An Appeal to Heaven–the Iroquois influence

January 31, 2015

The Appeal to Heaven Flag was one of the flags used during the American Revolution. The flag features a pine tree with the motto “An Appeal to God,” or, more usually, “An Appeal to Heaven.”

From Appeal to Heaven–the Story:

The Pine Tree, also known as the “Tree of Peace” has been sacred by the Iroquois Indians for over a 1000 years in America. At a very troubling time in their history, a peacemaker united 6 great tribes from the Great Lake areas and established unity.. This great treaty was symbolized by burying their weapons under a pine tree (this is were “bury the hatchet” came from) and this tree was to be guarded by a bald eagle at its peak clutching 6 arrows, representing the six tribes…sound familiar?…our eagle has 13. The truth is, our founding fathers and early settlers were very much influenced by the Iroquois Indians.

Genesis 35:2-4 (NKJV)
And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.

O Father,
The United States of America is a polarized nation. Raise up peacemakers so that we may bury our grievances and our foreign gods and purify ourselves. Help us to change our mantles of identity, from children of resentment to children of the Most High God. We appeal to heaven. Amen.

Ebola virus mutation–a prayer

January 31, 2015

From the BBC:

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious. . . .

“We know the virus is changing quite a lot,” said human geneticist Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai. . . . A virus can change itself to less deadly, but more contagious and that’s something we are afraid of” . . . . “We’ve now seen several cases that don’t have any symptoms at all, asymptomatic cases,”

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
O Lord, You are the Author of salvation. Write the words

contrite spirit

over Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
O Lord, You are the Author of salvation. Write the words

contrite heart

over Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
O Lord, You are the Author of salvation. Write the words

contrite ones

over Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Diocese of South Carolina

January 30, 2015

The diocese has been in a season of transition and awaits the results of litigation.

Exodus 31:18 (NIV)
When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Father, inscribe upon the hearts of the people of the Diocese of South Carolina Your covenant law.

Mark 7:33-35 (NIV)
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Open their ears and loosen their tongues to advance the kingdom of God.

Luke 11:20 (NIV)
But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Drive out the demons blocking the advancement of Your kingdom in this diocese. Your kingdom come and Your will be done in the Diocese of South Carolina as it is in heaven. Amen.

US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage

January 29, 2015

The Supreme Court of the United States has announced it will hear arguments on same-sex marriage at the federal level from April 20-29 of this year. The Court will subsequently rule on the constitutionality of states’ rights to ban gay marriage and/or recognize gay marriages performed in another state. In theory, this case has the potential to legalize same-sex marriages in all 50 states, effectively redefining the definition of marriage on a national basis should the Court rule that the banning of same-sex marriage based upon state laws is unconstitutional.

Many think that the definition of marriage should be determined by the states themselves versus the US Supreme Court. However, with powerful backing and resourcing, pro-gay marriage entities have been successfully winning court cases in many arenas on the state level. In fact, 36 states have now legalized same-sex marriage, most of those being decided in court cases won by pro-gay marriage plaintiffs in 2013 and 2014.

Dear Father,
We thank You for the high privilege of living at this time and in this land. It is our hearts’ desire for the righteousness of God to rule in the United States. Grant to the Justices of the Supreme Court wisdom, conviction where needed, that their verdict would align with the righteous and perfect will of God. Amen.

Reference: RPN e-mail


January 29, 2015

Tensions on Israel’s northern borders

Dan is the northernmost city of the Kingdom of Israel, belonging to the Tribe of Dan. The city is identified with the tel known as Tel Dan (“Mound of Dan” in Hebrew).
The excavators of Tel Dan uncovered a city gate made of mud bricks on top of megalithic basalt standing stones, estimated to have been built around 1750 BC, presumed to be the period of the Biblical patriarchs. Its popular name is Abraham’s gate, because Abraham traveled to Dan to rescue his nephew Lot.

Genesis 14:14-16 (ESV)
When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Our Father in heaven,
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. We thank You that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We call for His Holy Spirit to rouse 319 trained intercessors for the defense of Israel. Jesus, route the demonic forces that are trying to steal the identity and destiny of Your people–the spirits of anti-Semitism, vengeance, religious hatred, and prophet-slaying.
We bless Israel’s northern borders. We bless Tel Dan and Abraham’s gate. We bless the Dan River. Amen.
1 John 3:8

Mark 6 and Psalm 119

January 28, 2015

Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they were offended at him. (Mark 6:3)
      The people only had head knowledge of you, Jesus; please us heart knowledge of your as well.

Now he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. Then he went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. (Mark 6:5-6)
      [Two years ago I was teaching a computer class at the West Milton site of the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory. At the end of the class one of the nuclear engineers was waiting for me in the hallway with a question: “Torre, why are there more miracles in Africa than there are here?” I replied that I thought it was because we had all sorts of things we thought we could fall back on and that Jesus was at the end of that list; whereas for many people in Africa Jesus was the only refuge they had, and they went to him first. Thus, there were more miracles. I asked him if he was willing to be put in the place where Jesus was the only thing he could fall back on, and he said, “Yes.”]

      Lord Jesus, bring me to that place where all of my trust is in you alone. Thank you

This is my comfort in my affliction, for your word has given me life. (Psalm 119:50)
      Jesus, thank you for being the Word of Life to me.

The earth, O LORD, is full of your mercy; teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:64)
      Holy Spirit, please teach me and lead me day by day.

WORD: Are you willing to share the gospel with someone else today?

Daily Lectionary
Wednesday: 119:49-72 * 49, [53]; Isa. 49:1-12; Gal. 2:11-21; Mark 6:13-29
Thursday: 50 * [59, 60] or 118; Isa. 49:13-23; Gal. 3:1-14; Mark 6:30-46

Albany Intercessor

Mark 5 and Isaiah 48

January 27, 2015

And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw him, he fell at his feet and begged him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” (Mark 5:22-23)
      Holy Spirit, give us the humility to fall on our knees before Jesus in our hour of need.

When she heard about Jesus, she came behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If only I may touch his clothes, I shall be made well.” (Mark 5:27-28 )
      Holy Spirit, give us the grace to reach out to Jesus in our hour of need.

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)
      Jesus, help us by your Holy Spirit to hear your words of peace and encouragement.

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:36)
      Jesus, please set us free from the fear that takes away our belief in you.

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)
      LORD, your church is being tested in the furnace of affliction. Have mercy on us.

WORD: When things are really bad, I will lead you through it.
WORD: Yield to me your heart’s desires.
WORD: Look to me for help when you are troubled or afraid.

Daily Lectionary
Tuesday: 45 * 47, 48; Isa. 48:12-21; Gal. 1:18-2:10; Mark 6:1-13
Wednesday: 119:49-72 * 49, [53]; Isa. 49:1-12; Gal. 2:11-21; Mark 6:13-29

      From the Front Lines

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, January 22, 2015, 5:05 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, 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
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Ted (volunteer) We prayed for his granddaughter Camille who is having a “bad day today” with Lyme’s disease.

Rich (young man) — He has been accepted back into the program at the Schenectady City Mission. He will be in the program for a full year.

+ 199 Alyson (woman) — She is fearful of upcoming eye lens replacement surgery.

Gary (staff) — We prayed for his message to the community meal. He gave thanks for finding a lost bracelet his son had given to him.

Chuck — We prayed for Ray who has skin cancer and Linda who had foot surgery.

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, January 24, 2015, 9:05 – 10:30 a.m. Trevor Wright, Keith Meres and Torre Bissell on State St. and Dcn. Larry Hubert and Michelle Diaz on Albany St. Snow, but reasonably warm with no wind!

+–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
w–indicates received warm winter clothes, e.g., gloves, hat, etc.

State St.

Larry (man) — We prayed for his relationships with people at work and with others.

+ Calvin (man) — “Strength”

+ 199 Chenise (woman) — “Struggles”

+ Trevor (young man) — He asked prayer for Anthony who has “a past”.

+ Martin (man) — “For luck to get better.”

Donna (regular, woman) — For God to keep family safe and well.

Hussein (Muslim man)

+ Kenneth (man) — For health and help with my wife.

+ 199 Darius (man) — “Make things better”

Dean (man) — He asked for “general prayer”

+ w Dashon (young man) — Carf won’t start, problems at work.

Keith (man) — He prayed for Torre and Jean

+ 199 Alquan (young man) — He asked prayer for health and strength.

Albany Intercessor

Diocese of South Carolina

January 25, 2015

The diocese is in an extended season of transition; awaiting the results of litigation.
God’s promises to Abram included land. I don’t know the nature of His promises to the Diocese of South Carolina.

Genesis 13:14-15
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.”

O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
You are the God who gives hope for the future. Raise the vision of the Diocese of South Carolina, dear Lord, up to new spiritual horizons, to perceive the new realities You have planned for them. Help them to receive and live into Your revelation, for the blessing of the generations. Amen.

2016 elections

January 24, 2015

1 Peter 2:1-3 (GNT)
Rid yourselves, then, of all evil; no more lying or hypocrisy or jealousy or insulting language. Be like newborn babies, always thirsty for the pure spiritual milk, so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved. As the scripture says, “You have found out for yourselves how kind the Lord is.”

Our Father in heaven,
Indeed, how forceful are upright words!
We humbly beseech You to prepare the hearts of the intercessors in the United States of America for the 2016 elections. Teach them to lay aside all evil, lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and insulting language. Grant them a hunger for Holy Scripture.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Teach them how to pray for our nation. We trust in Your kindness, O Lord. Amen.
Job 6:25a, Proverbs 18:21

Mathuselah’s long life

January 24, 2015

From Koinonia House:

The name Methuselah comes from two roots: muth, a root that means “death” ; and from shalach, which means “to bring,” or “to send forth.” Thus, the name Methuselah signifies, “his death shall bring.”

And, indeed, in the year that Methuselah died, the flood came. Methuselah was 187 when he had Lamech, and lived 782 years more. Lamech had Noah when he was 182.(Gen 5:25-28) The Flood came in Noah’s 600th year. (Gen 7:6,11) 187 + 182 + 600 = 969, Methuselah’s age when he died. (Gen 5:27)

It is interesting that Methuselah’s life was, in effect, a symbol of God’s mercy in forestalling the coming judgment of the flood. It is therefore fitting that his lifetime is the oldest in the Bible, symbolizing the extreme extensiveness of God’s mercy.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the wideness of Your mercy in the Middle East and pray for the conversion of the descendants of Methuselah. We invite Jesus into the Middle East for a harvest of souls. Amen.

Ebola crisis prayer

January 24, 2015

Job 13:15a NIV
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.

Dear Father,
We place our hope for Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali in You. Have mercy, Lord. Have mercy. Amen.

Mark and Ephesians

January 22, 2015

But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:20)
      Jesus, please help us bear fruit for you.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. (Ephesians 5:1)
      Lord, help us to be imitators of you.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 )
      Holy Spirit, I want to walk as a child of the light.

Also he said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Then he said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” (Mark 4:21-24)
      Holy Spirit, help us shine forth with the light of the gospel.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:18-19)
      Father, thank you for all that you are doing for us and through us in the name of your son Jesus, Help us submit ourselves to one another out of reverence for you. Thank you.

giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:20-21)
WORD: Desire my strength within you.
WORD: I have carried you all these years. Keep looking to me for comfort and safety.

Daily Lectionary
Thursday: 37:1-18 * 37:19-42; Isa. 45:5-17; Eph. 5:15-33; Mark 4:21-34
Friday: 31 * 35; Isa. 45:18-25; Eph. 6:1-9; Mark 4:35-41

Albany Intercessor

Ephesians, Isaiah, and Revelation

January 19, 2015

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
      Father, thank you for coming into my life.

      Holy Spirit, thank you for calling us to hope.

      Jesus, thank you for making us a part of your body through faith and baptism.

And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12)
      Jesus, equip me to help build up your body.

This people I have formed for myself; they shall declare my praise. (Isaiah 43:21)
      “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)

WORD: Come to me. Look to me for help.
WORD: When you hear my word, respond to it.
WORD: Come near to me and I will come near to you.

Daily Lectionary
Monday: 25 * 9, 15; Isa. 44:6-8, 21-23; Eph. 4:1-16; Mark 3:7-19a
Tuesday: 26, 28 * 36, 39; Isa. 44:9-20; Eph. 4:17-32; Mark 3:19b-35

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, January 17, 2015, 9:15 – 10:35 a.m. Carol MacNaughton and Torre Bissell on State St. and Dcn. Larry Hubert and Mark Pasko on Albany St.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
w–indicates received warm winter clothing, e.g. hats, gloves, scarfs
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

State St.

Donna (woman, regular) — Prayed for blessing on her and her family.

+ w Claudia (young woman) — Prayed for blessing and healing of famly wounds.

+ w 199 Bevery (woman) — “My niece Laura is sick.”

+ w 199 Ralph (alcoholic man) — He asked for prayer to stop drinking and to get his life together. With tears pouring down his cheeks he gave his life to Christ and accepted forgiveness of his sins.

+Taiquan (young man) — He asked prayer for good health. He was willing to invite Jesus into his heart but not ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. [Jesus, the ball is now in your court.]

++ 199 Anthony (man) — He asked prayer for his girlfriend Marilyn who has an eating disorder.

Albany Intercessor

Ebola–the children of West Africa

January 19, 2015

This commentary outlines the ways the Ebola crisis is impacting the children of west Africa.

The questions are from Eliphaz, one of Job’s three friends who visited him in his affliction. The response is from the psalms of the ascent, the songs pilgrims sang as they ascended to Jerusalem.

Job 4:17,15:14, Psalm 123:1-2(NLT)
Can a mortal be innocent before God?
I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.
Can anyone be pure before the Creator? Can any mortal be pure?
We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy,
Can anyone born of a woman be just?
Just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Our Father in heaven,
We proclaim Your majesty, Your purity, Your justice, and Your mercy over west Africa. We are fallen creatures; even our children fall short of Your glory. But You are enthroned in all majesty, all power, all wisdom, all love. We keep our eyes on You in the midst of the suffering from the Ebola epidemic, and we look for Your mercy. Amen.


January 18, 2015

Psalm 7:9 (NIV)
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.

Our Father in heaven,
You indeed are righteous. You indeed are omniscient. Guard the United States from terrorism, we pray. Amen.

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