bear them.
                        *************************
       On this Palm Sunday we look at who Jesus is and what he did and what our response needs to be. Jesus is calling us to have a new and transformed understanding of God’s love for us, of what he was doing here. He is calling each of us personally to have our understanding transformed.
      Remember that God himself is the Shepherd of his people (Psalm 23) and that the kings of Israel were sometimes referred to as shepherds. Yes, it was commonly a lowly occupation but was also a way of talking about how God loves and cares for his people. In John 10 Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd as well as the Gate. “I Am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” .An Israelite shepherd would sleep in the entrance to the sheepfold at night to stop any animal or thief from entering. (Jesus also said, “No one comes to the Father (God) but by me.” John 14:6) Then Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd… and I lay down my life for the sheep (vs.17) “The reason that the Father loves me is that I lay down my life (death), only to take it up again.(resurrection). (vs.18 ) “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” Later, in vs. 30 he says, “I and my Father are ONE.
      Notice two things here. Jesus had the power and authority to choose to give his life for his sheep (us) and the power and authority to rise from the dead. Jesus is also saying that he and his Father (God) are ONE, which means that what Jesus is doing, God himself is doing in and through him. (The authorities wanted to stone him to death for this claim but he escaped, as he did many times (John 10:36,39; Matthew 26:53) because it was not the right time for Jesus to die for his sheep. That time came at a certain Passover. Notice the intended parallel of the Passover lamb whose blood on the doors of Israelites in Egypt delivered them from death.
      Jesus is also the Lamb of God. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29b) In the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant, the priest offered the sacrifice of a perfect lamb that was killed and laid on the altar as an offering to God so that the sins of the person or nation might be forgiven. Of course this was only a temporary solution and God had something greater in mind. Hebrews 7 talks about how Jesus was the perfect, sinless high priest forever (vs. 26-28:1) “He sacrificed once, for all, when he offered himself. After he rose again he “sat down at the right hand of the throne” (of God)
      Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 5:20b-21 that “we implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
      God wants us to understand that he knew about this problem of sin in the people he had made and had a plan for dealing with it himself at the right time. Look at 1 Peter 1:18-21. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree(cross) so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and overseer of your souls.” ( 1 Peter 2: 24-25)
      God paid the penalty for our sins himself, in Jesus, his Son and his Word made flesh. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ) God is righteous and sin must be punished but Jesus willingly had the sins of the whole world laid on himself as he died–so that we–and all who receive him, might live a new life that pleases God, free from the power of sin and death through Jesus blood and the power of the Holy Spirit.
       Have you given your life to Jesus and asked him to forgive your sins and have his life within you and be with him forever?
      Look briefly at John 19: 28-30. Look at how Jesus died after he knew that the Scriptures had been fulfilled. When he received the vinegar to drink (Psalm 22:18 ) Jesus said, “It is finished.” (Compare Psalm 22:31, a Psalm Jesus quoted from the cross.) It says, “for he has done it.” “Done” is a Hebrew root work meaning finish, accomplish, perform, bring to pass. Jesus was announcing that he had completed the work that he had come to do with God the Father before the creation of the world! Then “he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Luke reports in 23:46 that Jesus said, “Father into your hands I commit my Spirit.”

Summary
      Hundreds of years before Jesus came God told us through the prophets how he was going to deal with the cost of our sins. He was going to ask the Messiah, his son, to carry the cost, the penalty of death, for our sins. God laid on Jesus all of the sins of the world, so that we might be healed/saved.
      Jesus died for our sins willingly. No one forced him. God taught the Israelites about the penalty and cost of sins by offering a perfect lamb to God as a sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and he rose again from the dead to give us new life if we choose him as our Savior and Shepherd, the one we are to follow.
      God planned this all before he made the world and its people.
       Have you received Jesus’ gift for yourself?

Albany Intercessor


Lent Prayers: John Piper – Lord, Thicken Our Skin

March 30, 2009

Lord, thicken our skin.
Not that we be less tender, but that we be less easily offended.
Take away our bent to self-pity.
Give us a passion for the truth that is stronger
than our inborn passion for being praised.

Forgive us, Father, for calling words unloving just because they were tough.
Forgive us for attributing malicious motives
to people when we don’t know their motives.
Help us to learn from Jesus
when to be tough and when to be tender.
Guard us from justifying merely human anger with the hard sayings of Jesus.
But don’t let us become so mushy that we can’t speak a firm word in season.

We marvel at the words of our Lord Jesus.
How unpredictable He was!
No one ever spoke like He did.
He is in a class by Himself.
We bow before Him and shut our mouths.
We are eager for Him to speak – and to speak any way He pleases.
We are the silent learners.
He is the sinless teacher.
We put our hands upon our mouths and take our place at His feet.

Do with us as You please, Father.
We are not Your judge, nor the judge of how Your Son speaks.
Have mercy on us – tough or tender – and lead us to Your everlasting joy.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus,
Amen.

John Piper, from Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ

hat tip: Kingdom People


Praise report

March 30, 2009

The Diocese of Louisiana passed a Sanctity of Life resolution, revised from its original. To my knowledge, this makes the tenth diocese to officially express dismay over the affiliation of TEC with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, in one fashion or another. Thank you, intercessors.

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7

Gracious Lord, how courteous You are. Thank You for hearing the cry of the pro-life advocates in the diocese of Louisiana and planting their feet in a spacious place. Thank You for strengthening their hearts. Thank You for speaking life to this diocese. You have considered them, O Lord God of truth, and we praise Your holy name. Amen.


Psalm 118:1-4

March 29, 2009

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! for his mercy endures forever. (Psalm 118:1)
      Thank you, LORD, for your mercy and goodness towards us.

Let Israel now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:2)
      Father, help your people speak of your enduring mercy.

Let the house of Aaron now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:3)
      Jesus, help the bishops, priests and deacons of the Episcopal Church speak truly of your mercy.

Let those who fear the LORD now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:4)
      Holy Spirit, move in our hearts so that we fear to offend you and know and speak of your mercy. Thank you.

      A word received: Speak of my love. Speak of my enduring love. Tell my people my arms are open wide to receive them. Tell my people to receive my love and mercy.

Sunday: 118; Jeremiah 23:16-32; 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Mark 8:31-9:1
Monday: 31; Jeremiah 24:1-10; Romans 9:19-23; John 9:1-17

Albany Intercessor


Covenant Design Group

March 29, 2009

The Covenant Design Group convenes in Cambridge this week.

Jeremiah 23
“Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the LORD,
“and not a God far away?
Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him?”
declares the LORD.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the LORD. . . .
“Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully.”

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are Almighty. The word that goes forth from Your mouth shall not return unto You void, but shall accomplish that which You please. It shall prosper, and You shall fully accomplish the purposes of Your heart.
May the members of the Covenant Design Group proclaim Your words to Your people so that the Anglican Communion will turn from its evil ways and its evil deeds. If any member of the Covenant Design Group is unwilling to speak Your word faithfully, then, dear Lord, we pray for a change of heart or a change of personnel. Amen.


Prayer Table Reports

March 28, 2009

PRAYER TABLE REPORT #1
Saturday, March 28 2009; at Christ Church in Schenectady. First “shift:” Torre Bissell and Don Foust, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Not many people out this morning.
+–indicates received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.

Agnes — for comfort in grief at the death of her brother.

+Dorothy — young woman — prayers for her husband +Sidney and her daughter Denaedia, and for her business and for peace.

Rena — “for my health, for my whole body, I want God to maintain my health”

+Dawn — young mother with five children — +Denashia, +Rakeen, +Khameek, +Katiana, and Khashey (baby), prayed for protection and provision

Linda — a regular

Lamont and Pete — from the Gideons Bible Society, stopped by to drum up volunteers

+Katie — “a lot of pain in my chest, pray nothing is wrong”

Jim — prayed for comfort about the death of his son Robert

Bill — his friend Jenn works in a medical field in a very hostile environment

+Robert — — older man — “for my smoking”, thinks he still has cancer but hasn’t see the doctor since the original diagnosis, “sick in the morning, don’t want to get up”

+Barbara — “I need a better job, I have a sister (Anna) that is going through changes and she needs help

+Shamia, +Teniqua, and +Alex — two young women and a young man

+Ernest — older man with a cane — prayed for relief of pain and for mobility, prayed that his “last days” would be more fruitful than his first

Desdemona and Ursula — two women going to the Macedonia Seventh Day Adventist Church around the corner on Swan St — prayerd for Desdemona’s grandson Peter who is in jail

Torre Bissell

PRAYER TABLE REPORT #2
(Sat., March 28, 2009; 10:30 – 11:30 — Dianne Gambill and David Carlson)
[+ –indicates received one of the wooden crosses from Dennis Adams of North Carolina.]

+ Tim – asked prayer for his mom and his daughter – we prayed for health and strength and an awareness of God’s great love for them

++++ DeeDee – asked for prayer for her kids in Long Island – she thinks they are better off in Long Island for now but she misses them very much (her son turned 15 yesterday and she wasn’t able to be with him on his birthday); she also asked prayer for her finances; she took 4 crosses and offered to make a donation for them (which of course we did not take); she thanked us for our prayers and said her day did not start well so this was a blessing to her

+ Pete – man in his 30’s — asked prayer for his girlfriend who is bi-polar; we prayed for the Lord’s covering, wisdom for the doctors, and most of all for the Lord’s healing; Pete seemed touched afterward and said, “That was nice! Thank you!”

+++ 3-yr-old girl and her mother – the little girl asked prayer for her dad; we gave crosses to her and her mom and she said, “I need one for my brother, Justin!”

+++ Aubrey – young mom in her 20’s, with 2-yr-old identical twin daughters walking next to her as she pushed a stroller with her 9-month old baby; she’s due to give birth again in May; we prayed for a safe delivery (it will be a scheduled c-section), that the baby would be healthy, for the Lord’s peace, and an awareness that God loves them very much

+ Heather – woman returning from church (at the Macedonian 7th Day Adventist church) – asked for prayer for her family and thanked Christ Church for our kindness to their church

David Carlson


New Wineskins Missionary Network

March 28, 2009

New Wineskins helps Anglicans in the USA to be more knowledgeable, active, and effective in fulfilling our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Pray for finanical stability for New Wineskins Missionary Network and the many other mission agencies experiencing reduced support.

O God,
You own the cattle on a thousand hills. Pour out Your riches upon the New Wineskins Missionary Network, for Your Kingdom and for Your Glory. Amen.


John 6:60-71

March 28, 2009

Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:60)
      Lord, many in your church are offended by what you have said and done; in your mercy set them free from every deception.

When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples complained about this, he said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where he was before? (John 6:61-62)
      Jesus, please help your disciples believe your words and receive them with joy.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
      Holy Spirit, thank you for writing Jesus’ words on my heart. I ask you to write them on the hearts of all the people of this diocese and on the hearts of the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray him. (John 6:64)
      Holy Father, set us free from hardness of heart and unbelief.

And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my father.” (John 6:65)
      Father, move in the hearts of those weak in faith and grant them to Jesus.

From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more. (John 6:66)
      Lord, help us to be steady on the path you have marked out for us; help us to be faithful witnesses to your words and deeds.

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67)
      Holy Spirit, move in the hearts of those who are considering walking apart from you.

But Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68 )
      Jesus, thank you for Peter’s witness; thank you for the way you stood by him when he denied you; thank you for bringing him back to you. Please bring back to yourself all those who have fallen away in the Episcopal Church.

Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” (John 6:69)
      Jesus, there is a storm coming upon the Episcopal Church, please hide us under the shadow of your wings. (See Psalm 36:7, Matthew 23:37, and Luke 13:34)

Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:70-71)
      Father, as we approach Holy Week we ask that you make us mindful of any ways that we are betraying your son Jesus and move our hearts to repentance by your Holy Spirit. Thank you.

      A word received: Pray for the shepherds of my people. Pray for shepherds hearts for every priest and deacon in this diocese.

Saturday: 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13); Jeremiah 23:9-15; Romans 9:1-18; John 6:60-71
Sunday: 118; Jeremiah 23:16-32; 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Mark 8:31-9:1

      Notes from the Front Line

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009
From: Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
Subject: Welcome Home Initiative Update — Friday, March 27, 2009
      A Final Word to Our Faithful Welcome Home Initiative Intercessors–
      The fourth Welcome Home Initiative Retreat for combat veterans ended Wednesday afternoon with a chapel filled with well-wishers and prayer warriors who have supported these men through their three days together. The closing ceremony was presided over by the Rt. Rev. William Love, Bishop of Albany. Lt. Col. (Chaplain) Eric Olsen, US Army, gave the homily.
      Much healing occurred over the three day retreat — most of it cannot be spoken of save among the cadre of brothers in arms formed at this retreat.
      Some small incidentals: Our youngest warrior — age 29, still in active duty, an infantryman, a “grunt” as he described himself at the ceremony, an ordinary foot soldier carrying his world and his safety on his back in a 80 pound pack through desert tracks and dusty streets — quickly bonded with our eldest warrior. Our eldest warrior was in service when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was, he said, an ordinary “rifleman” and through battle after battle throughout the Pacific he did what he needed to see the war through to its end. Both warriors, it turned out, were with the 27th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Both warriors found healing on this retreat.
      We had an observer from the American Bible Society on this retreat and two warriors from Great Britain who represented Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, in London, with its internationally known Alpha Ministry. These men left deeply moved by the possibilities for bringing healing to the armed forces in the U.K. They have been asked to write a report on the Welcome Home Initiative for the chief of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, and we believe their recommendation regarding this retreat will be highly favorable.
      There was a Marine whom I can only describe as the bravest man I have ever met. Multiple decorations won on the field of battle, but now the battle was within. He came on this retreat certain that prayer would heal him. “When will I get prayer?” he kept asking — then, “I’m not sure I can make it through.” Someone suggested that he only needed to get through the next moment, and thereafter he was heard saying, over and over, “Minute… by minute…” The battle inside was terrible, but he stayed on the healing path we offered — just as he had been faithful on the field of battle so many years ago. He received prayer several times on Tuesday. Wednesday morning he appeared at breakfast beaming — and then rested in the Spirit during the healing service. As I took my leave from the Closing ceremony, he saluted me at the door, and as I made the sign of the cross in return, he beamed like sunlight breaking across the mountains. He remains the bravest man I have ever met — both on the field of war and in victory through Christ on the path of healing.
      We saw anger released… and bitterness… and grief… and guilt. We saw warriors who have been through a couple of WHI’s tapped for Team in the future. We even saw a couple of calls to the ministry discerned. It was profoundly moving.
      To all of you who have supported this retreat with prayer: you were part of the miracle which God wrought in each man and woman who attended. On behalf of all the Team at this WHI, thank you for lifting us up during these three days. God is good…
      Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM, For the Oratory of Christ the Healer at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, Greenwich, NY

Albany Intercessor


Sanctity of Life Resolution

March 28, 2009

The Diocese of Louisiana is voting on a resolution regarding the sanctity of life at its convention.

The Spirit gives life. John 6:63a

Holy Spirit, we plead. Speak to the voting delegates at the Louisiana diocesan convention. If their ears are plugged, then unplug them. Speak life! May their hearts be open to You, the Giver of life. Amen.


Romans 8:28-35

March 27, 2009

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 )
      Father, please help us answer your call.

For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
      Jesus, our hearts’ desire is to be conformed to your image; continue to work in and among us to bring that to pass.

Moreover whom he predestined, these he also called; whom he called, these he also justified; and whom he justified, these he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
      Holy Spirit, grant us glimpses of the glory that is to come.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
      Father, help us cast aside every fear as we live in the reality that you are for us.

He who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
      Jesus, thank you for providing for us and for carrying us on eagles wings.

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. (Romans 8:33)
      Holy Spirit, write on our hearts Jesus death and resurrection so that we appropriate how we have been justified.

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)
      Jesus, thank you for interceding for us; help us join you by standing in the gap and interceding for those around us. Thank you that there is now no condemnation for those whose lives are hid in yours.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)
      Jesus, none of these things matters so long as we have you.

      A word received: Wait on me, my people. Don’t rush ahead with your plans. Wait on me and my plans. Seek me, seek my guidance — I will show you the way forward if you seek me with all your heart.

Friday: 102; Jeremiah 23:1-8; Romans 8:28-39; John 6:52-59
Saturday: 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13); Jeremiah 23:9-15; Romans 9:1-18; John 6:60-71

Albany Intercessor


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