“Prayer — secret, fervent, believing prayer — lies at the root of all believing prayer.” –William Carey
- 1-Minute Devotional thought:
Psalm 51:13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Last week, we looked at the first two verses of this Psalm — a “penitential Psalm” written by King David after Nathan the prophet exposed and laid him bare regarding the sins he committed in the sordid affair involving Bathsheba. He clung to his only hope — Divine Mercy! For 12 verses, David confessed his sin and cried out for God to forgive and cleanse him.
Then, in verse 13 (above), we hear David’s expectation what he will do … on the other side of confession and cleansing. He will “teach transgressors your ways.”
At first glance, that seems rather odd to hear. Coming from a man who had broken all 10 of the Commandments in the past 10 months, and who had only broken down into confession after being confronted by another person — now he writes about a teaching ministry he will have “then” … to “transgressors.”
And, what does he think he will teach transgressors about, given his own shortcomings? Yes, that’s it — shortcomings. David will be an expert in at least two categories: shortcomings and mercy. He believes he will be able to instruct sinners how to avoid his path into sin … and about the mercy of God to forgive sinners
Christian friend, pray heartily to the Lord and be broken about your sin. And, anticipate through your experience of sanctification, God is growing you into one who can teach others spiritual lessons — from the Word of God and from your own walk with God, the merciful One.
- As citizens of the City of Man: Pray for all those who are employed in prisons and jails — guards, administrative, cooks, cleaners, maintenance … the full spectrum of work involved in the penal system. But especially pray for all those — both serving time and employees — who are Christians. Pray that they would be light in a dark world, embodying the ministry of Christ, who proclaim[ed] liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).
- Pray for your local Pro-life ministries. This week, pray for folks who minister to women who find themselves in a double-situation of being pregnant and also facing an insecure immigration status. That is, not only do they feel very strong pressure to abort their child for all the “normal” reasons, but they also have stressful situations they are dealing with concerning their own citizenship status..or that of the father or other family members.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place on the campus of Erskine College — led by Paul and Marie Patrick:
Since 2002 RUF has had an informal relationship and presence on the campus of Erskine College. In 2011, that relationship was formalized and affiliated between Erskine College, the ARP General Synod and Reformed University Ministries. Paul graduated from Clemson University (’93) where he participated in the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship. After marrying Marie in 1994, they moved to St. Louis, MO to attend Covenant Theological Seminary. In 1998, they transferred to Erskine Seminary for a final year of study in order to explore the possibility of pioneering an RUF ministry for the ARP denomination. After serving churches in both the PCA and the ARP, Paul was called to serve as the Erskine College and Seminary Chaplain in 2002. They and their four children (Hamilton, Savannah, Palmer and Reece) continue to live in the Due West area, serving the ARP Synod as the RUF campus minister to Erskine College.
- Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, 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 Maldives, which ranks No. 6 on the watchlist:
This is the only country in the world which requires all citizens to be Muslim. Conversion to another faith is prohibited by law and converts face extreme persecution from family and society – often having to leave the country. The authorities exert extensive control on the people to correct any deviation from Islam. There are no church gatherings or buildings. Religion is moving towards Deobandi Islam – the religion of the Taliban, whose mission is to cleanse Islam of all other influences. There are very few indigenous Christians.
Pray: For the handful of secret believers to grow in the love of God. For young people who seek education outside the islands. Pray that they will receive the gospel and return to share it with their communities. That the translation of the New Testament into the Dhivehi language would be completed.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of California. With 38 million people, California by itself stands as one of the largest economies in the world. If it were a nation, it would have the 8th largest economy and the 34th largest population size. God raise faithful pastors and churches to reach Californians for Jesus Christ!
- 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, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbytreians. 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 Southeast (John Perry, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Southern New England Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.