Primates’ gathering

October 31, 2015

The Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion will gather in January 2016.

From Rev. Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council:

It is good to hope for a positive outcome from the Primates gathering in January. But it is even better to pray. Hope is good. Prayer is essential.

This is a time to pray for extraordinary courage on the part of all the Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion who will be at Canterbury in January – to pray that they will do the right thing together. To pray that they will honor both truth and love by doing what Jesus would do, and saying what he would say. To pray that they will have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11) in the mind of the Church, and that they may finally take order of the Church.

But above all it is a time for us to set our hope in the right place, as the Psalmist reminds us:

“Find rest. O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people: pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8)


Vietnam War memorial

October 31, 2015

Invocation at the opening ceremony for The Moving Wall
Yazoo City, Mississippi
October 30, 2015
Reverend George F. Woodliff III

Dear Heavenly Father,
We invite your holy presence at this gathering for the display of The Moving Wall here in Yazoo City, and we ask that you sanctify the ground where The Moving Wall is displayed.
We ask for the remembrance for those persons whose names appear on this wall, and we seek to “honor those to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7).
As we stand before this very moving wall, we pray that it will become a wall of healing, and we ask the Holy Spirit to move among all those who visit this wall and bring wholeness and healing to everyone, especially those who bear deep scars and wounds as a consequence of the war memorialized by this wall.
We pray, dear Lord, that at this very moving wall, you will begin to “break down the dividing walls” (Ephesians 2:14) that separate peoples in this city, in this state, in this country, in this world.
As we stand before this very moving wall, we pray, dear Lord, that you will “rebuild the wall” (Nehemiah 2:17) of the fabric of this nation and rebuild families that make up the building blocks of that wall.
Finally, dear Lord, we fervently beseech you to be “a wall of fire” (Zechariah 2:5) around this nation and protect us from all foes that seek to do us harm.
We entrust this holy place and this holy time to you, and we pray that thy kingdom come and thy will be done at this Moving Wall.
And we ask all of this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

From the lectionary for 2015 10 31

October 31, 2015

Matthew 13:31-32 (NKJV)
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
      Holy Spirit, let faith in Jesus grow in me and let my life become a place where others may find shelter.
Matthew 13:33 (NKJV)
Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
      Jesus, let the leaven of the gospel work its way through my whole life.
Revelation 7:11-12 (NKJV)
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
      Father, I want to join in that great throng giving you thanksgiving and honor and power and might.
Revelation 7:13-17 (NKJV)
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
      Holy God, thank you for all those who have gone through the great tribulation and have washed their robes white in the blood of the lamb.
Nehemiah 4:16-18 (NKJV)
So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
      Lord, clothe us with your full armor as we carry on the work of the gospel and rebuild your church.
      Father, please put on all of us the shoes of the preparation to share the gospel of peace; gird our loins with your truth; put on us the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation. Place on our arm the shield of faith with which to quench every fiery dart of the evil one; and place in our hand the sword of your Spirit which is your word; that having stood all, we might yet stand. Finally, help us to be strong in Jesus and in the power of his might, and cast off from us the chains of apathy that keep us from speaking boldly as we ought to speak. Thank you. (See Ephesians 6:10-20)
Psalm 55:16-18 (NKJV)
As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.
      Jesus, thank you for redeeming my life and giving me a heart to cry out to you throughout the day.
Word: Look to me for hope that does not disappoint. Look to me in the day of joy. Look to me in the day of trouble. Look to me — I AM able to handle any problem you bring to me.
Thank you, Lord; I come to you.

Diocese of South Carolina

October 30, 2015

Luke 22:7-13 (NLT)
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”

“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.

He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You that a man carrying a pitcher of water met the disciples. We humbly beseech the Holy Spirit to meet the disciples in the Diocese of South Carolina.
Jesus is Faithful and True.
Jesus warned us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. We lift up the Diocese of South Carolina and pray that they will be holy and set apart for Your good work.
Jesus is Faithful and True.
Cleanse them by the washing of water by Your Holy Word. Help them to beware of false teaching and religious pride.
Jesus is Faithful and True.
You have redeemed the Diocese of South Carolina. Consider their trouble, for they have suffered much adversity. Have mercy upon them and set their feet in a large place, already furnished.
Jesus is Faithful and True.
We cry out for the Blood of the Lamb over them, their ministries, and their property. The Blood of the Lamb says to the angel of death, “You must pass over.”
Jesus is Faithful and True.

Ephesians 5:26, Psalm 31:5-8

Some ideas for this prayer came from Jacob’s Ladder.

Diocese of South Carolina

October 16, 2015

Our Father in heaven,

We thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. You are gracious and steadfast, abounding in mercy.

May Your hedge of protection be around the Diocese of South Carolina, the blood of Yeshua be over them and their property, and the whole armor of God be upon their communicants.

We pray that no weapon formed against them shall prosper or succeed: no witchcraft, no curses, no judgments, no evil-speaking, no demonic assignment, and no “snare of the fowler”.

We humbly ask for Your perfect justice and Your perfect mercy in the pending lawsuit. There is no crookedness that You cannot make straight; no injustice that You cannot make aright. Have mercy, Lord. Have mercy. Amen.

Reference: A portion of this prayer is derived from a prayer by Rick Ridings.

Diocese of South Carolina

October 15, 2015

1 Chronicles 29:8-9 (NKJV)
And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord; and King David also rejoiced greatly.

Jehiel–God lives

John 8:12,20a (NKJV)
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” . . . These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple.

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

O Father,
You indeed live! Our treasure lies in You alone.
In this season of uncertainty, may the light of life of Your Son Jesus shine through the Diocese of South Carolina as light shining through precious stones. Amen.

Diocese of South Carolina

October 14, 2015

Psalm 26:3a
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes.

Psalm 123:1-2 (ESV)
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes.

Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You that Your eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose hearts are completely Yours. Look to the Diocese of South Carolina, we pray. Amen.
2 Chronicles 16:9

South Carolina

October 4, 2015

Obed-edom was a Levite. He couldn’t go into the most holy place. He could move the tabernacle, but not see it. The name Obed means serving, honoring God in the right way; edom means someone who causes others to blush.

When David attempted to move the Ark without following God’s instructions to use the Levites, Uzzah was struck dead. The Ark was left in Obed-edom’s house in Kiriath-jearim for three months, and the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and everything he owned. God visited Obed-edom because he understood the holy. Obed-Edom stewarded the presence of God.

When the Ark was moved, Obed-Edom went with the Ark to Jerusalem. He was designated to be a gatekeeper, to play the lyre, and to guard the Ark (1 Chronicles 15:18,21,24). Once the Ark was established in Jerusalem, Obed-edom helped lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord (1 Chronicles 16:5). He continued to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant as a gatekeeper.

The sons of Obed-edom were also gatekeepers–all eight of them. Obed-edom’s grandsons earned positions of great authority in the clan. These descendants of Obed-edom, all 62 of them, were very capable men, well qualified for their work. God had richly blessed Obed-edom (1 Chronicles 26:4-8).

Our choices affect our legacy.

Our Father in heaven,
We lift to You the litigation between the Episcopal Church, its local agents, and the Diocese of South Carolina. Each side has made its choices.
We ask for Your perfect justice. Grant a bountiful legacy to the stewards of the holiness of God. Amen.

Israeli tensions

October 4, 2015

From Times of Israel: On Thursday, Naama and Eitam Henkin were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank. Israel has carried out a number of raids in the West Bank since the attack in a bid to catch the couple’s killers, who gunned down the two on a West Bank road in front of their four children. Operations in Nablus and Jenin over the past two days have sparked clashes with local Palestinians.
On Saturday night Palestinian Mohammad Halabi carried out a stabbing spree in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banito, 21, and wounding Banito’s wife and 2-year-old baby, police said.
Hours later, Palestinian Fadi Aloon stabbed an Israeli teen near the Old City’ Damascus gate. Both Halabi and Aloon were shot and killed at the scene.
The Israel Police announced Sunday it would limit access to Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, over the next two days.

Psalm 26:3a (AMP)
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes

Our Father in heaven,
There is so much hatred in the world today. We look to You. Your lovingkindness is before our eyes.
You know the needs of the Palestinian Muslims far better than we. They are shackled to a false understanding of who You are. Yet, are they not created in the image of God?

O Jesus, Prince of Peace,
Unlock the shackles that restrain them from stepping into the identity that the Father has designed for them. May they hear the good news through friends and media. Visit the Palestinians in supernatural ways, through dreams and visions, that they may come to see You as Savior. The ones who come to You, Jesus, You will most certainly not cast out.

If there are external financial forces driving the militant Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem, we humbly ask that the financial incentives to violence be severed. If there are voices of hate that are inciting the Palestinians, we humbly ask that the platforms under these voices be pulled down and the power sources cut off.

Oh, that the Palestinians would bind unto themselves the knowledge that they are, by the grace of God and the blood of Christ shed for them, Your beloved children. Oh, that they would loose their orphan spirits. It is Your good pleasure to give them the kingdom. Amen.