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.

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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.

 


A Prayer Litany for Marriage from the ACNA college of bishops

June 26, 2015

The ACNA bishops today released a unanimous statement on the Supreme Court’s decision re: same sex marriage.  You can read the full statement here.

At the end they issue a call to prayer, and include a wonderful litany for marriage.  I urge all of our readers to print this out and pray it regularly.

Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all. We speak out of a concern for the consequences that our people and our neighbors will suffer from an unjust and unwise decision by five justices of the Supreme Court. We call those justices to repentance, even as we echo Jesus’ words, praying for God the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they have done.
We call our people to a season of prayer for marriage and offer the accompanying Litany and Prayer to guide us.
A Litany for Marriage
We thank you, heavenly Father, for graciously creating us in your image, male and female, and for ordaining
that a man and woman shall be joined as one flesh in the covenant of marriage.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the gift and heritage of children and for placing them in homes which may be havens of
blessing and peace.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the love between fathers and mothers and sons and daughters that binds together the
generations and undergirds our country’s social fabric.
We thank you, O Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, divine Bridegroom, we repent for all the situations in which we have dishonored the
covenant of marriage through selfishness or unfaithfulness.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent as a Church where we have failed to prepare our children for holy matrimony, or to care for those
who are widowed, divorced or single.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent where as citizens we have become complacent and neglected the defense of marriage in the public
square.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We pray you, Holy Spirit, to restore marriage to its due honor in our country and to revive our marriages and
families as emblems of your love.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to strengthen our bishops and other leaders as they join with faithful churches to make a strong
God-honoring defense of your design for marriage.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to have mercy on those who have promoted false teaching about marriage and on those who
have been led astray and harmed by it.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
Grant us courage, O Triune God, to hold fast to the truth of your Word, and give grace to those who are
counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his
glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and
authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
A Prayer for Marriage
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you have created us male and female in your image and have ordained that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Look down in mercy, we pray, on our families, our church and our nation. Knit together in constant affection those who, in Holy Matrimony, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, the hearts of the children to the parents, and the hearts of all to those who are single or alone. Finally, grant that your Church may steadfastly defend the unchangeable bond of marriage which embodies the mystery of Christ’s love for us; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever.

40 Days for Life

February 18, 2015

This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign commences today.

Matthew 5:43-44 (ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Our Father in heaven,
We bless the abortionists in the United States. You know their needs far better than we. Bless them inside and out, upside and down, in every dimension and every realm, seen and unseen. Amen.


US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage

January 29, 2015

The Supreme Court of the United States has announced it will hear arguments on same-sex marriage at the federal level from April 20-29 of this year. The Court will subsequently rule on the constitutionality of states’ rights to ban gay marriage and/or recognize gay marriages performed in another state. In theory, this case has the potential to legalize same-sex marriages in all 50 states, effectively redefining the definition of marriage on a national basis should the Court rule that the banning of same-sex marriage based upon state laws is unconstitutional.

Many think that the definition of marriage should be determined by the states themselves versus the US Supreme Court. However, with powerful backing and resourcing, pro-gay marriage entities have been successfully winning court cases in many arenas on the state level. In fact, 36 states have now legalized same-sex marriage, most of those being decided in court cases won by pro-gay marriage plaintiffs in 2013 and 2014.

Dear Father,
We thank You for the high privilege of living at this time and in this land. It is our hearts’ desire for the righteousness of God to rule in the United States. Grant to the Justices of the Supreme Court wisdom, conviction where needed, that their verdict would align with the righteous and perfect will of God. Amen.

Reference: RPN e-mail


Super Bowl and human trafficking

January 12, 2015

The Super Bowl will be held on February 1 in Phoenix, AZ. An influx of human trafficking is expected. 

The deceased son of the widow of Nain was carried by four pallbearers holding two poles projecting at each end from the corners of the bier (Luke 7:11-18). The paralytic was carried by four friends, presumably on a stretcher (Mark 2:1-12).
Both were adjacent to a narrow place: the gate of Nain and the hole in the roof. The bier and the paralytic’s mat were carried by four people who were anonymous. Both involved a confrontation between good and evil. The funeral party ran into Jesus and His companions–death vs life. The Pharisees were listening to Jesus when the men made a hole in the roof–hardness of heart vs faith.

O Lord, as victims of human trafficking are carried to Phoenix, stir the hearts of the intercessors to pray for them–four intercessors for each victim. Bring deliverance and freedom at the narrow places.  We proclaim over the enslaved:
Life, not death!
Faith, not hardness of heart!
Liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof!
Liberty in the United States of America! Amen.
Leviticus 25:10


Human trafficking

January 11, 2015

This is the National Weekend of Prayer to End Slavery and Trafficking.

Psalm 12:5 (ESV)

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

Our Father in heaven,

We cry out for the 27 million people around the world who are enslaved. Arise!  Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.  Place them in the safety for which they long.  Amen.

Amos 5:24


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