Darb el Arba’in

March 31, 2010

The Darb el Arba’in is an ancient trade route that runs from Darfur to the Nile valley and Egypt. Connecting a series of oases, it is called the Forty Days Road. Up to the end of the 19th century, it was one of the main routes to transport slaves and exotic goods. Its sinister reputation comes from the eye-catching white color of the numberless human and camel bones scattered all along the way, so much so that the road is indicated on maps with the words Track marked with white bones.

Jesus, You are the way.
We speak Your name over the Forty Days Road.
Father, Your Word is truth.
Send forth Your word along the Forty Days Road. It shall not return to You empty, but accomplish what You please.
Holy Spirit, You bring life.
Breathe on these bones, O Breath of God, and fill this land with hope and life.
God’s children in Sudan, whose hearts are thirsty and whose bones are dry, whose hope is lost and spirit cut off. You shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the date palms of the oases shall clap their hands. The sandsheet shall bring forth life, and the trade route shall be holy.
You shall be saved and cleansed by the sure mercies of Jesus. The Lord Almighty is Your God, and you are His people. You shall live under an everlasting covenant of peace, Amen.
Ezekiel 37, Isaiah 55


Psalm 74

March 31, 2010

O God, why have you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? (Psalm 74:1)
      LORD, we have sinned against you and departed from your ways: have mercy on us and help us return to you.

Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, the tribe of your inheritance, which you have redeemed–this Mount Zion where you have dwelt. (Psalm 74:2)
      Jesus, in your mercy remember the Episcopal Church and help us return to you and your ways.

Lift up your feet to the perpetual desolations. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. (Psalm 74:3)
      Holy Spirit, come and visit your people and refresh us with your presence.

Your enemies roar in the midst of your meeting place; they set up their banners for signs. (Psalm 74:4)
      Father, please help us once again follow the sign of the cross.

They seem like men who lift up axes among the thick trees. (Psalm 74:5)
      Jesus, we are often frighten by the strength of our adversaries; fill us with the courage you gave David when he faced Goliath and the Philistines.

Arise, O God, plead your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches you daily. (Psalm 74:22)
      Jesus, please do what man cannot do: renew us by your Holy Spirit, revive us daily and guide us through this time of darkness in your church.

Do not forget the voice of your enemies; the tumult of those who rise up against you increases continually. (Psalm 74:23)
      May the Name of Jesus, the Son of God, who is mightier than all the hosts of Satan, and more glorious than all the angels of heaven, abide with us in our going out and our coming in; by day and by night; at morning and at evening; at all times and in all places.
      May the Name of Jesus, the Son of God, protect and deliver us from the wrath of evil persons; from the assaults of evil spirits; from foes invisible; from the snares of the Evil One; and from all low passions that beguile the soul and body.
      May the Name of Jesus protect and deliver us.
      And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us this day and always. Amen.
      (Blessing adapted from the Anglican Christian community in Ceylon, Pakistan, and India)

Wednesday: 74; Lamentations 2:1-9; 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11; Mark 12:1-11
Maundy Thursday: 142, 143; Lamentations 2:10-18 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:27-32 Mark 14:12-25

Albany Intercessor


National leaders

March 30, 2010

Our Father in heaven,
You are good, a refuge in times of trouble. You care for those who trust in You.
The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Congress. You have blessed our nation in more ways than we can know.
We pray that President Obama and Vice President Biden will turn to You and place their trust in You. Care for them and protect them from all assaults of the enemy as they lead our nation. Amen.
Nahum 1:7


Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem

March 30, 2010

A report of ecclesiastical conflict within the diocese. Today, Passover is being celebrated in Jerusalem. Let us take up the heavenly hyssop and apply the Blood of Christ over the doorposts and lintel of the Anglican household in Jerusalem.

Father,
We pray for the peace of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of our brothers and friends, we will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the body of Christ, we will seek your prosperity.
Psalm 122:6-9


Sudan election articles

March 30, 2010

Hurdles include a complex balloting system in a population who has never voted, the rainy season, and land mines.

From Catholic Information Service for Africa:

Last week 17 opposition parties pushed a memo to the presidency requesting that April elections be postponed until next November in order to allow for major reforms in a number of laws primarily relating national security and media. They gave the government until next week Thursday April 1 to respond positively or else face the possibility of boycotting the elections.

Meanwhile the SPLM revealed that Salva Kiir, the President of Southern Sudan has rejected a request by Taha and NEC chairman Abel Alier to have the Northern army transport voting slips to the south.

The United Nations (UN) was due to transport the ballots by helicopter around the war-ravaged south but Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has delayed the pilots’ visas, a U.N. source and opposition party officials told Reuters.

“They are sabotaging the coming of the U.N. pilots. They want to control the whole election process,” said Yasir Arman, the SPLM candidate for the national presidency.

A U.N. source, who declined to be named, said the visa problem was eventually resolved but that the U.N. was aware of the NEC request to allow the northern army to transport the ballots. “It didn’t make any sense and we made that clear in our discussions,” the source added.

From Daily Nation:

In reports released in Nairobi on Wednesday clearly timed to send a statement ahead of the polls, Human Rights Watch accused the two governments of gross violation of human rights.

The agency said studies conducted between November 2009 to March 2010 in Sudan found that both the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan have been restricting freedoms critical to a fair poll, including freedoms of expression, assembly press, and equal access to the media. . . .
Things are not any different in the south where intimidation, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of those opposed to the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement have been reported. . . . There is also concern over intimidation of journalists.


Mark 11:27-33

March 30, 2010

Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him. (Mark 11:27)
      Dear Jesus, please let the Presiding Bishop and the bishops and teachers of the Episcopal Church come to you.

And they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority to do these things?” (Mark 11:28 )
      Holy Spirit, please help the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church to acknowledge and accept Jesus’ authority.

But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:” (Mark 11:29)
      Jesus, please help all of us respond with faith when you ask those questions that search our hearts and minds.

“The baptism of John–was it from heaven or from men? Answer me.” (Mark 11:30)
      Father, John was your man, your prophet — he spoke your word to the people. Please help us this Holy Week hear his call to repent and receive the baptism of fire that Jesus offers us.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men'”–they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” (Mark 11:31-33a)
      Father, please set the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church free from weasel-worded answers, from “carefully nuanced” answers that deny what you have said and done.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:33b)
      St. Augustine, the revered Bishop of Hippo who lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, said, “I believe in order to understand” (credo ut intelligam). St. Anselm, who lived primarily in the 11th century AD, echoed this: “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.” Clearly, these two men answered the question by emphasizing faith. If these statements are any indication, St. Augustine and St. Anselm held to this axiom in Hebrews: “Through faith we understand…” (11:3). (From http://cshayden.blogspot.com/2005/05/credo-ut-intelligam.html)

      Lord, give the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church the gift of faith so that they may believe and understand what you have said and done. Thank you.

Tuesday: 94; Lamentations 1:17-22; 2 Corinthians 1:8-22; Mark 11:27-33
Wednesday: 74; Lamentations 2:1-9; 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11; Mark 12:1-11

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Please pray for the ministry of the Cathedral Church of Down Patrick in the Diocese of Down and Dromore in Northern Ireland and for its rector Henry Hull.


The grave of St. Patrick beside the Cathedral Church of Down Patrick.


***** Pray for the ministry of Marriage Encounter. Please pray that God will strengthen the marriages of his people in this diocese.

***** Please join the Good Friday Stations of the Cross through Hamilton Hill in Schenectady. It begins at Christ Church Schenectady and ends at the City Mission. There are rides back from the City Mission back to Christ Church. The walk takes about two hours. There are rides for those who cannot do the whole distance.

Albany Intercessor


Passover

March 30, 2010

Isaiah 62:1, 6, 7 (New International Version)
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her righteousness shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.

Father,
We pray for a safe and peaceful Passover for the Jewish people. Amen.


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