Jerusalem

July 16, 2015

A few weeks ago, handbills were passed out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount (and left in other parts of “East Jerusalem”) warning Christians that they will be targets of destruction if they do not leave before the close of Ramadan, which is today.

Psalm 146:5,9b,10 New Living Translation
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
The Lord frustrates the plans of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.
Praise the Lord!

Our Father in heaven,

We pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of our family and friends, we will say,
“Peace be with you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
we will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.

O Father, You will be to Jerusalem a wall of fire all around and the glory in her midst. You, Lord God Almighty, frustrate the plans of the wicked. We bless Your holy name. Amen.

Psalm 122:6-9, Zechariah 2:5

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A note about Ramadan Prayer posts…

July 2, 2015

ramadan15Hi all,  I apologize that I’ve not posted any recent Ramadan Prayer Roundup posts.  A bunch of other things, including the Supreme Court marriage decision and the Episcopal Church General Convention (and their vote in favor of same-sex marriage liturgies and changing the official definition of marriage according to the church canons) have taken up my time online.

However, anyone who looks at our Twitter feed, either by following @AnglicanPrayer or just scrolling our tweets displayed in the sidebar on the right side of the blog will see that almost every day we’ve still been tweeting Ramdan-related prayer resources.

So please continue to pray for Muslims during Ramadan, that they will hunger for Jesus, seek Him and find Him.

In case it’s helpful, I’ve put together a Twitter Feed list “Ramdan Prayer” which focuses on the tweets of 13 Twitter accounts that are daily posting good Ramadan-prayer resources.  I’ve also come across a few excellent new resources to share re: Ramadan prayer which I will post more about next week…. stay tuned!


Brand new song from Selah: The People of the Cross; and Honoring the Martyrs (part 2)

April 28, 2015

People Of The Cross

[Scroll down for new song from Selah – it’s SO good, Wow!  But the intro is inspiring, important and relevant…]

Last week I posted an entry about the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Egyptian martyrs: Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1) I have an additional entry I planned to post as a followup, but a very busy workload in recent days kept me from completing that draft.  Today I found myself with some unexpected free time between meetings and I was browsing Twitter catching up on various prayer needs and current events around the world…  Two posts on Twitter related to the martyrs killed by ISIS grabbed my attention, and I felt it very important to post them here.  So what was going to be a two-part series, will now be a three-part series.  I’ll hope to post the third entry on Thurs. or Friday.

The first tweet related to the martyrs today was posted by the famous Catholic monk and musician John Michael Talbot:

The full text of what he wrote was:

Coptic Christians in praise of Jesus in 2011 before the uprising of recent persecutions by fanatical Islam. This is the strength that gets them through the persecution today. Do we have the same?

I watched the linked video from the great Middle Eastern Christian channel SAT-7 (over 2 million views for this video!)

Here are excerpts from the lyrics in English – they utterly astound me in light of ISIS actions killing our brothers from Egypt & Ethiopia on the grounds that they were PEOPLE OF THE CROSS.  It is almost as if this song was written to prepare the church in Egypt for the time of testing to come.  INCREDIBLE.

Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
And the light of the Gospel is increasing
[…]
Say that He has conquered darkness and its authority
He has lit up our days and given them color
And the light of day is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He is He is defeating his foes
We’re winning with His testimony and blood
And our heritage is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Live the joy of heaven, joy, joy
Satan will wear the clothes of one in mourning
[…]
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you

No sooner had I finished watching that, then I glanced back at my Twitter feed, and the VERY FIRST tweet I saw was this from We Are Worship USA:

So, I went straight to YouTube to watch this video. This song People of the Cross was just released today – it’s on iTunes and other music download sites.

So powerful.  May this be true.

We are the People of the Cross.  We choose Christ and count all else as loss.  We won’t be shaken.  Hope won’t be taken. We are the People of the Cross.

May this be a rallying cry to the Evangelical Church in the West to truly live as People of the Cross, following in the footsteps of the martyrs from Egypt, Kenya and Ethiopia who have counted the cost and shown that Christ is worth dying for.

Go buy this song and keep listening and keep praying for the church around the world that we may not shrink back in the face of suffering and persecution….


Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1)

April 21, 2015

 

Last night I was reading a story online about the Ethiopian martyrs when the song Lift High the Cross came up in my playlist.  I was moved to tears at the juxtaposition.  Truly the Ethiopian martyrs, the Kenyan martyrs, the Egyptian martyrs – and the hundreds if not thousands of martyrs whose names we do not know and whose stories we never hear, have lifted high the Cross of Jesus in their lives and in their deaths.

They showed themselves to be true “servants of the crucified” – faithful unto death, willing to die rather than deny the name of Christ.

 

 

Here are the full lyrics coutesy of the Oremus hymnal

Refrain:
Lift high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred Name.

Come, brethren, follow where our Captain trod,
our King victorious, Christ the Son of God. Refrain

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. Refrain

Each newborn soldier [servant] of the Crucified*  (many versions now replace soldier with servant)
bears on the brow the seal of him who died. Refrain

This is the sign which Satan’s legions fear
and angels veil their faces to revere. Refrain

Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
the sons of Adam their lost home regain. Refrain

From north and south, from east and west they raise
in growing unison their songs of praise. Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. Refrain

Let every race and every language tell
of him who saves our souls from death and hell. Refrain

From farthest regions let their homage bring,
and on his Cross adore their Savior King. Refrain

Set up thy throne, that earth’s despair may cease
beneath the shadow of its healing peace. Refrain

For thy blest Cross which doth for all atone
creation’s praises rise before thy throne. Refrain

May many more followers of Christ be raised up through the testimony of those who were willing to die for Christ, imitating the way of His cross in their deaths.  May God work in the hearts of those ISIS members who were there on the beach or in the desert applauding these deaths.  May He raise up many Pauls among them to proclaim the faith they once attempted to annihilate and the Lord whom they scorned.

Please keep praying for the martyrs’ families and the church in Ethiopia. May those grieving be comforted and strengthened at knowing their loved ones did not shrink from death, and are now receiving honor in heaven.

And pray for ISIS members to encounter the Risen Christ, that they might become His faithful servants too.


An Excellent Prayer Resource: 30 Days of Prayer for ISIS

April 14, 2015

Pray_ISISThanks to a Tweet from Christar (@leastreached) I’ve just discovered an excellent prayer resource to help the church intercede for ISIS.  Yes, I know that sounds startling!  But as the introduction to the site says:

Yes, This is About ISIS – Because Jesus Loves Them

There is no room in God’s Kingdom for hate. That’s why we thank you for taking the first step in bathing ISIS in God’s love by joining us in prayer! We believe that God’s heart is to bring ISIS members into the knowledge of His love and grace.

For those who heeded ACNA Bishop John Guernsey’s “Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer” exhortation (see here) during Lent, this would make a good follow up.

In addition to the online daily prayer guide, you can also sign up to receive daily prayer emails.  There is also a downloadable PDF prayer guide.

The 30 day prayer guide is divided into 3 main themes of 10 days:

  • Days 1-10: Prayer according to Paul’s life
  • Days 11-20: Prayer through the fruits of the Spirit
  • Days 21-30: Prayer for specific places ISIS is present

Each entry includes Scripture passages, suggested prayer points, and often links to worship songs that tie in with the daily prayer theme.  The entries for Days 25 – 30 focus on specific cities where ISIS is active, including maps of each city.  It’s really quite an amazing resource…  I’m thankful for whoever had the vision and creativity and boldness to compile this!

Please join in this prayer effort, and share this with other intercessors!

art credit: https://allisonfshepard.wordpress.com/tag/isis/

***

A related prayer resource:  Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer.  I especially like their page How and What to Pray for Terrorists


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.

***

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


Lent prayer theme: Global intercession for the persecuted, for missionaries, unreached peoples… etc.

February 20, 2015

One of the themes in material we plan to post and Tweet here during Lent will be prayer for the persecuted church, missionaries, and for unreached peoples and nations.  We will also post resources for  “spiritual warfare” – praying for God to thwart religious violence and evil.   For those of you interested in such posts, you might want to bookmark our Global Intercession category.

Here are a few of our recent entries from that category:


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