PLC’s prayer blog (week of February 18, 2013)

prayer6“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” –William Cowper

  • 1-Minute Devotional thought:

Psalm 51:1-2 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

Prayers of confession of sin roll off the tongue as a Christian talks to God about his or her sin. That is, confession of sin and repentance from sin go hand in hand as a believer looks in faith to Christ to be both “the just and the justifier.”  God does not act unjustly by simply choosing to forget about unrighteousness. Instead, God blots out transgressions and cleanses sinners from their sin because He sent His Son to die in the place of all who would believe in the Son.

Christian friend, approach the throne of God with boldness even as you come with contrition and confession. Jesus, friend of sinners, have mercy on me!

  • As citizens of the City of Man: Pray for President Obama (Executive branch). Pray for the U.S. Congress (Legislative branch). Pray for the Supreme Court of the United States (Judicial branch).
  • Pray for your local Pro-life ministries. Last week, word came that a local woman surrendered her life in faith and repentance to Christ. She was studying the Bible for a group of women who had undergone abortions. Recently, I’ve been hearing powerful stories of Bible studies taking place with post-abortion women. The Gospel transforms lives, and brings forgiveness of sin to anyone who looks in faith to Christ.
  • Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia — led by Hunter and Abbie Bailey:

2009-2010 marks Hunter’s fourth year as the campus minister at RUF Emory. Prior to serving with RUF, Hunter earned his PhD from the University of Edniburgh, while also working with Mission to the World (MTW) in Scotland. Hunter married his high school sweetheart, Abbie, in December of 1996. Hunter and Abbie are both originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. The Baileys have two children, Hutch (7) and Nola (5), who absolutely love it when RUF Emory students come to the Bailey house to jump on the trampoline with them.

  • Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Door, 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 Somolia, which ranks No. 5 on the watchlist:

It is too dangerous for Christians to meet openly in this strictly Islamic state. Terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab target converts to Christianity and strive to eliminate them. Aid workers, Christian or otherwise, require tight security due to the risk of abduction. The election of a new parliament and president in 2012 created a framework for a more legitimate government. However, for persecuted Christians the future still looks bleak, as the provisional constitution does not allow for religious freedom.

Pray for Somolia: Al-Shabaab, which is backed by al-Qaeda, remains a serious threat. Pray that its influence will diminish. That Christian radio programs will bring hope to isolated believers and those who are seeking God. Some of those who have returned to Somalia following the political changes have been exposed to Christianity. Pray this will bring more tolerance toward Christians.

  • PUnited States of Americarayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Arkansas. An immense percentage (86 percent) of the population of Arkansas identifies at Christian, and specifically Protestant (78 percent). Pray that the thousands of pulpits throughout this state would be led by pastors who dig deep Gospel wells of ministry, and that from these living waters would flow great missionary endeavors – in the state and around the world.

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 Northeast Synod: Newark, Newton, Northern New England, Northern New York, Palisades, Southern New England, Susquehanna Valley, Utica, West Jersey, and Western New York.
  • Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Midwest (John Malton, stated clerk).
  • Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the South Florida Presbytery.