March 18, 2009

(Weds., March 18, 2009, 1-1:40 p.m., in front of Christ Church, Schenectady; soon-to-be-deacon Scott Underhill and Deacon Alan Hart.)

Note: An afternoon straight out of the middle of May — 60 degrees, sunny. Not much foot traffic on State Street, though. And not many people stopped for prayer. Hard to figure why on a 10-degree, snowy day people will stop in droves but few will not come by on a Spring-like day. We just never know!

t– received one of the wooden crosses Torre gets from Dennis Adams of North Carolina.
c–accepted one of our yellow church cards. (Did not anoint anyone with Holy Oil today.)

t,t,c– PATRICIA — This pleasant, middle-aged woman wanted prayer for “economic stability.” She explained she lives on “a fixed income” and we prayed for God to provide for her and keep her safe. She also wanted prayers for her boyfriend, PATRICK. She took a cross for each of them.

t–HUGH — Another extremely pleasant 30-ish man. He took off his leather train engineer’s hat and asked for prayers ” … for a job and to have continued good health.” When we were done praying for him, Hugh said “Bless both of y’all.”

(Not sure of spelling of this name FISHTA or PHISHTA?) — This older Middle Eastern man rode by on the sidewalk on his bicycle in front of the Table, and he spotted the sign and turned around. He was very curious as to what we were doing. “What is your program?” he asked. There was a language barrier but we tried to make him understand we were just praying for people on the street. “Praying?” he asked. “Thank you … thank you so much!”

(Mailman) — We have two mailmen who we often see on this route and we always pray for them. One is very friendly, the other is very withdrawn and never speaks. This time we got the friendly one and he said to us something like “Top of the Charts to you boys today!” We prayed for his safety as he goes from door to door delivering the mail.

(girl on a cellphone) — Nice young woman who was talking on the cell slowed as she passed the Table. She shook her head negatively at our invitations for prayer, but as she walked away, Scott called out to her “God bless you.” She held the phone away and yelled back to Scott, “You too, Sweetheart!”

Albany Intercessor

Episcopal House of Bishops

March 18, 2009

Currently meeting in Kanuga.

Dear Heavenly Father,

May they love Truth.  Amen.

Lent Prayers: John Wesley – O Let Me Turn Again and Live

March 18, 2009

This Lent, I’ve been enjoying browsing A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists, by John Wesley, first published in 1780.  Many of the hymns have repentance as their theme and recognize our proneness to a hard heart and a wayward spirit and our utter reliance on the Lord and His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit to help us turn to Him and repent.

I particularly like verse 3 of the following hymn (#170).  Repentance, faith and pardon are all gifts of grace to us from the Lord.  So often I try to repent in my own “strength”… and fail.  This is a great example of what repentance is all about.  Turning to the Lord again that we might live.

1 O ‘TIS enough, my God, my God!
Here let me give my wanderings o’er;
No longer trample on thy blood,
And grieve thy gentleness no more;
No more thy lingering anger move,
Or sin against thy light and love.

2 O Lord, if mercy is with thee,
Now let it all on me be shown;
On me, the chief of sinners, me,
Who humbly for thy mercy groan;
Me to thy Father’s grace restore,
Nor let me ever grieve thee more!

3 Fountain of unexhausted love,
Of infinite compassions, hear;
My Saviour and my Prince above,
Once more in my behalf appear;
Repentance, faith, and pardon give,
O let me turn again and live!

John 8:12 and Romans 5:1-5

March 18, 2009

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
      Jesus, your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path; help me daily choose to walk by your word and your light.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)
      Jesus, thank you for bringing us to peace with your father; thank you for the gift of faith.

through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)
      Holy Spirit, please help us stand firm in the hope of the gospel message; please write that message on our hearts.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:34-)
      Father, this is a time of tribulation in the church and in the nation; please help us persevere so that we all become people of hope. Please guide President Obama and his advisors.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
      Holy Spirit, guard and guide our footsteps today. Thank you.

      A word received: Continue to call out to me. Continue to pray for the restoration of my body. My body is wounded and torn. Pray for the healing of my body.

      A word received: Pray for my people. Pray for my people to hope in me — to set their hearts on me. Pray for my people to become a people of hope — a beacon shining in the dark. Pray for my people to hope even when hope seems folly.

      Words received for a Sunday School lesson March 29:

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:37-38 ) A word received: I want the children and the adults to examine what they believe.

      A word received: I want your hearts to be transformed by my Holy Spirit. I want to flood you with my Spirit. I want my Spirit to flow out of you. I want you to be changed by my presence in your heart.

      A word received: I want to refresh you. I want you to be wells of my Spirit. I want others to be able to drink deeply of my Spirit because you believe and thirst and receive.

Wednesday: 119:97-120; Jeremiah 8:18-9:6; Romans 5:1-11; John 8:12-20
Thursday: [83] or 42, 43; Jeremiah 10:11-24; Romans 5:12-21; John 8:21-32

Albany Intercessor

Lent Quotes: Fr. Dan Martins – Sin is like the Trojan Horse

March 18, 2009

Sin also has, of course, a very personal dimension. Each one of us is individually guilty of doing those things which we ought not to have done, and leaving undone those things which we ought to have done. And at an individual level, sin is wickedly deceptive. It is like the Trojan Horse, sneaking into our hearts disguised as common sense or justice or beauty or love, and then spilling its vile contents into our souls in a desperate attempt by the Evil One to draw us away from God. The frightening truth about personal sin, individual evil, is that I cannot even trust my own feelings and intuitions. They are tainted, and cannot be relied upon apart from the objective standard of God’s revealed word. What “feels right” to me may be the very face of death itself,

and I need to run 180 degrees in the other direction.

From an Ash Wednesday meditation by Anglican blogger Fr. Dan Martins, which we originally posted here in 2007. It’s worth rereading!

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