Psalm 122

June 30, 2009

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1)
      Holy Trinity, one God, please give your people joy as they go into your house to worship you.

Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:2)
      Father, bring us to your holy place — your dwelling place. You have chosen Jerusalem as the place for your name. Bring your people there into your presence and your peace.

Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, (Psalm 122:3)
      Jesus, both Israelis and Palestinians dwell there — help them find a way to peace together.

Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. (Psalm 122:4)
      Jesus, we give thanks to you for your name — help us keep your name holy.

For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. (Psalm 122:5)
      Father, judgment is coming — you alone know the day and the hour. Please prepare the hearts of your people for that day. Thank you.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good. (Psalm 122:6-9)
      “Father, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper that love you. Peace be inside your city walls and prosperity within your palaces. And for the sake of my brothers and companions, I will say, ‘Peace be with you.’ Because of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek to do you good.”

       A word received: Come to me, come to me my people. Return to me — my arms are open wide.

Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123; 1 Samuel 11:1-15; Acts 8:1-13; Luke 22:63-71
Wednesday: 119:145-176; 1 Samuel 12:1-6,16-25; Acts 8:14-25; Luke 23:1-12

Albany Intercessor

General Convention

June 30, 2009

O Lord,
May the delegates and bishops seek Your direction in each vote and be ruled by the peace of Christ in their hearts. Amen.
Colossians 3:15

Deputation listing

Psalm 106:1-7

June 29, 2009

Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! For his mercy endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)
      Father, thank you for all that you are doing in our lives and thank you for your mercy towards us.

Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all his praise? (Psalm 106:2)
      Holy Spirit, please help us speak of Jesus’ mighty acts and praise him for all that he has done for us.

Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times! (Psalm 106:3)
      Jesus, guide those in Congress and the State Legislature into doing justice for all. Protect their hearts from those who would pervert justice by favoring only the few.

Remember me, O LORD, with the favor you have toward your people. Oh, visit me with your salvation, (Psalm 106:4)
      Jesus, with the dying thief on the cross we say, “Remember me!” now that you have come into your kingdom.

That I may see the benefit of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance. (Psalm 106:5)
      Holy Spirit, please move through this nation and turn our hearts to praising you.

We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. (Psalm 106:6)
      Holy Spirit, please help us as a nation and as your people to acknowledge our sin and the ways we have walked apart from Jesus.

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand your wonders; they did not remember the multitude of your mercies, but rebelled by the sea–the Red Sea. (Psalm 106:7)
      Father, we too are a generation that is in rebellion against you and your ways. Have mercy on us and draw us back to you and your ways. Thank you.

      A word received: Yield this day to me. Let me have this day for my purposes.

Monday: 106:1-18; 1 Samuel 10:17-27; Acts 7:44-8:1a; Luke 22:52-62
Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123; 1 Samuel 11:1-15; Acts 8:1-13; Luke 22:63-71

      Notes from the Front Line

The theme for the 2010 Diocesan Convention has been discerned: Take up Your Cross…Follow Me. Pray that we will be a people who will do that.

Albany Intercessor

General Convention

June 29, 2009

The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in the environs of Los Angeles, California, from July 8-17, 2009.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We give thanks to You for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to You for General Convention 2009, whatever the outcome, because we trust that there is nothing You cannot turn for good. We pray that You will use General Convention 2009 for the establishment of Your kingdom on earth.
You are the Lord of the breakthrough. Break through any false understandings and assumptions. Break through the worldly desires and pride. Like a flood of waters, may Your Holy Spirit break through the forces of darkness of this world to those delegates who love You and stir a spirit of repentance. If any are in spiritual or physical danger, pull them out of harm. Amen.
Ephesians 5:20, Romans 8:28, Luke 10:19, 2 Samuel 5:17-21, 1 John 2:16, John 10:16

Your presence

June 29, 2009

In the Ezekiel passage, God instructs the prophet to take two sticks, one with the name Judah and the other with the name Ephraim, and join them together to make one stick.
The name Judah means praise; the name Ephraim fruitfulness. Ephraim was the offspring of Joseph. Joseph was the fruit of the marriage of Jacob and Rachel, known for its romantic passion.

O Lord,
May our hearts be full of passion for You and our mouths full of praise. Pour out Your Holy Spirit over our heads, like precious oil running down. Your presence is our unity. Your presence is our blessing. You are our heart’s desire. Amen.
Ezekiel 37:15-28, Psalm 133, John 17:20-23

Psalm 118:1-9

June 28, 2009

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

Let Israel now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:2)
      Holy Spirit, please move the hearts of all your people to proclaim and speak about the Father’s mercy.

Let the house of Aaron now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:3)
      Jesus, please move in the hearts of all the clergy so that they speak of your love and mercy.

Let those who fear the LORD now say, “His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:4)
      LORD, your mercy endures forever!

I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. (Psalm 118:5)
      Holy Father, help me stay the course where you have placed me; thank you for hearing me when I cry out to you.

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
      You, LORD, are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (From Psalm 27:1a)

The LORD is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. (Psalm 118:7)
      You, LORD, are the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (From Psalm 27:1b)

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8 )
      Jesus, please help us turn to you in our hour of need.

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. (Psalm 118:9)
      Holy Trinity, one God, guide the rulers of your people, but help us keep our eyes fixed on you where true joys are to be found. Thank you.

       A word received: Pray for my people. Pray they will turn to me. Pray for my Spirit to fill them and refill them. Pray for my people to walk in my ways.

Sunday: 118; 1 Samuel 10:1-16; Rom. 4:13-25; Matthew 21:23-32
Monday: 106:1-18; 1 Samuel 10:17-27; Acts 7:44-8:1a; Luke 22:52-62

Albany Intercessor

Prayer Table Report

June 27, 2009

Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table report June 27, 9:15-10:30AM Jake Dell, Torre Bissell and Don Foust
+–indicates received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.

+Travis — young man — asked prayers for his girlfriend Ashley. She was “in a terrible car crash.”

+George — man — “I just came from Florida. I need a place to stay.”


Linda — a regular — prayed for protection and provision for family and friends. I gave her the New Testament that I received at the Diocesan Convention (Bishop Bill asked us to pass them on to others).

+Joanna — woman — When we asked her what she wanted prayer for she said she wanted to “just give thanks.”

Kayla — young woman who was gang raped last year and wears her hair cut short like a boy (I suspect as a defensive measure) — we prayed for her brother Joshua who is in the county jail and for her baby son Nasir.

+Fernando — rushing by to work

(man rushing by to work)

+Nino — Hispanic guy on bike

+(Young Hispanic woman)

+Mandy — mother and her baby Jacob. We prayed for protection and provision.

+Robert — man — wanted prayer for his girlfriend Sarah. They have at least one child. Robert has been out of work for six months and doesn’t feel free to marry Sarah because he can’t provide for her. We told him, “God is the provider, not you.” We urged him to talk and pray with Sarah about getting married.

Eddiberto and Lucinada — Hispanic couple — We prayed for protection and provision.

Kayla came back with Nasir (her baby in a stroller) and we prayed for Nasir. When she goes to visit her brother Josh in the county jail tomorrow we asked her to carry our greetings (Josh has come to the prayer table before).

+Pedro — young Hispanic man — he crossed the street for prayer and had a big, beaming smile.

+Gary — “I’ll probably come to the [Neighborhood] Meal tomorrow.

———— I thought you would be interested in Jake Dell’s notes on the prayer table. Jake is a new member of Christ Church Schenectady and lives in New York City. He is an applicant for Holy Orders in this diocese.

Prostitution, drugs, and prayer: essential services for the suburbs

      I just returned from working the prayer table at Christ Church, Schenectady. The Lake Shore Limited was an hour and half late last night because they put the train together wrong in Sunnyside yard. Apparently when the locomotive pulled away, all the cars uncoupled.

      Fortunately, setting up a prayer table is a good deal simpler. I arrived at the church at 9 o’clock with Torre Bissell and we set up a simple 4 x 4 black folding table with five black chairs.

      “Put it here,” Torre said, pointing to the crack in the sidewalk that must have been the property line.

      “That way no one can say we’re on the sidewalk. And point chairs this way, facing out. That way people don’t feel trapped.”

      And that was it. A laminated sign which read “Prayer Table” flapped from the front. Torre pulled out a pen and paper and jotted down my name and his and today’s date. Then pulled out a bag of wooden crosses and laid out a few along with a thin paperback English Standard Version New Testament.

      “Good morning!” He called to a man walking across the street, “Can we pray for you?”

      The man waved and walked on. Christ Church is on State Street in what is referred to as The Hill. In any city I’ve lived, The Hill is never a nice neighborhood and Hamilton Hill is no different.

      “The Hill provides two essential services to the suburbs,” Torre told me later over lunch, “prostitution and drugs.”

      Another man approached.

      “Good morning! What do you need us to pray for?” Torre called.

      There really isn’t any way out of that one. It’s direct and not a yes or no question. And who doesn’t have something weighing on his or her mind?

      “Um, yeah,” the man said as he sat down.

      “What’s your name?” Torre asked.

      “T –.” he replied.

      “T –, what can we pray for?”

      “Um, my girlfriend’s been in a terrible car crash. And I’m kind of dealing with that.”
      We prayed for T — and his girlfriend A– He thanked us and left. Torre made a note of the encounter.

      Then G — approached. You could smell the alcohol.

      “I just came from Florida, and I need a place to stay.”

      We joined hands. And we just did it too, no asking “May I touch you?” the fear of insurance and liability bound momentarily while the Spirit moved.

      “Lord, we pray for G — that he will find a place …”

      “M — my friend M — is supposed to help me. I am supposed to call him.”

      “We pray, Lord that you would open that door for G — or if that is not the right path for him show him the place to which he is to go.”

      G — thanked us and got up and left. We gave him a wooden cross necklace.

      Then J — and L — and J — came. Passersby each of them. Several of them needed jobs. One just wanted to “give thanks.” Each got a cross.

      K — came. She’s been before. Gang-raped last year she’s shaved her head to look like a boy. (Lord, I pray you would restore that sense of her beauty you gave to her as a woman.) Her brother is in prison.

      “I’m seeing him tomorrow. He may get out next month!” She smiled.

      “Lord we pray for K — and her brother. You have all things in mind for them, lead them.”

      Torre looked at his notes and counted, then checked his watch.

      “Not bad he remarked.”

      This is the Episcopal Church.

      R — stopped by.

      “R — what can we pray for?”

      “Um, my girlfriend and I aren’t on the same page. And I’m out of work six months now and that kind of messes up my attitude.”

      “We come to you in prayer, Lord and we give R — and his job and his relationship to you,” Torre prayed.

      R — took his Yankees cap off as we prayed. He wore a customized Yankee tee shirt with a digital print of himself holding a young boy.

      “Is that your son?”

      “Yeah, that’s one of my kids.”

      “R — have you accepted Jesus into your life?”

      “Yeah, I did a long time ago when I was young …”

      “Lord, we pray that you would lead R — back to you as you once led him to you in the beginning.”

      Torre interrupts to pray. Conversations with him are punctuated by a different grammar.

      But life is always being interrupted, and why let the devil have all the interruptions?

      “How long have you been with your girlfriend?” Torre was back on point.

      “Oh, for a long time, about six years,” R — answered.
      “And have you thought about marriage?”

      “Oh yes.”

      “And you both want that?”

      “Yes. But I am not … it’s … my financial situation. I am not used to that. As the man I should be providin’ and I can’t right now.”

      Torre nodded his head and reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a diary. He opened to the back page and showed R — a picture of the Bissell family. There are at least 30 people in the picture: Black, white, and Asian faces flank Torre and his wife Jean.

      “This is my wife,” Torre pointed.

      “When we arrived back from Africa,” (Torre and Jean had been overseas missionaries) “we had no money. But we had family.

      “What I want to say to you, R –, is that God doesn’t want you to live this way. We all want to be comfortable and have nice things, but think about it. Think about making this woman your wife.”

      I braced thinking R — might think he was being judged. I expected a defense or a come back. Instead he rose thoughtfully with a much different look on his face than I would have had. There didn’t seem to be any shame or embarrassment. If anything I thought I saw a bit of relief. As if he had been given permission to do something he’s really wanted to do for a long time.

      More regulars came and went. The prayer table is located near a bus stop and box-store clerks and other service industry workers stream by. A pretty young Hispanic woman, two younger girls, and their grandmother walked by. I don’t think she spoke English, but Torre held the woman’s hand, prayed for her, and gave her a cross. Fifteen minutes later passed by again and smiled. She was wearing the cross.

      This is Schenectady.

      A woman passed by pushing a baby. He smiled sweetly as we prayed over his mother, M –.

      Two boys rode by on bicycles laden with cans.

      “There is a can redemption center up the street, but I like to think of Christ’s Church as the redemption center,” Torre joked.

      The one who had been gang-raped passed by again, this time pushing a baby.

      “Is that her brother?” I asked.

      “It’s her son.”

      “How old is K –?”

      K –‘s baby boy looked at us apprehensively. Unlike M — ‘s baby, no trusting smile appeared.

      “He doesn’t know you,” K — explained matter-of-factly.

      But he knows the darkness.

       (Lord, let there be light.)

      A minute later a minivan drove up. A man and his son sat in the front seats. Torre smiled. The driver’s side door opened and the man got out and ran over to us.

      “Here you are, gentlemen – for your efforts,” he said, as he handed us a piece of paper.

      It was a check for $500 made out to Christ Church.

      Money follows ministry.

       (Let the church understand.)
      Torre was quick to explain that the prayer table does not accept offerings or donations. But this man had had a life-changing experience at Christ Church many years ago and occasionally drives all the way down to The Hill to deliver his support.
      “10:30” Torre said, glancing at his watch, “Time to pack it up.” And within two minutes, we struck the setting of our low-tech ministry and drove off.

      State Street turned from vacant store fronts to houses and finally to the bull-dozed earth cuts of new development. We turned into Barnes and Noble just adjacent to the Panera in one of those new upscale brick-and-stucco shopping centers that dot the landscape from Milwaukee to Birmingham.

      We were back in Nice America.

      Inside the superstore a mural depicting Faulkner, Rimbaud, Wilder, Waugh, Eliot, Joyce, and countless other literati posing in a Parisian night café created an ersatz sophistication while the product of the New York machine we work so hard to keep going kept redirecting my gaze.

      Everyone was beautiful again.

Jake Dell
June 27, 2009

Albany Intercessor

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