Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work. (John 4:34)
Father, help each of us feast at that table where we do your will.
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35)
Jesus, give us eyes to see the harvest fields that are already prepared for us to enter.
And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. (John 4:36)
Holy Spirit, help us enter into that joy that comes from sowing and reaping.
For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ (John 4:37)
Father, each of us has our part to play in bringing in the harvest. Give us grace to do our part.
I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” (John 4:38 )
God, so many times when I get that “nudge” from you to ask, “Would you like to give your life to Jesus?” I find that their hearts are already prepared and ready. All the work has been done by your Holy Spirit and others. Thank you.
Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
Jesus, thank you for preparing the hearts of the people we will meet today by your intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25 A word received: I AM praying for you right now.
Saturday: 30, 32 * 42, 43; Gen. 12:9-13:1: Heb. 7:18-28: John 4:27-42
Sunday: 63:1-8(9-11), 98 * 103; Gen. 13:2-18: Gal. 2:1-10: Mark 7:31-37
Third Sunday after Epiphany: 139:1-17 or 139:1-11; Amos 3:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Matthew 4:12-23
Notes from the Front Line
***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Louise Popa, Steve Evans, and Torre Bissell on State St. Cold, some snow, and very windy.
+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible
g–indicates received gloves (we received lots of hats and gloves from Schenectady City Mission to pass on)
Tobias (regular) — Asked prayers for friends of his. We prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Steve — He was told this week that he does not need a hernia operation. We gave thanks for that.
Richi (semi-regular) — He and his wife Felicia are trying to sell their house so they can move to Florida. We prayed he would get a fair price and that it would sell quickly. We also prayed that Felicia would soon conceive a child.
+ 199 Michael (young man) — He had given his life to Jesus in the past but had strayed. He gave his life to Jesus and confessed his sins and accepted God’s forgiveness and cleansing. He never knew his birth father. I showed him Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” and explained to him that he now was an adopted child of God and had a Father in heaven that he could cry out to for help. I also gave him 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. and explained to him that he was now clean. He received this with joy. I urged him to get into a right relationship with his girlfriend who is pregnant by him.
199 g Stephen (regular, young man) –We prayed for a job for him.
+Tyler (young man) — We prayed for a job for him. He said, “It is hard to get a good job with a criminal background.”
+ g Maria (woman) — A friend stole money from her and then kicked her out of the apartment. She is now living in a hotel for the homeless.
+ g Alan (man) — The furnace in his house is broken since yesterday. The landlord keeps trying to repair it, but it breaks down again.
+ 199 g Scott (boy, 10) — He asked prayers “for my mom.”
+ Ramal (man) — He came for prayer last week for a job. He has an interview on Friday. We prayed that it would be successful.
***** Bishop’s Message Regarding the Conflict in South Sudan, January 24, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The situation in South Sudan continues to be quite fragile, however on a positive note, I just received word that a ceasefire agreement was signed yesterday (January 23rd) in Addis Ababa. Let us pray that it is soon honored throughout all of South Sudan and the fighting stops. Unfortunately, there is a history of mistrust and rivalry between the two warring tribes, the Dinka and the Nuer. Time will tell if they are willing to let go of the past and work for true and lasting peace.
By the grace of God, Maridi has been spared thus far from the recent violence, however, Bishop Justin and the Church in Maridi are faced with a huge number of displaced people from the surrounding areas coming there for food, shelter and safety. Even with the just-announced ceasefire, large numbers of refugees are expected to continue coming until true peace is established and people are able to return to their homes. The following is an excerpt from two of the most recent communiqués I have received from Bishop Justin:
“We have started the new year with insecurity and up to now the situation is not good. There is constant fighting with great destruction of lives and properties in Juba and the three states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity State. There is constant defection of the Army to join the rebel group. There is much evidence of tribal rivalry between the Dinka supporting President Kiir and the Nuer tribe supporting Riack Machar who has rebelled…We are all okay here in Maridi. The number of displaced people continues to increase gradually. So far we have 167 families who have reached Maridi and 29 widows whose husbands were killed on the way. There are now a total of 1,336 displaced people in Maridi…So far more than 10,000 people are estimated to have died and over 200,000 people displaced. Fighting is still going on despite the many calls from the international communities for cease fire. Our worries are now about the roads from Yei to Juba and from Juba to Maridi which is becoming unsafe.”
Our sisters and brothers in Maridi need our help. First and foremost, they need our prayers. Bishop Justin has asked us to pray that Maridi and western Equatoria would be protected from the violence in the surrounding states and that there will be a political solution to the current situation and that peace will prevail, bringing an end to all the suffering and fighting. He has also asked us to pray that the Church will continue to be strong, providing comfort and encouragement for those seeking refuge and preaching a message of peace and reconciliation to all the people, especially the Dinka and Nuer tribes. Bishop Justin stated, “We very much value your prayers for us and thank you.” It is my sincere hope that each of us will be faithful in holding Bishop Justin, the Diocese of Maridi, and all the people of South Sudan up in our daily and corporate prayers.
In addition to our prayers, Bishop Justin and the people of Maridi are in desperate need of our financial assistance to help them in their efforts to feed, shelter and minister to the ever-growing number of refugees and displaced people arriving in Maridi each day. The following is a list of the specific items Bishop Justin intends to provide each of the refugee families:
1. 30 kg of maize corn: $20
2. 15 kg of beans: $40
3. 5 liters of cooking oil: $10
4. two pairs of bed sheets: $30
The total for these items to be provided for each displaced family is $100.
In an effort to assist our Sister Diocese of Maridi as they serve as a channel of God’s love, mercy and healing grace, striving to meet the overwhelming needs of the growing number of refugees, I am asking every parish church in the Diocese of Albany to prayerfully consider sending in a gift of $100 (or more if possible), to the Diocesan Business Office, 580 Burton Rd., Greenwich, NY 12834, by Wednesday, February 5th. (Please make checks payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and put “Maridi Relief” in the memo line. Donations can also be made online by credit card through our secure system by clicking here). In so doing we will be able to send a gift of over $10,000 to Maridi to assist them in this great time of need. Every dollar raised will be sent to Maridi.
Thank you for your prayers and generous financial support. You will be a blessing and encouragement to Bishop Justin and the people of Maridi and all those they have been called to serve.
Faithfully Your Brother in Christ, +Bill