A striking graph – visual evidence of God’s answer to prayer re: Ebola

March 23, 2015

I was just browsing a very interesting article at BBC by an epidemiologist, recounting the work of tracing Ebola contacts in Liberia.

The article contains a striking graph, showing the curve of the epidemic in Liberia – the average number of new cases per day from March 2014 to March 2015.

 

Ebola_Liberia_Graph

Remember the #praytoendEbola prayer campaign spearheaded by SIM?  SIM’s prayer campaign took place from Sept 29 – October 5.  Several other ministries also called for intensive prayer in the first two weeks of October.  Look at when the rate of new Ebola infections began to decline in Liberia!  It’s pretty striking, and very encouraging!

Of course there was much besides prayer that went into turning around the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.  And the turn around took longer in Guinea and Sierra Leone.  In addition to praising God for His grace, I’m deeply thankful to all the doctors,  nurses, public health workers, epidemiologists, researchers, and community volunteers whose sacrificial work on the ground in West Africa made an essential difference.  As we prayed, God used their love, their hands & feet, their gifts and talents to turn around this disease.

Keep praying for Ebola to be totally ended throughout West Africa… Liberia has had almost no new cases for the past three weeks.  Guinea & Sierra Leone still are reporting siginificant numbers of cases, however.  Prayer is still needed, as are gifts to various NGOs and organizations leading the continued fight to contain Ebola.  You can read the latest update from all three countries here:  Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia.

 

 


Praise report–Muslims

November 28, 2014

The bulletin of the the New Wineskins Missionary Network, Reach Out, has an interview with David Garrison, author of A Wind in the House of Islam. Below are two excerpts:

. . .in the whole course of Muslim-Christian interaction, there’s been 82 times, 82 movements, of Muslims to Christ of at least 1,000 baptisms or 100 church plants over two decades. Eighty-two times. Now here’s what striking: 69 of those have occurred since the year 2000. We are in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history.

Prayer is making a difference. The 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World every year during Ramadan has been going on about 23 years now. That coincides with 84% of all these movements. I don’t think that’s an accident.

Lent & Beyond has not been praying for Muslim countries for 23 years. However, we’ve run several series in recent years, including Arab Spring, Sudan’s civil war, Syria’s civil war, Global Day of Prayer, the Ebola crisis, Iraq and the ISIS crisis, and Ramadan series for Yemen and Mali. I thank you all for your faithfulness.
God is good!


Praise report–Yemen

November 22, 2014

In 2012 and 2013, Lent & Beyond posted many prayers for the nation of Yemen. These recent news reports are related to several of the prayers. Praise God!
Human Rights Watch‘s Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. It has given the award to Arwa Othman, a writer, journalist, anthropology researcher and leading advocate working to end child marriage in Yemen. She laid the groundwork for improving women’s rights in Yemen.
She is donating the international human rights prize money to the country’s tiny and persecuted Jewish minority. Othman made the announcement at a celebration Thursday in the capital city of Sanaa, where roughly half of the country’s Jewish population — numbering fewer than 90 in total — live in a guarded compound.


Luke 9, Acts 28, and Psalm 116

October 18, 2014

And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. (Luke 9:43a)
      Jesus, bring us to that same awe of God’s majesty.

“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” (Luke 9:44)
      Lord, you are still being betrayed into the hands of sinful people.

Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:46-48 )
      Holy Spirit, please help us come to Jesus as little children.

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him. (Acts 28:30-31)
      Father, help us receive all who come to us, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching all that concerns the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence as Paul did.

I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call upon him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2)
      LORD, I love you — thank you for hearing me when I cry out to you.

WORD: Come to me and know me.

Daily Lectionary
Saturday: 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Ecclus. 3:17-31 or Jeremiah 38:14-28; Acts 28:17-31; Luke 9:37-50
Sunday: 148, 149, 150 * 114, 115; Ecclus. 4:1-10 or Jer. 29:1,4-14: 1 Cor. 10:1-13: Matt. 16:13-20

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the ill and the dying caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Pray for wisdom and compassion for the governments of the world as they confront this epidemic.

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Steve Evans, Toni Loveless, and Torre Bissell on State St. and Dcn. Larry Hubert and Mark Pasko on Albany St. Rain, heavy at times.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates was anointed with Holy Water
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible
B–indicates received a Bible

State St.

Mark (man) — “healing for Mary”

Coretha (blind woman) — We prayed for protection and that she will reach her destination.

(Muslim man) — “I already prayed.”

Torre & Steve (men) — We prayed for Steve’s business and for Jean.

Toni (woman) — She has an infected tooth which is causing her pain. We prayed for healing and guidance for the dentist.

Will (man) — We prayed that he would be the man and father God is calling him to be. We also prayed for his sons Will, Jr. and Raymond.

a Lincoln (man)

Moses (regular) — He had an operation on his pancreas.

a 199 + Alex (young man) — He gave his burdens and his sins and life to Jesus and accepted his forgiveness and cleansing.

+ 199 B Ishmael (young man) — He confessed his sins to Jesus and asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. He was thrilled to know that he had a Father in heaven that he can cry out to. I showed him Psalm 130 as a model for crying out to God.

Albany St.

Eric — for provision and protection for the dog.

Teligza and Tibel (son) –for protection

Tinia — Protection in his life.

Rodney — “Hit and Run” prayer on way to work.

Mike (mailman) — Protection on the street

Kasie — Asked prayer for Mary her sister who is having a baby.

Albany Intercessor


Luke 9 and Acts 28

October 17, 2014

And behold, two men talked with him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his decease [exodus] which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30-31)
      Jesus, thank you for the new exodus which you accomplished at Jerusalem to set us free from the bondage to sin and death.

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son. Hear him!” (Luke 9:34-35)
      Holy Spirit, please help us hear what Jesus is saying to us.

Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. (Acts 28:1-2)
      Lord, help us welcome with kindness those who land on our shores.

And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. (Acts 28:14b-15)
      Father, please help us go forth to encourage one another.

Jer. 38:14-28 WORD: Don’t be afraid to obey me.
WORD: I wait for you with open arms.
WORD: Look to me with hope for salvation.
WORD: Listen, listen to me.
WORD: Look to me for help in times of darkness.
WORD: Give praise and thanks to me.
WORD: Come to me with all your grief and pain.

Daily Lectionary
Friday: 16, 17 * 22; Ecclus. 1:1-10,18-27; Acts 28:1-16; Luke 9:28-36
Saturday: 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Ecclus. 3:17-31 or Jeremiah 38:14-28; Acts 28:17-31; Luke 9:37-50

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the ill and the dying caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Pray for wisdom and compassion for the governments of the world as they confront this epidemic.

***** Welcome Home Intiative© The Healing Ministry at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center will host a Welcome Home Initiative© Monday, October 20 through Wednesday October 22. WHI© is a three-day healing retreat for military veterans and spouses of those veterans who have served their country in combat and may be suffering to varying degrees from Post-Traumatic Stress or moral injury and are in need of soul repair. The format of the program helps veterans and spouses understand the hidden impact of combat and provides a safe place for their emotional healing. This essential spiritual and emotional healing is a complement to healing received from psychiatric and social services. Teaching, discussion, and prayer are the major components of the program. The connections and friendships that are formed during these retreats are outstanding and lasting. Participants find equal footing and experience camaraderie regardless of service. There is no charge for a combat veteran or their spouse to attend a Welcome Home Initiative© Retreat. For more information or to register, contact Brenda Reid at (518 ) 692-9550 x 112 or e-mail her by clicking here.
      The closing ceremonies for the Welcome Home Intiative© will be held at the Chapel of St. Michael and All Angels (CtK Main Chapel) on Wednesday, October 22nd at 10:30 am. Arrive at 10:15 to bless the veterans who have attended the retreat with your support and presence. For more information, contact Brenda Reid at (518 ) 692-9550 x 112 or e-mail her by clicking here.

***** PRAYER TABLE ST. ANN’S OF AMSTERDAM, (Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, 9:45-10:45 a.m. in front of our church at 37 Division Street. Not many people out and about today, either walking or driving. Whenever there is a Monday holiday like today (Columbus Day) the Masonic Lodge across the street does NOT put on its weekly Monday lunch for the community, so that is always reflected in a big dropoff in prayer table attendance. But … we continue to be here for whoever is seeking prayer. John Banfield and Deacon Alan Hart presiding at His table today. Cloudy, cool.)

a — anointed with Holy Oil.
t — received wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina.
Note: We also continue to give out winter clothing, non-perishable food and small copies of the Gospel of John — in both English and Spanish.

MARSHALL — Always comes to the table freely now whereas he used to gesture and curse at us. He has befriended us all, especially James Bryant who unfortunately couldn’t be here today. We offered him prayer and food and clothing but he declined and said “I’m good. Thanks.”

a — LARRY — Usually comes with his wife and children but came alone today. Prayed for his family’s good health, safety and well-being. He took much-needed food, some gloves and a gospel book.

DIAZ — First-time visitor. Stopped by to see what we were doing but declined any prayer, food, crosses or clothing. He said “I already have a cross, I already prayed when I got up this morning, and other people need this food and clothing more than I do.”

MAN (no name) — Declined prayer but took some food and a pair of gloves.

a, t — MARIA — She usually comes here with her husband EDWIN but was alone today. She took a Spanish copy of the gospel (Juan) and we had a “conversation” although she speaks very little English and I (ALan) know very little Spanish. She kept pointing to the title JUAN and saying the name aloud, then she kept making motions of pointing to the top of her head and moving her arms about as though she were swimming. I thought at first she was asking if it was the disciple who got out of the boat but started to drown when he lost focus on Jesus, and I shook my head and said “No, no, that’s PETER!” But she kept pointing to the top of her head and making those swimming motions, and John and I figured out she must be asking if this was John the Baptist! We motioned that no, it was not the John that was the Baptist, but rather John the Apostle and disciple. It is so interesting and encouraging to watch the growth that has gone on in the culture of our neighborhood the last few months. Sim
astounding.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, October 16, 2014, 5:10 – 6:00 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates anointed with Holy Water
B–indicates received a Bible

Dan (staff) — He asked prayer for the four who would be graduating from the program following the evening meal: Kermit, Jim, Frank, and Jody.

Ted (volunteer) and + Camille (Ted’s granddaughter who has struggled with Lynme’s disease for the one and a half years) — We prayed for healing.

Stephen (young man) — He also came over and prayed for Camille. We gave thanks for all the ways the God has worked in Stephen’s life.

+Julie (woman) — She asked prayer for God’s help with her finances.

+Gary (volunteer) — He asked prayer for Pastor Kevin who is going to Burkina Faso as a missionary.

+BB Gary (staff) — He gave a praise report on his niece Jessica. She will be doing 1 year jail time plus probation in the local area. We prayed for rest for Gary. Gary prayed for Jean.

Kristen (woman) — She asked prayer for her brother Nate who is in prison. We prayed that God would raise up a witness that would he could hear and that he would come out a changed man.

Benjamin (young man who was converted recently) — He is continuing to walk with Jesus.

+ Jordan (volunteer) — We prayed for his dad who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and underwent treatment. They are awaiting a new report on his condition.

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Steve Evans and Torre Bissell on State St. and Dcn. Larry Hubert and Mark Pasko on Albany St.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates was anointed with Holy Water
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible
B–indicates received a Bible

State St.

Vincent (man) — We prayed for God’s blessing on him and his family and friends.

+ B Carlene (woman) — “I just need peace right now.” I read Psalm 130 to her. Her children are dumping her grandchildren on her.

Larry (man) — We prayed about his job situation where there is much hostility towards him.

Steve (man) — We prayed for more business for him.

a + B Louis (32) — He has stoack issues; he is often in pain. We prayed for his two kids. I read Psalm 130 to him. He was crying.

+ a 199 James (52) — He confessed his sins and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and thanked God for forgiving him.

+ 199 Craig (45) — He is thankful for his job that he can earn money to help out his mother who is 64.

+ 199 Dantevus (young man) — He gave his life back to Jesus again confessing his sins and accepting God’s cleansing.

+ 199 Ciera (young woman) — She asked prayer for patience and strength with her baby.

Will (man), a + Will Jr., and a + Raymond (Will’s two sons)

Brenda — “My family”.

Albany St.

Angel and Estelle (women) — Continued presence of the Lord in their lives, for provisions and protection.

Clarisa — for safe travel to California

Lincoln (man) — “Hit and Run” prayer on his way to work

Angela and 2 sons — “Hit and Run” prayer

Chris — slain death in family, pray for Ebola crisis in Guinea, pray for peace and stability in his life

Kerry — full famly crisis in his famiy, Bob neighbor has cancer.

Albany Intercessor


Luke, Micah, and Proverbs

October 10, 2014

Now it came to pass, afterward, that he went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities–Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for him from their substance. (Luke 8:1-3)
      Jesus, come through our communities. Raise up more women who will minister to you. Raise up vocations for the Sisters of St. Mary.

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to him from every city, he spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:4-
      Lord Jesus, please help me to sow seeds that will produce a rich harvest. Whatever it takes, help me go out into the harvest fields that you have prepared for me to walk in.

But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
      Holy Spirit, help me to have a noble and good heart, keep your word in my heart, and help me bear fruit with patience.

For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. (Micah 4:5)
      Help me to walke in your name, LORD, forever and ever.

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
      Lord, help me to be righteous.

WORD: Look to me for blessing.
WORD: Keep coming into my presence and I will bless you.

Daily Lectionary
Friday: 140, 142 * 141, 143:1-11(12); Micah 3:9-4:5: Acts 24:24-25:12: Luke 8:1-15
Saturday: 137:1-6(7-9), 144 * 104; Micah 5:1-4,10-15: Acts 25:13-27: Luke 8:16-25

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the ill and the dying caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Pray for wisdom and compassion for the governments of the world as they confront this epidemic.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, October 9, 2014, 5:10 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre Bissell from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Ted (volunteer in his 80s) — We prayed for him, for his granddaughter Camille, and for my wife Jean.

Dan (staff) — His kids are doing OK. We prayed for blessing on the whole family.

+ 199 Danny (32) and Tanya (29) — I asked Danny if he had ever given his life to Jesus. He said, “No. That would be a big step.” I challenged him to take it, which he did. He confessed his sins to Jesus and accepted the cleansing of forgiveness. I asked the two of them if they had ever prayed together before and they said, “Once.” They prayed silently together there at the table. I urged them to pray about getting married (they are in a “relationship”).

Gary (staff) — We prayed that his son Chris and his girlfriend Suzy will come to Christ and get married. We also prayed for Gary’s niece Jessica who was arrested for heroin possession.

+ 199 Christian (volunteer) — This teenager made a first-time commitment to Jesus.

Albany Intercessor


Psalm34, Luke 7, and Micah 3

October 9, 2014

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in him! (Psalm 34:8 )
      Thank you, LORD, for all the many blessings you have showered on us.

Then one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him. And he went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at his feet behind him weeping; and she began to wash his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed his feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. (Luke 7:36-38 )
      Holy Spirit, bring me to this same humility and repentance that you did with this woman.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This man, if he were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39)
      Father, have mercy on me a sinner: don’t let me look down on any of your children.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:40-42)
      Lord Jesus, you know the magnitude of my debt to you. Thank you for forgiving me my sins. I love you — help me show that same love to others.

Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:43-48 )
      Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving my sins.

And those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:49-50)
      Thank you, Jesus, for saving faith in you.

But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:8 )
      LORD, raise up prophets in your church today to call your people to repentance. Thank you.

WORD: How I long for my people to turn to me with all their sorrows so that I may comfort them.
WORD: Keep in touch with me.
WORD: Look to me for blessing.

Daily Lectionary
Thursday: 131, 132, [133] * 134, 135; Micah 3:1-8: Acts 24:1-23: Luke 7:36-50
Friday: 140, 142 * 141, 143:1-11(12); Micah 3:9-4:5: Acts 24:24-25:12: Luke 8:1-15

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Please pray for the thousands of orphans caused by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and elsewhere. It is decimating whole communities. Extended families are afraid to take in these children because they have been exposed to their dead parents’ illness.

***** Prayer Table for St. John’s, Johnstown–October 8th: (+ = cross given out)

Jim: for his brother Sal’s surgery tomorrow. For comfort and healing.

Connor: infection, aging, comfort

++Jeannie and daughter Jacqueline: strength and guidance

Ken: unemployment needs

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Toni Loveless and Torre Bissell on State St. and Dcn. Larry Hubert and Mark Pasko on Albany St.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates was anointed with Holy Water
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Albany St.

Gary (man) — Heart attack — healing

Raymond (man) — Wanted Prayer for the neighborhood, and for his needs.

+ Karletta (woman) — Prayer for her son for a good life and for the Lord to provide for all his needs.

Eshad (man) — Blessing prayer

Moses (man, repeat) — For good health and for the Lord to provide for his needs.

State St.

+ Tanya (young woman) — “Recovery” We prayed for the start of a new life for her today.

+ Eddie (man) — “Food and shelter”

[Lots of Muslims on the street: big “eid”: Eid al Adha starts today — I think celebrating the beginning of the Hajj.]

Steve (man) — More business

(woman) — “God bless you also.”

Virginia (older woman) — Blessed her.

++ Vanessa (woman) — Prayed for a blessing on her and family and friends.

+ 199 Dashaw (teenage boy) — He gave his life to Jesus and accepted the forgiveness of his sins.

Toni (woman) — We prayed for her back and for relief of pain.

+ José and + Travis (teenage boys) — José asked prayer for his mom and dad, Travis asked prayer for his mom.

Keith (man) — “world peace”

+ 199 Matthew (young man, early 20s) — He gave his life to Jesus and accepted God’s forgiveness.

+ Raymond

+ Galinda (woman) — Her husband Alonzo beat her up last night. She has four kids. Pray for no more violence.

Albany Intercessor


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