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.

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

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