For the conversion of Joppa, Israel

March 23, 2015

2 Kings 1:2 (KJV)
And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

Baalzebub–lord of the flies

Our Father in heaven,
Israel is a secular nation, a people of loyalties divided between the God of Israel and false gods.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
They place their religious weight on a man-made lattice of ideologies.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
The engineers of this lattice have rejected the chief corner stone. You have laid in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly corner stone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
It is marvelous in our eyes. The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. O Father, that the citizens of Joppa would not scoff at the Rock of their salvation!
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Just as the Israelites were spared the swarms of flies in the land of Goshen, spare Your children in Joppa. Let their lives be precious in Your sight. Amen.

References: Exodus 8:20-32

A striking graph – visual evidence of God’s answer to prayer re: Ebola

March 23, 2015

I was just browsing a very interesting article at BBC by an epidemiologist, recounting the work of tracing Ebola contacts in Liberia.

The article contains a striking graph, showing the curve of the epidemic in Liberia – the average number of new cases per day from March 2014 to March 2015.



Remember the #praytoendEbola prayer campaign spearheaded by SIM?  SIM’s prayer campaign took place from Sept 29 – October 5.  Several other ministries also called for intensive prayer in the first two weeks of October.  Look at when the rate of new Ebola infections began to decline in Liberia!  It’s pretty striking, and very encouraging!

Of course there was much besides prayer that went into turning around the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.  And the turn around took longer in Guinea and Sierra Leone.  In addition to praising God for His grace, I’m deeply thankful to all the doctors,  nurses, public health workers, epidemiologists, researchers, and community volunteers whose sacrificial work on the ground in West Africa made an essential difference.  As we prayed, God used their love, their hands & feet, their gifts and talents to turn around this disease.

Keep praying for Ebola to be totally ended throughout West Africa… Liberia has had almost no new cases for the past three weeks.  Guinea & Sierra Leone still are reporting siginificant numbers of cases, however.  Prayer is still needed, as are gifts to various NGOs and organizations leading the continued fight to contain Ebola.  You can read the latest update from all three countries here:  Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia.



Grace over Israel

March 23, 2015

Ephesians 3:20 KJV
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
unto Him be glory in the church in Israel, by Christ Jesus.
Lord, teach the Christians how to pray during the formation of a new government.

2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
Let it be. Amen.

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field

March 23, 2015

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field is an image of a small region of space with a low density of bright stars in the near-field, allowing much better viewing of dimmer, more distant objects. The image contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies.

1 Corinthians 15:41 (AMP)
The sun is glorious in one way, the moon is glorious in another way, and the stars are glorious in their own [distinctive] way; for one star differs from and surpasses another in its beauty and brilliance.

Dear Heavenly Father,
The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what You have done. The host of heaven cannot be numbered. It is too vast for our understanding. Holy is Your name.
We thank You for the billions of galaxies, each one distinctive. With joyful hearts, we thank You for the superabundance of blessings in the heavens above and the earth below. Holy is Your name.
The heavens declare Your righteousness, and all the peoples see Your glory. Amen.
Jeremiah 33:22, Psalm 19:1,97:6

Forgiving ISIS

March 22, 2015

From Christianity Today: An article about a video interview of a girl forgiving ISIS that has gone viral in the Arab world. The video is included in the link.
Another Christianity Today article on forgiving ISIS can be found here.

Hebrews, Jeremiah, and Psalm 51

March 22, 2015

though he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8 )
      Jesus, thank you for what you suffered for me so that you could learn obedience. Please help me to learn obedience as well.

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
      Holy Father, putyour law in my mind and write it on my heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

What we heard
WORD: Come to me in humility. Let me purify your heart.
WORD: Pray that you will bear fruit for my kingdom.
Romans 8:34 WORD: I am pleading for you right now.
WORD: You are in my care. Keep looking to me for help.
WORD: Remember to have mercy on the weak and the helpless.
Daily Lectionary
Monday: 31; *; 35; Jer. 24:1-10; Rom. 9:19-23; John 9:1-17
Tuesday: [120], 121, 122, 123; *; 124, 125, 126, [127]; Jer. 25:8-17; Rom. 10:1-13; John 9:18-41
Wednesday: 119:145-176; *; 128, 129, 130; Jer. 25:30-38; Rom. 10:14-21; John 10:1-18

      From the Front Lines

***** Jean and I are making a slow recovery: me from pneumonia and Jean from bronchial spasms. We have appreciated all your prayers. Torre

***** Christ Church Prayer Table, Albany Street, March 21, 2015, Chuck Rinaldo, Michelle Diaz, Keith

+ – Cross
199 Booklet

+ Al – Pray for his recovery from his addiction; for him to have a better relationship with his kids.
+ Tion – Protection on his way to work.
199 Joseph – Pray for him to have the Lord’s strength as he is in recovery and for him to stay clean.
+ Gave a cross to a passing young girl.
Kenny – Pray for God’s presence in the neighborhood and for safety for the children.
Pray for Jean and Torre’s health; for total and complete healing, strength and rest.
+ 199 Jim – His sister Cathy is sick; pray for total healing.
+ Ellie – God’s protection and his provision in her life.

City Mission Prayer Table, March 19, 2015 –Chuck Rinaldo
+ – Cross

Torre Bissell – Pray for total healing of pneumonia and quick recovery.
Ted and Camilla – Strength for Ted to continue to live independently. Enable Camilla to increase her immune system to combat Lyme disease.
PTL – Beth, who we have been praying for in her battle with Leukemia, has been released from the hospital. However, she will continue treatment from home.
+ Greg – His grandmother recently passed away. We prayed for comfort for the family. Prayed also for his mother’s health.
+ Carlos and Mary – Pray for their relationship. Mary is in a program at City Mission; pray for deliverance of substance abuse. Pray for Carlos for his ministry of World Discipleship Christ Recovery Network Nourishing Your Eternal Soul (WDCRN NYES).
++ Pete and Chikea – She is expecting a baby and asked for prayer for a healthy baby. Pray for their relationship to grow in love.
Rich – He went on a retreat last Saturday called “Stepping-up”. Pray for God’s continued leading.
++ Frankie – Pray that God renew his mind and spirit to guide him daily.

***** PRAYER TABLE REPORT ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM, (Monday, March 9, 10-11 a.m. in front of our church on Division Street. Chilly but not terribly cold as has been the case the past month. We had a steady crowd come to His table for prayer, free non-perishable food we offer, and clean used clothing we offer. John Banfield, James Bryant and Deacon Alan presiding at His table today. We offered everyone who came one of our red cards with the Holy Week schedule of services on it.)

MAN and WIFE (no names given) and their four adorable children — This family has been coming each of the last few weeks. The children look forward to seeing Cherie Nethaway, who gives them all “Goldfish” in a paper cup!) They got prayer as a group for general provision and safety.

LUCY — Friend of this family, She, too, has been coming regularly. Prayed for her well-being and safety.

ETHEL — She is a wonderful, elderly lady who walks all over Amsterdam giving food to friends and relatives that she picks up at the free meal across the street at the Masonic Temple. She never takes any food or clothing from us but she stops to talk with us. She calls us “The Street Angels.” We prayed for her to “keep going” and to continue to minister to the poor and afflicted in her life.

JOSE (and friend, no name) — This man lives across the street but comes by now and then. We prayed for the safety and good health of both men.

MIKE — Prayed for a family member of his who just had surgery.

REBECCA — Received prayer for safety in the surgery she is having this Friday.

IVA — Prayers sought for God to continue to watch over her.

GEORGIANA — She came to the table with Rebecca. Received prayer for her sciatic nerve pain she has had to endure. (Note: She and Rebecca both came to our Morning Prayer service today before the table started.)

BOB — Another pretty regular visitor. Prayed for his health. (He has a history of heart problems and is doing more walking these days. That is how he found us!)

ED — Always comes for a wooden cross (made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina) and a can or two of soup. He says he has the crosses hanging “all over my house” to protect him from evil.

Note: Please continue to bring in your cans of soup, pasta boxes, spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese, etc. as well as your clean, used clothing. Do not forget the needy neighbors in our midst. Jesus told us “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.” Let’s keep doing it!!

***** Prayer Table St. John’s Johnstown March 4, 3 volunteers

Prayed for:
Peter: Friend, Joe, who is hospitalized
John: for guidance and awareness

February 28, 2015 – Chuck Rinaldo, Mark Pasko and Wally Plock
+ -cross
Leola – Pray for her family and for comfort after the loss of her pet dog.
Gary – Pray for God’s protection.
+ Danny – Provision and God’s protection daily.
+ Shawn – Provision and God’s protection daily.
Deno – He was on the way to work, pray for his safety.
Karen – Concerns for her pet dog that has cancer.
Eric – Pray for his family.
Mark – Pray for his wife, Mary Ann, who is having mental and physical issues; for strength and healing.

***** PRAYER TABLE REPORT ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM, (Monday, Feb. 23, 2015; 10-11 a.m. Because of the second straight week of bitter-cold temperatures — it was minus 12 at 9:30! — we held the Prayer Table indoors in our Parish Hall. But whereas last week only three people followed up on the outdoor sign that we would be setting up inside, today 15 adults and several children came to the table for prayer as well as the free good, used clothing we offer and the free non-perishable food we offer. This is a WONDERFUL sign that our neighbors are not the least bit wary of coming inside our doors. Perhaps many of them, unfortunately, used to regard St. Ann’s as a big, gray stone church with people inside who don’t care about anyone else. Wrong! We at St. Ann’s love our neighbors and it is really starting to show. The people in our neighborhood are really getting the message that we love them and care about them. Want to hear MORE good news? Four people who came early for prayer and free items also joined us for Morning Prayer before the table was set up! Therefore, please continue your intercessory prayers for the success of each Prayer Table and continue to bring in your good, used clothing and non-perishable food items. Today we gave away ALL the food that was stocked and most of the warm clothing and shoes, blankets, etc. John Banfield, James Bryant and Deacon Alan presiding at His table today.)

a — anointed with Holy Oil
t — received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina f — received free, non-perishable food we offer c — received free clean, used clothing and blankets we offer

f,c — GEORGIANA — She has become a regular and joined us for MP. She asked prayers for MaryJo, her friend who is in a nursing facility and is not well.

a,f,c — REBECCA — A longtime regular. (She was the first visitor ever to our prayer table back on July 9, 2012.) She is having surgery on March 13 for her back and is very worried that it might not go well. We prayed that she would be brave and strong, to trust in God and for Him to get her through this hard time.

f,c — “CHIP” — Accepted our offer to join us for MP. He smiled and said “Sure!” Asked for a general prayer for protection and provision. (This man often brings items to share with others at the table.)

f,c — SHERRY — Sought prayers for her upcoming surgery.

JOHN — Asked for prayers for his in-laws,who are not well.

a,f,c — IRENE — This Spanish-speaking woman does not understand English but (with sign language and limited Spanish) understands that we are praying for her. She is very needy and grateful for whatever we give her.

a,f,c — ALBERT — He asked for prayers for his brother (no name) who was just arrested last week and is in jail awaiting trial.

a — WOMAN (no name) — This person is going through a terrible time in her life and we prayed for the Lord to carry her through this. God knows the details.

t,f,c — FAMILY — (Man, woman, children — no names) — We gave the little boy in the carriage a cross and gave him a blessing that he will come to know Christ.

f,c,a — DAVID — This young man has some very serious problems. The Lord knows the details. We prayed at length for this man.

f,c — NANCY — Took many items she needed while we had the lengthy needed prayer sessions with DAVID, but unfortunately left before we could pray for her.

DAVE (no same man as before) — Frequent visitor to the table, he stopped by to say hello. This is a deeply Christian man from another denomination who has directed many of our neighbors to our table.

Albany Intercessor

For the conversion of Joppa, Israel

March 22, 2015

From Wikipedia:

Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth. . . . Geb could also be regarded as personified fertile earth and barren desert, the latter containing the dead or setting them free from their tombs, metaphorically described as “Geb opening his jaws”, or imprisoning those there not worthy to go to the fertile North-Eastern heavenly Field of Reeds.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (ESV)
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Father in heaven,
We praise the glory of Your grace! God has made us accepted in the Beloved in whom we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of our sins.
You instructed Moses to strike the earth, and the dust would become stinging gnats which would cover the land. You, not Geb, have overcome the power of death through the resurrection of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
Many in Joppa, Israel believe they can earn their way into heaven. Forgive them, Lord.
Release the Word of God into this city! Open their ears to hear that they may know what is the hope of Your calling and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power to those who believe. Amen.

References: Exodus 8:16-19, Time to Defeat the Devil by Chuck D. Pierce, p. 73-74

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