Health care reform

March 21, 2010

Inspiration for this prayer came from Jim Chosa, a Native American intercessor–

Psalm 94:20-23 (Amplified Bible)
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with You–they who frame and hide their unrighteous doings under [the sacred name of] law? They band themselves together against the life of the [consistently] righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the Lord has become my High Tower and Defense, and my God the Rock of my refuge. And He will turn back upon them their own iniquity and will wipe them out by means of their own wickedness; the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Abba Father, the throne of iniquity over our Nation will not hide its unrighteous doings under the sacred name of the law!
O Lamb that was slain, standing with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, the sevenfold Holy Spirit, You have been sent into all the earth. With Your Blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. With Your Blood You purchased men and women from the Congress of the United States of America.
We as One Body of Christ, release in the power of the Word, Spirit and Blood, the Blood-covered Justice and Judgment of our King into the spiritual heart of the Congress of the United States of America. Amen.
Psalm 94:20-23, Revelation 5:6,9

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Luke 20:9-19

March 21, 2010

Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time.” (Luke 20:9)
      Jesus, please help us acknowledge that you are the owner of the vineyard and that we are only tenants.

“Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.” (Luke 20:10)
      Lord, help us repent of our hardness of heart; help us yield up the fruit you are looking for.

“Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.” (Luke 20:11)
      Jesus, we have not listened to your servants as we should, we have not listened to your word to us in Scripture: open our ears and our hearts.

“And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.” (Luke 20:12)
      Father, we have wounded your servants you have sent us — we have not listened to their words as we should have. Have mercy on us and help us repent of this.

“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.'” (Luke 20:13)
      Holy Spirit, so many times we have praised Jesus with our lips but our hearts were cold; have mercy on us and warm our hearts with your fire.

“But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.'” (Luke 20:14)
      Jesus, please help us repent of thinking the church belongs to us; it is yours. Help us repent of our stony hearts.

“So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?” (Luke 20:15)
      Lord, we have killed off so many of your initiatives and the work you have wanted to do in our hearts and minds. Bring us to new life in you.

“He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!” (Luke 20:16)
      Lord, there is a terrible destruction coming for those who do not repent; help us daily turn to you.

“Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone’? Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” (Luke 20:17-18 )
      Lord Jesus, have mercy on us and turn our hearts into your ways.

And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on him, but they feared the people–for they knew he had spoken this parable against them. (Luke 20:19)
      Jesus, have mercy on the Presiding Bishop and all the bishops of the Episcopal Church and draw them to yourself. Move among them with your Holy Spirit at the House of Bishops meeting that is going on right now.

      A word received: Pray that my people will recognize that they are in a desert and cry out to me for streams of living water. Pray for living water — streams in the desert.

Sunday: 145; Exodus 3:16-4:12; Romans 12:1-21; John 8:46-59
Monday: 35; Exodus 4:10-20(21-26)27-31 1 Corinthians 14:1-19; Mark 9:30-41

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Please pray for Bishop Bill and Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina and the other faithful bishops attending the House of Bishops meeting this weekend.

      Pray that there will be streams of living water flowing through the Diocesan Convention.

Albany Intercessor


Lent Quotes: Frederica Mathewes-Green – Repentance is the doorway to the spiritual life

March 21, 2010

Repentance is the doorway to the spiritual life, the only way to begin. It is also the path itself, the only way to continue. Anything else is foolishness and self-delusion. Only repentance is both brute-honest enough, and joyous enough, to bring us all the way home.

Frederica Mathewes-Green, The Illumined Heart:
The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation

hat tip: Creedal Christian (where there is a fuller excerpt)


Prayer Table Report and Meditations on the Woman at the Well by Deacon Howard Smith

March 21, 2010

Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, March 20, 2010, 9:30 -10:30 AM Chuck Rinaldo and Dave Carlson

+–indicates received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina

Today is the first day of Spring! It was warm and sunny and many folks were out walking and taking advantage of the nice weather.

Clifford — he told us the last time he came for prayer he was in a “bad way” but today things are much better; I remembered him from the previous time and he looked so much better today; he asked prayer for his family

++ Joe — asked prayer for his health and his family – asked for an extra cross

+ Sasha – did not want prayer, stating that “life is going well” for her; she did accept a cross though

Jose – we asked if we could pray for him – he said “sure” but kept walking; we prayed that he would know the Lord and draw close to Him

+ a man stopped to get one of our crosses; I remembered his face from a previous visit, but not his name; I said “I forgot your name, sir” – his response was “I didn’t give it to you” – we prayed for him as he walked away that the Lord would meet his needs and draw the man closer to Himself

Arthur — another man who has come before – very cheerful man – he said “I already have 5 of those crosses. Things are good. When you have the Lord in your heart, things are good.” We prayed for the Lord’s continued blessing on Arthur and his family.

++++Virginia – walked up right after someone had declined prayer and said “I definitely want prayer – please pray for my kids who are in jail” – she said she has 3 kids and they’re all in jail currently. We prayed for encouragement for Virginia, that the Lord would protect her kids while they are in jail, and get a hold of their lives. We assured her that God loves them and has a plan for them. She took crosses for herself and all 3 kids. She also said she and her sister are interested in visiting Christ Church some time for a service. We gave her a card with our church info.

+ Joanne and young daughter + Stephanie – as they were walking by the table we greeted them and offered prayer; the little girl laughed and the mom seemed to not understand; we gave them each a cross and asked the Lord to bless them (we assumed there was a language barrier); a while later they were walking back the other way and this time stopped for prayer. They did speak English and they did want prayer. Joanne asked us to pray for her kids (Stephanie, who is in kindergarten, and her 7-year-old son + Louis). Stephanie picked out a cross to give to her brother.

+ 2 middle-school-aged boys – seemed suspicious of us (which is understandable since we are strangers to them), did not stop for prayer but one of them did accept a cross

A gentleman walking by in a hurry – when we asked how he was doing he said he was “blessed” – he did not stop for prayer but said we could pray for each other; another man walking by said he was not feeling well and had to get home – we prayed for the Lord’s healing

+ Delores – a woman walking by pushing a small cart, on her way to the nearby Dollar General store; she was very cheerful and said she was pleased that she was able to get out and walk to the store; we prayed for the Lord to strengthen her, provide for her, and protect her

We prayed for the people ministering in front of the Planned Parenthood as part of the ’40 days for Life’ – this ministry has been going on throughout Lent and will continue through Palm Sunday – it’s not too late to get involved (for more info go to http://40daysforlife.com/schenectady/)

David

Meditations by Deacon Howard Smith at Christ Church Schenectady:

Thirsty At The Well: Where is my Community?
Meditation 4
March 12, 2010
John 4:7-43

Dedicated to the glory of God and to the loving memory of Beverly Rose.

In the voice and person of the Pastor of the Church of Sychar at the funeral of the Samaritan Woman.

I thirst.
I am thirsty.
One wouldn’t think that going to the well and back would leave one so thirsty.
Visiting the well today was a fitting way to remember our dear sister. She will be remembered forever as the Samaritan Woman who went to the well in the heat of the day. Here is the woman who literally brought our town of Sychar to Jesus, and for this we are eternally grateful.

I speak to you today as your friend and your pastor. But I haven’t always been your pastor. The day our Samaritan Woman met Jesus I was a prominent merchant in this town. I used to sell to our Samaritan Woman when no one else would speak to her. When all shunned her and when most other reputable merchants wouldn’t sell to her at all. Please note I am not patting myself on the back. For I told her back then to only come to my store when none of my good customers where around. Sometimes she would pass by my store many times before she could buy unnoticed. In spite of how I treated her she appreciated my willingness to sell to her. And that I charged her a fair price and treated her better than most. But even then I knew in my spirit, I didn’t treat her right. But, I was motivated by fear and what others might think of me and my own puffed up notions of myself.

I remember the day she met Jesus. She actually sought me out. I had a line of customers and she came running up the street screaming like a mad woman. She came in and pushed some customers out of the way to get to me. She grabbed me by the shirt and yelled, “He told me every thing I have done! Everything I have done!” And then she ran off yelling, “I have found the Messiah! I have found the Messiah at the well! Come quickly before he passes us by!”

I said thoughtfully out loud, “’He told me everything I have done. He told me everything I have done?’
Coming from her?
How can that be good news?”

Then I left everything and went to the well. Like many others I begged Jesus to stay and I hung on every word. And like many others I said to our Samaritan Woman, “Now I believe not because of what you said, but because I have heard for myself.”
The rest is history.

Now here lies our sister. And we rejoice that, “she will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Like all who believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Him, even though they die, they shall live, for everyone who believe in Jesus will never die. So we rejoice in the hope of glory. Yet we mourn for our momentary loss. Her presence here will be dearly be missed.

She lived as an example of the transformation of what Jesus does in our lives. He transforms the darkness into light, fear into hope, hate into love, and isolation into community.

I mourn for our loss, but to be totally honest, I am heart stricken today for my loss. The loss of my opportunity. You see my brothers and sisters, I never loved her like family. In my heart there was a division between her and I, much like the one I had prior to Jesus. Back when I was a merchant and she was the customer I condescended to.

You see, it was enough for me to have a relationship with her in church, only.

It was enough to sit at the Lord’s Table with her, it was enough to eat with her at church potlucks, but I never dreamed of inviting her to my house for supper at my table.

It was enough to pray for her in church and listen to her fears, hopes and dreams. But I have never asked her to pray for me in any meaningful way or share my fears, hopes and dreams with her.

It was enough to be a professional Christian to her and not dirty my hands with her life.

Brother and sisters, tolerance, ….. tolerance is not, has never been, nor will ever be… a Christian Virtue. And I want to confess the sin of tolerance to you today. For truly, I have only tolerated her and never loved her, in an incarnate way.

I have come to realize in our loss that not loving her, was not loving Jesus and the work he was continually doing in her life.

My hope is in the resurrection. That at the last day the trumpets will sound. The dead in Christ will rise. The living will be caught up with Christ. We will be given new bodies. And in my flesh, and in my flesh, and in my flesh I shall see God! Then I will love God perfectly. Then I will love our Samaritan Woman perfectly.

But until that day I can seek Jesus and walk with Him. I can see the Kingdom of God break through into ordinary people and ordinary circumstances. I can love Jesus at work in all people and love the least of these incarnately.

I have found the Messiah and he has told me everything I have done.
This is truly Good News.

******************************************

Thirsty at the Well – Where do I Worship?
Meditation 5
March 19, 2010

In the voice and person of a modern day worshiper.

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.

I’m thirsty for more than coffee and tea…
Soda, Red Bull and energy drinks.

I am thirsty for an encounter with the Messiah,
I am thirsty for a well greater
than what our ancestors have dug.
I am thirsty for more
than what I have dug for myself.

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.
I’m thirsty to worship Him in spirit.
I’m thirsty for more than just a mountain top experience.
I am thirsty for more than just Holy Week Services.
I’m thirsty for more than a new favorite worship song.
One that makes me feel like my old favorite
used to.
I am thirsty for more than just an emotional high.
I thirst.

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.
I am thirsty to worship Him in truth.
I am thirsty for more than the next book
that is supposed to change my life.
I’m thirsty for more than just Jesus
on the radio and tv,
…cd, mp3 or dvd.
I am thirsty for more than the next teaching series
or Lenten Meditation.
I am thirsty for more than just a religious experience.
I thirst.

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.
I am thirsty for a new paradigm.
I am thirsty for new assumptions;
the ones necessary – to even begin –
to understand the equation.

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.
I am thirsty for faith to even begin to believe that there is a harvest,
and that it can possible be ready.

Why, why,
oh why does the Samaritan Woman try so hard
to keep Jesus out?
Why don’t the disciples want to do more
than just eat?

Why don’t the people of Jesus’ hometown
honor him?
Why do the people who should know Jesus best,
not get him at all?

I thirst.
I’m thirsty.

I’m thirsty for more than coffee and tea…
Soda, Red Bull and energy drinks.

Am I ready to meet Jesus at the well?
To be held – in his eyes?
To be touched – by his word?
To experience new creation?

Am I ready for a Jesus
who asks me for water?

Jesus give me this water,
so that I will not be thirsty
or have to come here again.

Albany Intercessor


Virginia

March 21, 2010

The first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain John Woodlief led the newly-arrived English colonists to a grassy slope along the James River and instructed them to drop to their knees and pray in thanks for a safe arrival to the New World. It was December 4, 1619, and 38 men from Berkeley Parish in England vowed:

“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Psalm 100:4 NLT
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

Almighty God,
We pray that the people of Virginia will hearken to their beginnings. May they continually enter into Your presence, give thanks, and praise Your holy name. Amen.


Juba, Sudan

March 21, 2010

Juba is a city in Sudan, the regional capital of Southern Sudan. From 1899 to 1956, the Juba was in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan jointly administered by the United Kingdom and Egypt. British hopes to join the southern part of Sudan with Uganda were dashed in 1947 by an agreement in Juba, also known as the Juba Conference, to unify northern and southern Sudan. In 1955, a mutiny of southern soldiers in the city sparked the First Sudanese Civil War, which did not end until 1972. During the Second Sudanese Civil War, Juba was a strategic location that was the focus of much fighting. In 2005, Juba was handed over to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army.
The indigenous tribe of Juba is the Bari. Bari Folklore tells us of how long ago the land flanking the Nile was full of strings of villages spread out to the horizon, as far as the eye could see. The slave traders reduced the Bari villages to a miserable few. Ever since then, recovery has been difficult, considering also the fact that the civil wars in 1955-1973; and 1983-2005 have further taken their toll on the Bari.

Isaiah 41:18-20 (New International Version)
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Holy Father,
We plead with You to make Yourself known to the people of Juba. As You continue to heal the land and heal the hearts of the people on a greater scale than we can even dream, cause the people to see and know and consider and understand the ways of the One True and Living God. Let them see Your hand at work among them.
We claim the spilled blood of Jesus over the land of Juba. May His name be magnified in creation and in the hearts of the people. We plead with You to make Your Son known to the people of Juba. Amen.


House of Bishops

March 21, 2010

Exodus 20:22-24
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it . . . Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.’ “

Jehovah God,
We have seen the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ. We pray that Your sons and daughters in Camp Allen, Texas (especially _____) will hear and obey His word. May they shun idols of gold and silver.
They are but dust, and to dust they shall return. May they offer to You a pleasing sacrifice–a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Cause Your name to be honored in the tabernacle of their hearts. Come to them and bless them. Amen.


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