Pray for Kenya – Good Friday statement from Abp. Wabukala

April 3, 2015

Somehow the suffering of Christians in Kenya today following yesterday’s killing of 147 students by Al Shabbab terrorists, as well as the memory of the recent martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Egypt brings Good Friday into focus much more sharply this year for me.  Below is the statement and the request for prayer from the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala.  May the Lord who suffered at the hands of evil men be near to those families who have suffered at the hands of terrorists.

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Good Friday statement from the Primate of Kenya

‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother’
John 19:25

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Good Friday we gather in our churches across Kenya in the shadow of a great and terrible evil. People who deal in death have slaughtered 147 people in Garissa, most of them students, and brought wrenching anguish to their families and a deep sadness to our nation.

These young people died because they were Kenyans and they were Christians. This attack was a calculated manifestation of evil designed to destroy our nation and our faith, but on this Good Friday we are reminded that the very worst evil can do is not the last word.

Through spite and blatant miscarriage of justice, Jesus dies the agonising death of the cross, but his last words are ‘it is finished’. The cross was not a tragic accident, but the fulfilment of God’s purpose to reconcile men and women to himself through the atoning death of his Son, a reality gloriously confirmed by his resurrection from the dead.

But we must not rush on to Easter Day too quickly.  Today we stand at the cross with Mary and the other women, heartbroken by loss and suffering and despite the horror before their eyes, not running away.

Horror is fresh in our minds too and let us not run away or deny it, but stay by the cross. We stay with Jesus, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, we share in the grief of Mary and we share in the grief of those who have been so shockingly bereaved, but as Mary was to discover, we know that this is not the end of the story.

Jesus death upon the cross was not in vain. By his death, death has been destroyed. The stone rolled away and the empty tomb of Jesus assures us that death does not have the last word. As we think of those dear ones who died at Garissa because they were Christians, let us remember the promise of the Lord Jesus that nothing can separate them and us from his love.

Above all, let us resolve today that these deaths, and those of other Kenyans who have died previously at the hands of Al Shabaab, will not be in vain. We call on the government to do all in its power to protect the lives of its citizens and we call on the world community to recognise that this latest outrage is not just an attack on Kenya, but part of an assault on world peace. The time has come for the world to unite as never before in defeating this growing menace.

While governments have a vital role, even more important are the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Let us covenant together before God that we will never ever surrender our nation or our faith in Christ to those who glory in death and destruction. We will not be intimidated because we know and trust in the power of the cross, God’s power to forgive our sins, to turn death into the gate of glory and to make us his children for ever.

Amen
Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya

via the GAFCON website


#PraytoendEbola – Praying for Church leaders in West Africa by name

September 30, 2014

(This is a follow up to our post on Praying for various key leaders in the fight against Ebola)

Thanks to US (formerly USPG) for passing along the names of several church leaders in Liberia and Sierra Leone and a suggetion of how we can pray for them.  I’m hoping I can update this post with more names over the course of the next few days.

US has a very helpful Ebola update page.  Check it regularly, along with their daily prayer post for prayer requests from those on the ground in West Africa.

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  • The Most Revd Jonathan Hart, Archbishop of Liberia
  • Ade Renner-Thomas, Chancellor for the Diocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • The Most Revd Daniel Sarfo, The Archbishop of Ghana and Primate of the Anglican Province of West Africa (newly elected in March 2014, following the January 2014 death of his predecessor, Abp. the Most. Rev. Tilewa Johnson)

My contact at US suggested we pray for these men especially to have wisdom in how to help the church in these countries know how to continue show love and respond to the needs, yet  minimize risk. 

In researching this post, I came across an article from George Conger’s blog about a May 2014 clergy conference in Ghana, in which Arcbishop Sarfo exhorted the clergy “to identify more closely with their people, by joining in their sorrows and joys” – that was well before the Ebola outbreak had exploded in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The Church in West Africa faces a tremendous challenge to show the love of Christ and bring His comfort to those who are suffering and dying because of this outbreak.   Let’s remember and pray for the Church leaders throughout West Africa today using the words of 2 Corinthians 1:3-11

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

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Here are some links for information about the Anglican Province of West Africa and it’s leadership:

Anglican Communion Office Provincial overview page

Wikipedia page

 

We invite all our readers and contacts to share the names of those working in West Africa or directly involved in the Ebola response so that we can uphold them before the Lord by name.  Thanks!


Praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop

June 15, 2014

I’m very thankful to the AAC for posting an article with suggestions about how to be praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop. Here are some excerpts:

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Almighty God, giver of every good gift: we thank you for miraculously raising up a new Anglican Movement and giving us a courageous Archbishop, Robert Duncan, to lead our Anglican Church in North America these past five years. Look graciously now on your Church, and send your Holy Spirit to guide the hearts and minds of the College of Bishops who will choose an Archbishop for our Province, that we may receive a faithful Apostle who will lead us in mission and evangelism with our brothers and sisters around the world, and who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries in North America, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, friends of the Anglican realignment,

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will gather to elect a new Archbishop beginning Thursday evening, June 19 and, if necessary, adjourning Sunday evening June 22. I am grateful for the Collect (above) that we have been able to pray during these recent weeks leading up to the election of a leader to succeed Archbishop Bob Duncan. I am also grateful for our Lord’s hand upon the ACNA, its growth under the inspired leadership of Archbishop Duncan, and our opportunity to celebrate both during Provincial meetings June 23-28 at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA.

[…]  Pray for the bishops who will be gathering in conclave to elect.  Pray for their discernment. Pray that they will be guided and governed by faith rather than fear.  Pray that they will confirm by their ballots the man whom God has already chosen. Pray for the bishops’ unity behind their choice of the man whom God has already chosen from the moment they and we move forward from this election.

[…]

let me humbly offer a list of what you and I should pray for in the man whom the College of Bishops will choose as the next Archbishop of the ACNA:

 

A leader who PRAYS:  We need an Archbishop who has the gift of leadership. That’s a given. But not all leaders have a deep life of prayer and listening. This job requires a leader who will listen to the voice of God above the voices of others—even the best counselors. We have been blessed to have an Archbishop who had such a deep commitment to prayer and listening to the Lord that he took time apart to be with the Lord, to rest and pray and listen to the Lord. The qualities and competencies required of our next Archbishop must come out of this deep, inner life with Christ.

 

A leader with the gift of FAITH:  Every bishop I can think of in the College is faithful. We are blessed with a College of Bishops who stand in the tradition of the Apostles and the faith once delivered. But what our next Archbishop needs is the spiritual gift of faith (I Corinthians 12:9), the supernatural ability to trust God for the future even when it doesn’t look so good in the moment. Every ministry has those days, and the ACNA is no exception. But what we need is a leader who can lower the anxiety level in the system with a calm, non-anxious leadership that flows out of that supernatural ability to trust God for the future. We have been blessed to have such faith in Archbishop Duncan—every day, both when things are looking good and when they’re not looking so good.

 

A leader with the gift of DISCERNMENT:  This too is a spiritual gift (I Corinthians 12:10).  Yes, there’s a certain quality of discernment that one can cultivate, a wisdom born of experience.  It’s what we teach in our Clergy Leadership Training Institutes about “The Leadership Triangle”: how to accurately diagnose a challenge (technical, strategic or cultural) and so to apply the leadership skills appropriate to that challenge. Misdiagnosis or failure to discern accurately may lead to solutions that make the challenges worse.[2]  But there is also a need for supernatural ability to distinguish which spirits are at work in a particular challenge. We need an Archbishop who can cut through the cloud of confusion and acrimony that often surrounds such challenges and conflict with a supernatural ability to see God’s way forward.

 

A leader who calls on the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:  In a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, we need a leader who can call us to a new Pentecost. We need a leader who calls on the power of the Holy Spirit and invites Him into every situation.  Whether we are dealing with evangelism, church planting, reaching people who do not yet know Jesus with his transforming love—or the powers and principalities at work in the Anglican Communion hostile to the Gospel—we are dealing with spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Only the Holy Spirit can lift that veil and level the playing field so that our mission can go forward from strength to strength. We need a leader who understands that, who calls upon such Holy Spirit power daily, and who calls us to do the same.

 

A leader who walks in PEACE:  We have a saying in our Clergy Leadership gatherings:  ministry doesn’t just include conflict—ministry IS conflict. Archbishop Duncan has faced conflicts of every size and shape, domestically and internationally, every day. But he has also modeled for us what it means to be a leader who walks in peace. A leader who moves toward persons in conflict, not away from them and the conflict. We need a leader who has the same commitment to walk toward others and their conflicts—even and especially with those with whom he may disagree. We need a leader who can be a bridge builder, a reconciler, and a peacemaker, even and especially when doing so makes the leader a target.

A leader who walks in HUMILITY:  Humility is the virtue of John the Baptist—being able to decrease in order that Jesus may increase (John 3:30). In order for any leader to remain focused on vision, values and mission, the leader must be one who does not personalize challenge, resistance or conflict. We need an Archbishop who has that quality of humility to keep us focused on the main thing—Jesus and his mission. This virtue has an added blessing: it attracts God’s glory and power, as Andrew Murray observes in Humility:

“Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.  He that humbles himself—that must be our one care—will be exalted; that is God’s care.”[3]

God grant us a leader who, by abasing and emptying himself, will open the door for the Church to be filled with God’s glory and power.

A leader with VISION:  I’ve left this for last not because it is the least important. On the contrary. Any leader must have vision in order for the ministry to experience ever renewed and renewing seasons of growth. But I’m convinced that our next Archbishop will have the vision the Church needs to move forward as a byproduct and fruit of prayer, faith, discernment, calling on the Holy Spirit, and walking in peace and humility. I’m convinced of this because I have seen it in the leadership of ++Robert Duncan. First it was the vision of coming together as the Anglican Communion Network and Common Cause Partners. When that summit was reached, then it was responding to the call at GAFCON 2008 to build the Anglican Church in North America. When that summit was reached, it was the extraordinary call to plant 1000 new churches in 5 years.  We haven’t reached that summit yet—but we are well on the way because of a leader who took the time to make those qualities I’ve listed the priorities of his leadership. God-given vision flowed out of it.

 

The full article is here.


Like a signet

January 23, 2011

Some primates will meet in Dublin next week. Some will not. Over half of the Anglicans in the world will not be represented.

Exodus 28:11-12 (New King James Version)
With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall set them in settings of gold. And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders as a memorial.

Exodus 28:36-37 (New King James Version)
“You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban.

Our Father in heaven,
In humility, we come before You bearing the names of the provinces of the Anglican Communion: Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia; Australia; Bangladesh; Brazil; Burundi; Canada; Central Africa; Central America; Congo, England; Hong Kong; Indian Ocean; Japan; Jerusalem & the Middle East; Kenya; Korea; Melanesia; Mexico; Myanmar; Nigeria; North India; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Philippines, Rwanda; Scotland; South East Asia; South India; Southern Africa; Southern Cone; Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; The Episcopal Church; Wales; West Africa; and West Indies. We declare HOLINESS TO THE LORD over these provinces. By Your favor grant Your leaders in the Anglican Communion supernatural wisdom and authority in the name of Your Son. Use them as a signet ring to accomplish Your delight. Amen.


Amen! Amen! Amen!

December 16, 2010

Episcopal and Anglican Virginians are coming together to pray for a cessation of the litigation at this website. May God make His face to shine upon them.

Hat tip: Baby Blue


Australian General Synod

September 21, 2010

Meeting this week. David Ould shares this thoughts here, here, and here.

Father,
We bind unto the Australian Synod the strong name of the Trinity, the Three in One and One in Three, the power of God to hold and lead,His eye to watch, His might to stay,His ear to hearken to their need.
Teach them, guide them, shield them, and give them the Sword of the Spirit, Your Holy Word. Commission Your holy angels to guard them against sin, heresy, idolatry, sorcery, and all hostility to God.
Christ be with them, Christ within them,
Christ behind them, Christ before them,
Christ beside them, Christ to win them,
Christ to comfort and restore them.
Christ beneath them, Christ above them.
We bind unto the Australian General Synod the strong Name of the Trinity, the Three in One and One in Three.


Church of England Synod

July 10, 2010

The Synod will reconvene Monday morning. Details about today’s session can be found here.

Psalm 32:8 (King James Version)
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

O Lord,
The Church of England is in a time of famine. Guide the footsteps of Your children just like You guided Isaac to stay in Gerar during the famine.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Send forth this living water to the Church of England Synod. Deep calls to deep in the roar of falling water. Sweep over the Synod like waves and breakers.
Isaac reaped a hundredfold blessing in Gerar. Oh, Lord, break through the unbelief of this Synod. Anoint their hearts with Your Holy Word that they may reap a hundredfold harvest. New life, Lord. New life. Amen.
Genesis 26, Psalm 42:7, 46:4

Hosea 11:10 Amplified Bible
They shall walk after the Lord, Who will roar like a lion; He Himself will roar and [His] sons shall come trembling and eagerly from the west.

Lion of the tribe of Judah, roar over this Synod, and Your sons will come. Amen.


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