“Prayer is where the action is.” – John Wesley
The Year of the Lord’s Favor. In Isaiah 61, the prophet spoke words about the coming Messiah, words which Jesus would speak about Himself as He began His ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives,
And recovering of sign to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Fellow Christians, as ambassadors of Christ, we represent the One whose current ministry in the world is that of grace and mercy – offered freely by Christ and made possible by the atoning work of Christ.
As we begin a new week and as this new year is even now getting underway, let us be mindful to take time to pray (even as Jesus did), to live “in the power of the Spirit (even as Jesus did, Luke 4:1, 14), in order to preach and practice Gospel lives which bring Christ to the world.
As citizens of the City of Man…Pray for your own increased obedience to the Lord in terms of your response to the government. Read afresh and heed the call of the Apostle: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1).
As today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the United States, pray for racial reconciliation throughout the land and across the globe. We know that God wins this victory through Christ, for at the end of time “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” will stand before the throne of God, clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Pray then, that the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual worship of heaven will begin even now to be found among God’s people here on earth.
Pray for pro-life ministries across the nation. Pray for the multitudes of people who heard pro-life messages over the past few weeks, that their hearts would be soft to both the Word of God and the women in need around them.
Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. This ministry is led by Seth Still:
Seth is originally from Senatobia, MS. After attending Mississippi State University, he began seminary at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. Seth is married to Julie and they have 2 sons, John Everette and James.
Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by opendoorsusa.org, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Saudi Arabia, which ranks #2 on the watchlist:
There is no provision for religious freedom in the constitution of this Islamic kingdom. All citizens must adhere to Islam and conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Public Christian worship is forbidden; worshippers risk imprisonment, lashing, deportation and torture. Evangelising Muslims and distributing non-Muslim materials is illegal. Muslims who convert to Christianity risk honour killings, and foreign Christian workers have been exposed to abuse from employers. Despite this, converts are responding to Christian TV programmes and to dreams and visions from God.
- Ask God to protect Christians who boldly share their faith despite the risks
- For isolated believers who face rejection and persecution from their families
- That God will continue to draw people to Himself through satellite TV, radio and supernatural dreams.
Pray for a developing situation in Egypt in which a woman and her seven children were given a 15-year prison sentence for converting to Christianity.
The 15-year prison sentence given to a woman and her seven children by an Egyptian court for converting to Christianity is a sign of things to come, according to alarmed human rights advocates who say the nation’s Islamist government is bad news for Christians in the North African country.
Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said conversions like Nadia’s have been common in the past, but said Egypt’s new Sharia-based constitution “is a real disaster in terms of religion freedom.”
“The cases will increase in the future,” Tadros said. “It will be much harder for people to return to Christianity.”
Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Alaska. Pray that this state, once known as “Seward’s Folly” (kids, time to pull out your history books and discover why it had this name), would be known for another so-called folly…the “folly of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).
In 2013, we will pray together by name for Christians in 50 nations, Christians in all 50 states and all the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the emerging new Reformed body, The Fellowship of Presbyterians (these will be added as they are formed). You are encouraged to add specific pastors, lay leaders, congregations, missionaries, new church developments and other ministries to the list by posting a comment to the blog. (Please do not publicly post the names of missionaries serving in contexts where exposing their identity would cause them harm or bring harm to those they serve in Christ’s name.) Let us kneel before the Father and ask His will be done.
Prayers for the PCUSA: Pray for the presbyteries of the Mid-Atlantic Synod: Abingdon, Atlantic Korean-American, Baltimore, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, and Easter Virginia (more next week).
Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Rivers and Lakes Presbytery, (Carolyn Nystrom, stated clerk).
Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the South Texas Presbytery.
Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.