Philadelphia, PA–the Swedes

September 25, 2016

In light of the upcoming national elections, I will be looking at our nation’s roots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.–JW

The first permanent white settlement in Philadelphia was planted in the 1640s by the Swedes. The oldest church in Pennsylvania is Old Swedes’, formerly a Swedish Lutheran congregation. It is now an Episcopal congregation called Gloria Dei.

Isaiah 48:17-18 (NKJV)
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!

“O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day. (Daniel 9:4-7, adapted)

Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. . . .

Are there any of Your laws that we in the church in America, including the Episcopal Church, have not broken? We have followed false gods, made false vows, misused Your name, forsaken the Sabbath, dishonored our parents, murdered, condoned abortion, committed adultery, accepted fornication, broken covenants, stolen, lied, and coveted. We have harbored unforgiveness and hatred in our hearts. We have not tithed. We have held slaves. We have been indifferent to the poor. We have engaged in usury. We have sued our fellow Christians in court. We have changed the covenant of marriage. We have not submitted to the authority of Your Holy Word. Lord, have mercy, for the church in America is an offense.

O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolations of the United States of America; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your children in the US who are called by the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus.”(Daniel 9:8-10,18-19, adapted)

Gloria Dei! To God be the glory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Amen.


A Prayer Litany for the US this 4th of July Weekend – Kyrie Eleison

July 3, 2015

https://i2.wp.com/www.ghbc.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2013/10/pray-for-America.jpeg

Via Twitter, I discovered the blog 364 Days of Thanksgiving, by Lutheran Pastor Andy Schroer.  Earlier in the week he posted an entry Kyrie Eleison with a prayer litany for the US as we head into our July 4th celebrations:

In light of recent events in our countryand as we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, I invite you to pray the Kyrie with me:

Almighty God, we pray today for our nation – a nation blessed by you, but also a nation divided, a nation marked by violence and racism, a nation stained by sin.

Lord, have mercy.

We pray for our government. Bless our president, congress and courts. Help them to act wisely and according to your will. When they don’t, in your mercy forgive them. Use us and others to speak out against injustice and sin, but also help us to respect the governing officials as your representatives.

Lord, have mercy.

We pray for the families of the victims of the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina. Give them the peace that only you can give. We thank you for the faith of those who died and the heaven they are now enjoying because of Jesus. We also pray for the shooter, Dylan Roof, and all those whose hearts are hardened by racism and hate. Help them to find in you forgiveness and love.

Lord, have mercy.

As our nation struggles with issues of sexuality and marriage, we ask you to bless the families of our land. Help husbands and wives to love each other as you have loved them. In your mercy, forgive our many sins against your gift of sexuality.

Lord, have mercy.

Be with the Christians of our land. Give us the courage to stand firm in your Word. Forgive us our pride and anger. Help us to speak your truth boldly and in love.

Lord, have mercy.

We ask all of these things knowing that we and our nation are unworthy of your love. Yet, trusting in your mercy and the forgiveness Jesus won for us, we pray:

Kyrie eleison.

The full entry is here.


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.

 


National Day of Prayer in the U.S.

May 7, 2015

image credit: nationaldayofprayer.org

The theme for the 2015 National Day of Prayer is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen I Kings 8:28 as our Scripture for this year:  “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Here’s the prayer for today’s National Day of Prayer in the US, written by the National Day of Prayer Chairman

Heavenly Father,

We come to You in the Name that is above every name—Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You.

Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God—the One we trust in times like these—we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land.

We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word.

We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You.

Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness.

We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You.

Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope.

Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free.

We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts.

In Jesus’ name, our Savior.

Amen.

– 2015 National Prayer by Dr. Jack Graham

 

For more resources:

Web: http://nationaldayofprayer.org

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NationalPrayer

(also hashtag:  #NDOP)

 

 

 


Ebola prayer–Jeremiah 43:7

October 25, 2014

Jeremiah 43:7 (NLT)

The people refused to obey the voice of the Lord and went to Egypt, going as far as the city of Tahpanhes.

Tahpanhes or Tahapanes or Tehaphnehes = “thou will fill hands with pity”

Dear Father,

Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea have certainly had their hands filled with pity.   We are mere mortals and do not understand these mysteries.  If this epidemic is somehow connected to disobedience to the word of God, then reveal to the prophets of the land what You would have them do and grant them the courage and the means to fulfill Your call.

Have mercy, Lord, for we see through a glass darkly.  Have mercy on Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali.  Amen.


9/11 National Day of Prayer and Repentance

August 27, 2014

A call for both individual and corporate prayer and repentance.


Israel

August 6, 2014

Hosea 6:1-3 (ESV)
“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Dear Heavenly Father,
We lift up to You the religious leaders and media of Israel. If there are corporate and personal sins that have created breaches in the covenant of grace and protection that You have granted Israel, then reveal these sins to them. Grant to her religious leaders discernment and the courage to speak out and lead her people to repentance and amendment of life. Supernaturally fortify those religious leaders who call for repentance; be present to Your prophets. May the hearts of the people be pierced by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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