John 17:9-19

February 24, 2012

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (John 17:9)
      Holy Spirit, help us daily join Jesus for all those the Father has given him.

“And all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” (John 17:10)
      Father, help us by our relationship with Jesus and with you to bring Jesus glory.

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given me, that they may be one as we are.” (John 17:11)
      Jesus, help us in this diocese manifest the unity you have with your Father.

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom you gave me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
      Jesus, please keep us in your name that none of us will be lost. Give us shepherd’s hearts like yours to go out seeking the lost and the least.

“But now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13)
      Holy Spirit, fill us with the joy of Jesus.

“I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)
      Father, help us daily receive your word so that we may be in the world but not of it. Help us endure the hatred of those who despise your word.

“I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
      Father, keep us out of the clutches of the evil one.

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. ” (John 17:16)
      Jesus, please help us daily find our identity in you.

“Sanctify them by your truth. your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
      Father, please bring us to the holiness that comes from abiding in your truth.

“As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18 )
      Holy Spirit, give us missionary hearts and zeal to go into the world for Jesus.

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (John 17:19)
      Jesus, sanctify us with your truth. Thank you.

A word received: Rest in me; let me be your strength.

Friday: 95* & 31 * 35; Ezek. 18:1-4,25-32: Phil. 4:1-9: John 17:9-19
Saturday: 30, 32 * 42, 43; Ezek. 39:21-29: Phil. 4:10-20: John 17:20-26

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Mark 1:9-13; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Genesis 9:8-17; 25 or 25:3-9).

***** Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012
From: Nigel Mumford
Subject: Daily quote…
      This Lent, when in line, pray. When waiting for the check out, pray. When at a red light, pray. During the advertisements on TV, mute and pray (M&P). Before your meal or before taking your medications, pray. When in a waiting room, pray. When getting in your car, pray. Waiting for tech support on the phone, pray (a lot). Instead of texting, pray! Give up “waiting” this Lent. Turn your “waiting time” into “prayer time.”

Albany Intercessor

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A GREAT Lent Resource: A Lenten Examination of Conscience

February 24, 2012

This is a wonderful resource for Lenten reflection and self-examination, from Marianne Dorman’s website.

I particularly liked the section focused on the Beatitudes:

Lord, you have taught, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”, forgive me Lord when I have been proud and arrogant and put myself before others, especially those weaker than myself.
Lord you have taught, “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”, forgive me Lord when I have returned a wrong with another wrong, and when I have been angry in my heart and even in words.
Lord, you have taught, “blessed are those who weep, for they shall be comforted”, forgive me Lord when I do not bear my sufferings with trust in You, and when I fail to be compassionate towards others, especially those suffering  any kind of hardship.
Lord, you have taught, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”, forgive me Lord when I show little interest for the injustices and inequalities in our world, and have been more concerned about my own safety and comfort.
Lord, you have taught “blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy”, forgive me Lord when I show little mercy towards others, perhaps seeing the speck in their eyes but ignoring the beam in my eye, and when I judge unnecessarily.
Lord, you have taught, “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, forgive me Lord when I have spoiled the beauty of my senses with any kind of self-indulgence, and when I have done anything without pure motive.
Lord, you have taught, “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God”, forgive me Lord when I have broken relationships with selfishness and quarrelling, and when I have not worked for harmony in home and neighbourhood.

Lord, you have taught, “blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”, forgive me Lord when I have neglected to pray for my fellow Christians who face hostility and persecution in many lands, and all who face persecution for their beliefs.

PLEASE go read the whole entry here, and perhaps bookmark it for regular use in examining our hearts this Lent.


Lent – MUST READING: What is Penitence all about?

February 24, 2012

While revisiting some of the blogs I have often linked here during previous seasons of Advent or Lenten blogging here at Lent & Beyond, I came across an absolutely AWESOME post with an overview of Lent by Jeanne at At A Hen’s Pace.  Jeanne writes to explain why Lent is “Not just for Catholics.”

The whole blog entry is “MUST READING” for its wisdom and perspective on this holy season.  But I particularly loved her reflection on Pentitence.

[Lent] is also a season of penitence.  What does that mean?
Many think it means you focus on your sins for 6 weeks, and I have probably erred that way myself. It can easily devolve into self-improvement, like New Year’s resolutions.  I think what it really means, though, is that as you intentionally pare back, by fasting, you become more aware of your fleshly desires, and how you are tempted to make excuses for them and rationalize your choices. You realize how weak you really are, and how much you need God.  You realize how much we buy into the “feed all cravings” message of our culture, and how hard it is to resist that.  You discover you’re not as strong, as wise, as self-sufficient or as virtuous as you think, and in humility, you repent from your inflated self-image.
That’s penitence.  It’s not self-flagellation, it’s self-realization in the presence of God.  He rights our image of ourselves. We are not lowly worms in his presence, but we realize that what we are–righteous, justified–we are by grace alone, not by our own strength, wisdom, provision or goodness.  We realize anew that sin is not something to wink at, and not to be excused with the rationalization that it’s all been paid for already. Recognition of our sinful nature works humility into us–and it’s about the only way that we can gain this essential Christian virtue.
Did you catch that?  Let’s read one more time the insight that I think SO profound & helpful:
[Pentitence] is not self-flagellation, it’s self-realization in the presence of God.  He rights our image of  ourselves. We are not lowly worms in his presence, but we realize that what we are–righteous, justified–we are by grace alone, not by our own strength, wisdom, provision or goodness.  We realize anew that sin is not something to wink at, and not to be excused with the rationalization that it’s all been paid for already.
Please go and read Jeanne’s excellent blog entry in full, here!

A Lenten Prayer for times of fasting

February 24, 2012

Browsing through some old Lent entries at Sanctus, I noticed an entry from 2008 which has part of a Byzantine Vespers prayer:

The Lord my Creator took me as dust from the earth,
and formed me into a living being,
breathing into me the breath of life.
God honored me,
setting me as ruler upon earth over all things visible,
and made me companion of the angels.
But Satan the deceiver,
using the serpent as instrument,
enticed me by food–
parted me from the glory of God,
and gave me over to the earth and to the lowest depths of the earth.
But in compassion, O Savior, call me back again!

Byzantine Vespers

I was struck by what a powerful prayer this would make during times of fasting this Lent, remembering that Adam & Eve were indeed “enticed by food” into sin and separation from God, but that in choosing to abstain from food, I can grow in the Lord’s grace and in choosing Him over worldly pleasures, be drawn closure to Him.

May the Lord help us to truly be consciously choosing Him, and His ways  whenever we fast this Lent.  May we be declaring with our lives: Lord I want to be enticed into deeper communion with You and joy in Your presence!  It is You I desire above all else!

 


Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report

February 24, 2012

Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, February 23, 2012, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, Richard Barratiere and Chuck Rinaldo from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

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

Rich — He asked prayer for his sister-in-law Lillian who loses her temper with her young son. Lillian lives with Rich and his wife and son.

Dan — He gave thanks for a group of kids from Harvest Church who helped out at the Schenectady City Mission this afternoon.

Peter — He came to give thanks for the way God has worked in his family (he had asked for prayer for his family a few weeks ago).

+Dorothy — She asked prayer for her son Rashon who is in and out of jail and for her finances.

+Jessica and +Peter (one leg missing) — She is pregnant. We prayed for a safe and easy delivery and a strong and healthy child. We prayed Peter would not trip or fall.

+Eugene — He gave a praise report. He was molested by a priest when he was eleven and suffers from PTSD because of that. God is healing him and he has just landed a good job up in Saratoga County. He asked prayer for his separated wife Nydia who needs healing and deliverance.

Leroy (from last week [I accidentally left him out of the notes I sent out this morning.]) He was filled with praise and joy this evening. Last week he was weeping with the stress of his burdens (which he gave to Jesus.) He has continued to leave his burdens with Jesus and it was a joy to see the change in him.

+Melissa — She is pregnant and due July 14th. Her mother (who appears to be involved with the occult), +Felicia was with her. We prayed for a safe and easy delivery and a strong and healthy child. We also prayed in Jesus’ name against any evil spirits that might be attacking her.

June (regular, older woman) — She hasn’t had an aide all week. We prayed for her regular aide, Crystal, who has a young child and is being overworked by the agency. June’s son Mark and his wife are moving and the landlord refuses to give back the security deposit of $300. They are all frightened by the Maintenance Supervisor who is abusive. We also prayed for healing of June’s elbow.


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