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.

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Excellent article on Prayer & Fasting (Justin Taylor / John Piper)

July 15, 2015

I tweeted about this earlier today, but think this is a really important article, deserving of a blog post.   In the wake of the brutally horrifying video exposé of Planned Parenthood’s butchery of babies to sell their body parts, Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition has posted a great call to prayer & fasting, reminding us of the role of spiritual warfare in the face of such evil.  There are battles in our culture that we cannot win by logical argument or legislative effort.  The battle against the evil of abortion may well be one of them.

His article largely draws upon writings from John Piper’s great (must read!) book A Hunger for God.

 

“Fasting,” Piper writes, “comes in alongside prayer with all its hunger for God and says,

We are not able in ourselves to win this battle.

We are not able to change hearts or minds.

We are not able to change worldviews and transform culture and save 1.6 million children.

We are not able to reform the judiciary or embolden the legislature or mobilize the slumbering population.

We are not able to heal the endless wounds of godless ideologies and their bloody deeds.

But, O God, you are able!

And we turn from reliance on ourselves to you.

And we cry out to you and plead that for the sake of your name, and for the sake of your glory, and for the advancement of your saving purpose in the world, and for the demonstration of your wisdom and your power and your authority over all things, and for the sway of your Truth and the relief of the poor and the helpless, act, O God.  […]

I appeal to you to seek the Lord with me concerning the place of fasting and prayer in breaking through the darkened mind that engulfs the modern world, in regard to abortion and a hundred other ills.

This is not a call for a collective tantrum that screams at the bad people, “Give me back my country.”

It is a call to aliens and exiles in the earth, whose citizenship is in heaven and who await the appearance of their King, to “do business” until he comes (Luke 19:13).

And the great business of the Christian is to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31), and to pray that God’s name be hallowed and his kingdom come and his will be done in the earth (Matthew 6:9-10). And to yearn and work and pray and fast not only for the final revelation of the Son of Man, but in the meantime, for the demonstration of his Spirit and power in the reaching of every people, and the rescuing of the perishing, and the purifying of the church, and the putting right of as many wrongs as God will grant.

I join Piper in commending this practice to you. What looks foolish to the world (forgoing food to pray for the protection of the unborn) may look utterly foolish to the world, but it will be pleasing to the God who sees and rewards in secret.

Please read it all, and please pray in the face of the present darkness in our culture and world.


A Call to Prayer – Fearless Faith in Turbulent Times

July 2, 2015

A great article by Scott Ward of  the ACNA Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.  Here’s an excerpt (bold added):

Several qualities that Daniel displayed seem very relevant and quite helpful to our present legal and cultural moment. First, Daniel lived with utter integrity at all times. His worst enemies knew that the only “weakness” they could use to attack him was actually a great strength – his faithfulness to God. “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” (Dan. 6:5) (italics added). Second, Daniel perceptively discerned the ultimate objectives of the ruling legal authorities more accurately than the authorities themselves did, and he came up with creative ways to more effectively accomplish those objectives by remaining obedient to, rather than transgressing, the law of God, as Daniel chapter 1 recounts.  Third, Daniel and his friends had unwavering clarity about their priorities, even in the face of the idols of their age and no matter the cost. As Daniel’s three friends eloquently explained, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18).

Most of all, Daniel had great faith in a great God – and he prayed like it. Daniel was wholeheartedly devoted to prayer. He prayed and gave thanks regularly throughout every day and he did so without regard to what others might think or do. Indeed, his primary response to hostile legal changes – changes specifically designed to use his faithfulness to God as a weapon against him – was simply to pray to God, just as he had always done. “Now when Daniel knew that the document [requiring that all people, on penalty of death, worship an idol of the present ruler] was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.”  (Daniel 6:10) (italics added). But Daniel not only prayed regularly, he engaged in deep, prolonged, fervent, humble intercessory prayer, repenting of his people’s sins and imploring God’s grace and mercy upon them. Daniel 9 recounts one example of Daniel’s prayers and of God’s powerful response.

Daniel saw that God is always at work at a much deeper level than we can understand or even see. Daniel also found that God alway works powerfully for the glory of His Name and for the ultimate good not only of those who trust in Him now, but also of those who will come to trust in Him in the future, often as a direct result of the faithfulness of His people.

May we all follow Daniel’s example in engaging in regular and deep prayer for our nation, humbling confessing and repenting of our sins and fervently imploring God to pour out His mercy, forgiveness, and grace through His Holy Spirit on our culture. […]  And may we all, like Daniel, have a great faith in a great God Who does great things for the good of all who will trust in Him. 

Read it all

It was written PRIOR to the Supreme Court decision on marriage, but it still remains extremely relevant.  Prayer is needed now more than ever.

 


Prayer Points for Charleston

June 18, 2015

Bishop Mark Lawrence has posted a call to prayer in the wake of the Charleston shootings.

Prayer for all involved would seem the primary thing we can offer at this point:

For Emmanuel AME
Their members
The injured
The families and friends of those killed
The community, as it responds to this tragedy
Law enforcement, for a speedy apprehension of the person responsible
Protection from those who would attempt to exploit this crisis
Restraint of further violence in response
For the Church… to be a witness in the midst of this tragedy… to redeem it

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples and races of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near:  Grant to those who have lost love ones your hope, comfort and peace; grant to those members of Emmanuel AME Church a sense of your presence; look with compassion on the whole human family here in Charleston and across our nation;  show us how to respond to one another’s hurt and suffering;  shed abroad your Spirit on those who have lost faith, hope and trust in You and one another; break down the walls that we separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in your good  time all peoples and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note it is also reported that the wife of an ACNA priest was among those killed in the attack.  I’ll update this with more details in a little while.

Updated:  According to Anglican Ink. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach released a statement and a prayer call this afternoon as well, including details of the killing of the wife of an ACNA priest during the massacre.  (I did not see the statement on ACNA website, but they did send out a tweet confirming this news.

The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, on 18 June 2015 released a statement asking for prayer for the families of the victims.

Please join me in praying for the Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston, his family, and their congregation, with the killing of his wife, Myra, in the Charleston shootings last night,”

 

 


Praise report

April 25, 2015

From Times of Israel:  Jenin, once the suicide bomber capital of the West Bank, has undergone a fragile transformation.

A year ago, Lent & Beyond had prayed that Jenin would step into the identity that God had designed for her.

Psalm 65:1a (AMP)

To You belongs silence (the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth into praise) and praise is due and fitting to You, O God, in Zion.


Israeli government

April 17, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the challenge of forming a coalition government. 

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters will overflow the secret place (Isaiah 28:17).

Our Father in heaven,

You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  You promised that they would be a great people, and You promised them the land of Israel.  We thank You for the favor the nation of Israel has received.

We bless Prime Minister Netanyahu and the leaders of Israel.  Bring them into the formation of a government capable of meeting the challenges ahead–a government that has justice as its measuring line and righteousness as the level.

Guard and protect the Prime Minister and his family, we pray.  Amen.

 


Hamas tunnels

April 16, 2015

From The Times of Israel: Hamas has begun using heavy machinery and engineering tools to accelerate the excavation of attack tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip under the Israeli border, sources in the Palestinian enclave told the Times of Israel Wednesday.

O Father,
You chose Israel. They are still beloved for the sake of their forefathers, for Your gifts and Your call are irrevocable. They are called to be the prophetic nation, and You said

“Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”

We cry out for no harm to come to Your prophets.
Father, we humbly ask You to flood the tunnels that hold weapons and ammunition. If Israel’s enemies use armed vehicles, boats, or airplanes to prey on her, we humbly ask you to lock their wheels or rudders in mud. If they encroach Israel’s borders, we humbly ask you to rebuff them. If Israel’s enemies seek the death of Your prophets, we humbly ask You to hide Your prophets and rebuke the prophet-slaying spirit.

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

Amen.


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