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Friday, March 31, 2006

 

3/31/2006, #125, 1st Quarter 2006

Verses received by an intercessor in the diocese as to how we can make a difference at General Convention: a call was heard for repentance and reconciliation.

"Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." (Joel 2:12)

LORD, help us turn to you with all our hearts, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning for our sins and the sins of your church.

So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and he relents from doing harm. (Joel 2:13)

Cut us to the heart, LORD, cut us to the heart, and help us turn to you, for you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. Please relent from doing the harm to us as our sins and divisions deserve. (Acts 2:37-38)

Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him -- a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? (Joel 2:14)

Jesus, please relent of your just wrath and leave a blessing with your church; help us to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to you. Have mercy on us, for we have spoken against our brothers and sisters in the faith. (Psalm 50:14-15, 20-21)

Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; (Joel 2:15)

Holy Spirit, help us hear your call to consecrate a fast in the assembly of your people.

Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. (Joel 2:16)

Father, gather us together, assemble the elders, gather the children; let all come together and consecrate us a people holy to you.

Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD, and do not give your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'" (Joel 2:17)

Spare your people, O LORD, and do not give your heritage to reproach, that the unbelievers should rule over us. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'

 

3/31/2006, #124, 1st Quarter 2006

And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved son. Hear him!" (Mark 9:7)

Father, please help us by your Holy Spirit to hear your beloved son Jesus.

Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves. (Mark 9:8)

Jesus, please help us in the times when we find ourselves along with you to listen to you and heed your words to us.

Now as they came down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. (Mark 9:9)

Holy Spirit, to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. Please help us recognize and abide by your times and seasons. (From Ecclesiastes 3:1...7b)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

 

Please transform my troubles, Jesus. Posted by Picasa

 

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore his own arm brought salvation for him; and his own righteousness, it sustained him. (Isaiah 59:16) Holy Spirit, please raise up more intercessors for your church. Posted by Picasa

 

3/30/2006, #122, 1st Quarter 2006

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31)

Jesus, in our day the elders and chief priests of the Episcopal Church have rejected you; have mercy on us.

Father, thank you for the glorious resurrection of your son: death has been defeated for all time.

He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. (Mark 8:32)

Holy Spirit, please guide us back into the truth whenever we set our will and our understanding above what Jesus has said to us.

But when he had turned around and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Mark 8:33)

Jesus, please help us recognize the great danger we are in when we set the world's agenda over your father's agenda. Please guide your church out of this trap set by Satan.

When he had called the people to himself, with his disciples also, he said to them, "Whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Mark 8:34)

Jesus, help us this Lent to see with new clarity the stark choice you are giving us: to come after you means denying ourselves and taking up the cross -- to crucify all those worldly thoughts and habits in order to follow you.

Holy Spirit, I am shamed by the joy-filled willingness of Abdul Rahman to lay down his life for you. I am shamed by the joy-filled willingness of Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave, of Fr. Nigel and Matt Baker to suffer for their willingness to be faithful to Jesus. Please help all of us in this diocese to walk the way of the cross this Lent.

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it." (Mark 8:35)

Father, thank you for Fr. Bill and Col. Karen's willingness to lay down their lives in order to answer the call of Jesus.

Thank you for the willingness of all the candidates to lay down their lives to answer the call. Please heal their wounds.

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)

Help us, help your church, Jesus, to lay aside seeking the approval of the world and thereby losing our soul.

"Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:37)

Holy Spirit, help us see that there is nothing in this world we can give to save our souls; we can only save them by what Jesus has done on the cross and through his resurrection.

"For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)

Father, thank you for all the faithful witnesses in this diocese and around your church who are willing to give up everything to follow your son Jesus.

Help us all, Father, to follow Jesus to Calvary this Lent and Holy Week. Thank you.

***** Keep praying for our new Bishop Coadjutor Elect and his family, his wife Karen and their two teens Chris and Catie. Pray for protection, clear guidance peace and strength in the weeks ahead. Pray he will be approved at Gen. Convention without problems.

Pray for all the candidates who didn't win that the Holy Spirit will give them comfort, clear direction and a sense of the Lord's love and presence.

Keep praying for protection, strength, peace and clear guidance for Bishops Dan and Dave, for Fr. Nigel and Matt Baker. Pray for the Spiritual Life Center and the staff and ministries there. Pray that no weapon formed against them will prosper and that what Satan meant for evil, God will use for good. Remember who the REAL enemy is.

(From Fr.Nigel) My dear friends and prayer warriors, I just got this email from my sister Julie. PLEASE pray for Georgina, (21) Kent England: "Took Georgie to the Middlesex again yesterday because of this swelling in her neck. The consultant requested an ultrasound scan - done by a very nice doctor, but then he went off to get the consultant who repeated the scan and found two lumps in the right of her thyroid gland and one big one in the left. He decided to do a biopsy there and then which involved sticking a needle into her neck - twice - right into the lump. Poor Georgie - it was really horrible. Anyway we now have a weeks wait for results - so really could do with your prayers. We're all feeling rather wobbly about this and of course desperately hoping it's not serious. Thanks darlings - I keep remembering that we have a God who comforts, strengthens and is very close in times like this - as the Mum I need to be very strong for everyone else. Tom is being great and thankfully he was with us yesterday so shared in it all."

Please pray for Fr Walt Collins who has resumed his chemo treatments.

Please pray for Deacon Blair Biddle who will be having hernia surgery tomorrow.

Pray for God's church. Pray for God to give us his heart and mind about the church and also to show us what is minor and what is major. Pray for God to cleanse and renew his church.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

 

3/29/2006, #121, 1st Quarter 2006

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: (1 Corinthians 12:1)

Lord, teach us by your Holy Spirit; remove our ignorance.

You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. (1 Corinthians 12:2)

Jesus, teach us by your Holy Spirit; set us free from all our idolatries.

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

Holy Father, woe to us, for we are in great danger! We are a people of unclean lips, and we dwell among a people of unclean lips. Help us to have eyes to see you, the King, the LORD of hosts; help us make Jesus Lord of the words we speak. (From Isaiah 6:5)

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4)

Father, help us receive every gift you have for us through your Holy Spirit.

There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. (1 Corinthians 12:5)

Jesus, please be Lord of every ministry carried out in this diocese.

And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. (1 Corinthians 12:6)

Holy Trinity, one God, help us, lead us in all our activities.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: (1 Corinthians 12:7)

Heavenly Father, we are evil and yet know how to give good gifts to our children; how much more you give the Holy Spirit to those who ask you. We ask you now for the gifts and manifestations of your Holy Spirit in all of us in this diocese; and help us use his gifts for the profit of all. (From Luke 11:13)

for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:8a)

Holy Spirit, please give us wisdom.

to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:8b)

Holy Spirit, please give us words of knowledge.

to another faith by the same Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:9a)

Holy Spirit, please give us more faith.

to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, (1 Corinthians 12:9b)

Holy Spirit, increase and bless the ministry of healing among us.

Holy Spirit, heal every wound among the candidates and their families.

to another the working of miracles, (1 Corinthians 12:10a)

Holy Spirit, please help work miracles in the name of Jesus.

to another prophecy, (1 Corinthians 12:10b)

Holy Spirit, help us to speak forth your word.

to another discerning of spirits, (1 Corinthians 12:10c)

Holy Father, help us discern the true from the false and your Holy Spirit from evil spirits.

to another different kinds of tongues, (1 Corinthians 12:10d)

Holy Spirit, help us speak under your direction.

to another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:10e)

Holy Spirit, help us interpret whatever is spoken by you to us.

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:11)

Holy Spirit, work in all our hearts so that we receive every gift you have for us with thanksgiving.

Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Genesis 50:19-20)

Holy Father, men of this world have meant evil for us, but by your Spirit we ask you to turn it to our good and theirs so that many may be saved.

***** From intercessor Lowell Walker:

I'll be getting married on April 22 so please pray that Nancy and I will have a blessed wedding and be a fruitful couple in promoting His Kingdom in Virginia where we will be living.

Yours in Christ, Lowell

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

3/28/2006, #120, 1st Quarter 2006

Words received in preparation for writing a Sunday School lesson on Acts 21:17-22:29:

"Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now." (Acts 22:1)

A word received: Look how Paul addresses those who are seeking to kill him -- "Brethren and fathers". I want you to be able to address those who attack you with the same love that Paul has.

"Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' (Acts 22:6-7)

A word received: I want you to know that when people persecute you for believing in me, they persecute me.

So I answered, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.' (Acts 22:8)

A word received: I long for more of my people to ask who it is when I speak to them instead of thinking it is a passing thought.

"Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, came to me; and he stood and said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And at that same hour I looked up at him. (Acts 22:12-13)

A word received: I long for you to go to one another and speak that word 'Brother' to those who have persecuted you. Will you go for my sake?

Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.'" And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!" (Acts 22:21-22)

A word received: Being faithful to me is not a popularity contest. Bp. Dan has said that he has a constituency of one, Me. I want to be your constituency as well.

 

3/28/2006, #119, 1st Quarter 2006

Blessed is the man whom you instruct, O LORD, and teach out of your law, (Psalm 94:12)

LORD, please help all of us in this diocese and throughout the Episcopal Church enter into that blessing: being instructed by your word.

That you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked. (Psalm 94:13)

Jesus, please bring us to that place of rest that comes from abiding in your word.

For the LORD will not cast off his people, nor will he forsake his inheritance. (Psalm 94:14)

Father, thank you for your faithful care of your people.

But judgment will return to righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. (Psalm 94:15)

Holy Spirit, please help us, help all your church turn into your ways of righteousness.

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (Psalm 94:16)

Jesus, please stand up for us against the evildoers and workers of iniquity who have told lies about us. Thank you for the unity in your Spirit which you gave us at the Special Convention; bring us to unity by your Holy Spirit as your church goes through the General Convention in June.

Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. (Psalm 94:17)

LORD, unless you build up this diocese, we labor in vain who work in it; unless you guard us, we watch in vain. (From Psalm 127:1)

If I say, "My foot slips," your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. (Psalm 94:18)

Jesus, we need only say, "I am slipping," and your right hand will hold us up. Thank you.

Please help Bp. Dan, Bp. Dave and Fr. Bill turn to you for help whenever they are daunted by the battle.

In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

Holy Spirit, in the day of battle, when we are attacked by evil-doers, help us strive to enter your rest, lest any of us fall by following their example of disobedience. (From Hebrews 4:11)

LORD, you have been our defense and our rock of refuge. Thank you. (From Psalm 94:22)

Monday, March 27, 2006

 

3/27/2006, #118, 1st Quarter 2006

From Fr. Shaw Mudge, Secretary to the Diocesan Convention: The list of lay deputies to General Convention has changed. Bill and Sandy Tatem will be ordained deacons shortly before General Convention, so they are no longer considered lay deputies, and they are not on the list. John Iseman has become the 4th lay deputy, and Andy Ewart is the first lay alternate. Sally Hanson has become the second lay alternate.

***** Pray for our 2006 deputation to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church:
House of Bishops: Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, Rt. Rev. David Bena, Rt. Rev. David Ball
Diocese of Albany Deputation
(Laity): Doris Bedell, Cn. Richard (Jerry) Carroll, Cn. George Marshall, John Iseman
(Clergy): The Rev. Dr. Shaw Mudge, The Rev. Ellen Neufeld, The Very Rev. John Scott, The Rev. Dr. Carola von Wrangle
(Alternates laity): Andy Ewart, Sally Hansen
(Alternates Clergy): The Rev. Joel Grigg, The Rev. Robert Haskell, The Rev. Richard Knudson, The Rev. Michael Shank

***** Pray for Shirley Parker and Muriel Dix who will be attending the Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW).

***** Please pray for the other candidates for Bishop Coadjutor and their families daily: Fr. Shaw Mudge, Fr. Robert Witt, Fr. Tory Baucum, Fr. William Hinrichs, Fr. Marshall Vang, Fr. Scott Harding, Fr. Michael Tessman, Fr. Stephen Holmgren, Fr. Christopher Brown, and Fr. Walcott Hunter

***** Pray for wisdom and discernment for Fr. Bill and Col. Karen in all the decisions they will have to make over the next few weeks and months.

Keep praying for the approval of Fr. Love at the General Convention in June. Pray that all the pieces will fall into place easily for the transition. Pray for all those who were not elected for the Lord's peace and word of direction and comfort. Pray everyone will get the rest they need. Pray that we will all get our attention on what the Lord wants to do in and through all of us as we look forward to Holy Week.

 

3/27/2006, #117, 1st Quarter 2006

Keep praying for Fr. Love and his family for the Lord's protection, peace, strength and help in this big adjustment. Pray for the Lord's guidance day by day. Pray as he requested that he will have the strength, courage and faith to be obedient. He asked for our help, our support, our prayers. "We are all in this together." Pray for approval at Gen. Convention in June.

Pray for all the other candidates for the Lord's comfort and a clear sense of what the Lord has for them next. Pray for their families.

Pray for protection from lies and slander. Pray that God will bring those doing it to repentance and that he will use for good what Satan meant for evil. Pray the Lord will help us remember the "our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers" of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).

Pray for God's full armor for ourselves and all our clergy and lay leaders.

Pray for rest and refreshment for all who worked so hard behind the scenes on the election.

Keep praying for our bishops Daniel and David, Fr. Nigel and Matt Baker for the Lord's protection, peace, wisdom, strength and clear guidance in the days ahead. Pray that no weapon formed against them will prosper. Pray for their families. Pray for Bp. Dan in the transitions and new challenges ahead of him. Pray for the Lord's provision for the completion of the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, that new tractor and the closing on the sale of the old Beaver Cross to come quickly and uneventfully.

***** A testimony by one of our intercessors about the Special Convention (shared with her permission):

Torre,

Wasn't that the most incredible sight yesterday at the cathedral? Was God there, couldn't you just feel his presence? I have never been to an election of a bishop and I will never forget this one. Fr. Bill Love, was not our first choice, but we all had a sense that God was calling him, so we went with that. I have never seen such a spiritual man. I prayed for him this morning but will try to remember to pray not only for him, but his family as well. I believe God has chosen wisely for our diocese. Just another example of the miracle of prayer. Take care.

For His Sake
Arlene Monell

 

3/27/2006, #116, 1st Quarter 2006

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16)

Jesus, please help us recognize your body and blood for what it is as we receive you in the communion service.

For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17)

Father, make us one! Help us repent of breaking the bonds of affection that bind the body of your son together.

Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? (1 Corinthians 10:18)

Holy Spirit, please help us repent of every form of idolatry. Help us repent of the idolatry that comes from making our ideology paramount over the gospel.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Holy Spirit, please help us repent of every form of idolatry. Help us repent of the idolatry that comes from making our ideology paramount over the gospel.

Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:22)

Jesus, help us repent of provoking you to jealousy by our idolatries.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Holy Spirit, help us think on those things and do those things which build up the Body of Christ; help us repent of the selfish freedom of going our own way to the harm of others in the Body.

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. (1 Corinthians 10:24)

Jesus, please help us choose that "better way" of love.

How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? Will your wrath burn like fire? (Psalm 89: 46)

LORD, remember how short our time is; rescue the Episcopal Church from futility. It has sought to save life by its own deeds and resolutions rather than by your cross and resurrection. Jesus, deliver your people in the Episcopal Church from the power of the grave. (From Psalm 89:47-48)

***** Pray for our 2006 deputation to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church:
House of Bishops: Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, Rt. Rev. David Bena, Rt. Rev. David Ball
Diocese of Albany Deputation (Laity): Doris Bedell, Cn. Richard (Jerry) Carroll, Cn. George Marshall, Sandra Tatem
(Clergy): The Rev. Dr. Shaw Mudge, The Rev. Ellen Neufeld, The Very Rev. John Scott, The Rev. Dr. Carola von Wrangle
Alternates, (laity): Sally Hansen, John Iseman, William Tatem, Andy Ewart
(Clergy): The Rev. Joel Grigg, The Rev. Robert Haskell, The Rev. Richard Knudson, The Rev. Michael Shank
***** Pray for Shirley Parker and Muriel Dix who will be attending the Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW).

***** Bishop Elect Fr. Bill Love has asked us to pray that he will have the strength, courage and faith to be obedient. He said, "I need your help, your support, your prayers. We are all in this together."

Pray that he will be approved by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June.

Pray that he will have the strength, courage and faith to be obedient.

Pray that he will receive the full measure of help, support and prayer from all parts of the diocese.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

 

3/26/2006, #115, 1st Quarter 2006

Father, thank you for what you have accomplished among us by the power of your Holy Spirit and through the intercession of your son Jesus.

 

Bp. Dan and Bp. Coadjutor-Elect Bill from http://www.transfigurations.blogspot.com/ Posted by Picasa

 

3/26/2006, #114, 1st Quarter 2006

But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)

Holy Spirit, please come and direct us and bring new life to our mortal bodies. Bless Fr. Nigel and all who minister your Spirit and healing to us.

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (Romans 8:12)

Father, please help us lay aside the sins of the flesh and live in the new life your Holy Spirit gives.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)

Jesus, please show us how to live as you lived: not by the deeds of the flesh, but by the deeds of the Spirit.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

Father, you have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Thank you. (From 2 Timothy 1:7)

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15)

Jesus, in your mercy and your good pleasure you chose us before the foundation of the world to be adopted as your sons and daughters. Thank you. (Ephesians 1:5)

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:16)

Thank you for the witness of your Spirit, Jesus. Please help us throughout this diocese to bear witness to the love of your father that you have made known to us.

and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:17)

Jesus, thank you for the many attacks on this diocese -- they remind us daily of the attacks you suffered and the hope of glory we share together.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

Jesus, thank you for showing us a part of your glory yesterday in the joy we experienced with the election of Fr. Bill Love as our Bishop Coadjutor. Protect and defend him and Karen and their children Chris and Catie from all assaults of the evil one. Protect and defend Bp. Dan and Carol and Bp. Dave and Mary Ellen, and all their children and grandchildren from the assaults of the evil one.

Holy Spirit, please help us in our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought. Please make intercession for us and through us, and through our groanings and travail in this present age. Thank you. (From Romans 8:26)

Jesus, please search our hearts according to the mind of your Spirit and continue to make intercession for us and all your saints according to the will of your father. Thank you. (From Romans 8:27)

***** Please pray for Dn. Blair Biddle who will be having hernia surgery this coming Friday.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

 

3/25/2006, #113, 1st Quarter 2006

Fr. Bill Love of St. Mary's Lake Luzerne in the Diocese of Albany was elected Bishop Coadjutor on the fourth ballot this afternoon. He has asked us to pray that he will have the strength, courage and faith to be obedient. He said, "I need your help, your support, your prayers. We are all in this together." His election was met with thunderous applause.

Pray that he will have the strength, courage and faith to be obedient.

Pray that he will be approved by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June.

Pray that he will receive the full measure of help, support and prayer from all parts of the diocese.

 

Amen. Lord Jesus, cleanse our hearts. Posted by Picasa

 

3/25/2006, #112, 1st Quarter 2006

Lord, help us find our strength in your might. Clothe us with your full armor: put on us the shoes of the preparation to share the gospel of peace; gird our loins with your truth; put on us the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation; put on us the shield of faith with which to quench every fiery dart of the evil one; place in our hands the sword of your Spirit which is your word; help us speak and pray boldly as we ought to, and having stood all to stand. Amen, so be it. (From Ephesians 6:10-20)

A litany for the cleansing of our hearts (from Mark 7:20-23)

And he said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today for our Bishop Coadjutor.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by your Holy Spirit.

adulteries

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Set us free from physical and spiritual adultery.

fornications

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Set us free from believing that evil is good.

murders

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Help us not listen to him who would kill the soul.

thefts

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Protect us from those who would steal the birthright of the children of God.

covetousness

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Set our hearts free from coveting another's goods and treasure.

wickedness

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Don't let our hearts be corrupted by the wickedness of evil press reports.

deceit

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Set our hearts free from the snares and deceits of the evil minded people who are attacking our diocese and its ministry.

lewdness

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Help us think on those things which are good and true and noble.

an evil eye

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Protect us from those who are in the service of the evil one.

blasphemy

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Cleanse the mouths of those giving evil reports about the ministry of your Spirit in our midst.

pride

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Help us glory only in your cross and resurrection.

foolishness.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Protect us from folly and false choices in this election.

All these evil things come from within and defile a man." (Mark 7:20-23)

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us: cleanse our hearts and the hearts of all those who are voting today by the ministry of your Holy Spirit. Cleanse us from all evil things that come from within and defile us. Thank you.

Friday, March 24, 2006

 

Father, help us to be disciples making disciples. Posted by Picasa

 

3/24/2006, #111, 1st Quarter 2006

Lord, help us find our strength in your might. Clothe us with your full armor: put on us the shoes of the preparation to share the gospel of peace; gird our loins with your truth; put on us the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation; put on us the shield of faith with which to quench every fiery dart of the evil one; place in our hands the sword of your Spirit which is your word; help us speak and pray boldly as we ought to, and having stood all to stand. Amen, so be it. (From Ephesians 6:10-20)

Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and he was alone on the land. (Mark 6:47)

Jesus, please come to us.

Then he saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. (Mark 6:48)

Jesus, it is dark and we have been straining at the oars; please come to us.

And when they saw him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; (Mark 6:49)

Lord, we often don't recognize you for who you are when you come to us. Help all those at the Candidate Forums today and the Cathedral this evening to recognize you and the prompting of your Holy Spirit.

for they all saw him and were troubled. But immediately he talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." (Mark 6:50)

Holy Spirit, thank you for the words of comfort we hear Jesus speaking to us. Help us receive them into our hearts.

Jesus, please speak to our hearts your words of comfort: "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Thank you for your words of comfort and love to us.

Then he went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. (Mark 6:51)

Jesus, please come into this diocese as you came into the boat so that the wind of battle may cease.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Father, please help us to obtain the stamina to endure to the end.

Jesus, we pray for your candidate to so run in the race for Bishop Coadjutor that he will receive the prize.

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Holy Spirit, please help us as a diocese to so compete for the prize of eternal life that we see your victory in this life.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

Jesus, please help us dwell with you and abide under your shadow.

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in him I will trust." (Psalm 91:2)

LORD, you are our refuge and our fortress, our God in whom we trust.

Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. (Psalm 91:3)

Jesus, please deliver us from the plots of the wicked who would ensnare us.

He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge; (Psalm 91:4a)

Jesus, you are our covering and our refuge -- we have no other.

His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4b)

Father, thank you that by your truth and by faith in Jesus we are shielded from all the fiery darts of the evil one. Guide those who will be voting for our Bishop Coadjutor by your truth. Thank you.

Holy Spirit, by your help we shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, (From Psalm 91:5)

***** Hello Friends:

On Tuesday morning, March 28, at the regular 10:00am healing service at the Spiritual Life Center, I will be giving a talk on The Power of God's Word in the Icons. This will be at the Healing Chapel and I will focus particularly on the Christ the Healer Icon which is there in the healing chapel already, and explain a lot of the symbolism. Since the subject of that icon is healing and Jesus Christ, it will be a special time of receiving understanding through Him regarding the icon.

First, I'd like to ask for your prayers while I'm giving the talk - that it will be anointed with the Holy Spirit, and even that people will receive healing, through the icon, in the power and presence of Jesus Christ. Second, I'd like to invite you to come and be present for that healing service, and if you know of anyone else who would benefit or who wou like to understand icons more, please invite them also.

Michael and I have both been blessed so abundantly by the Lord, that we are running as fast as we can! Mike has a new book proposal in the works on the Psalms, so please keep that -and him-in your prayers also!
God bless you and keep you in His love,
Christine and Michael Hales
www.Halesart.com
chales@halesart.com

Thursday, March 23, 2006

 

Lord Jesus, defend us in the day of battle. Posted by Picasa

 

3/23/2006, #110, 1st Quarter 2006

Lord, help us find our strength in your might. Clothe us with your full armor: put on us the shoes of the preparation to share the gospel of peace; gird our loins with your truth; put on us the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation; put on us the shield of faith with which to quench every fiery dart of the evil one; place in our hands the sword of your Spirit which is your word; help us speak and pray boldly as we ought to, and having stood all to stand. (From Ephesians 6:10-20)

Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. (Psalm 86:1)

LORD, have mercy on your servant Matt Baker and all who serve you at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center. Defend them and comfort them.

Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. (Psalm 86:2)

Guard your servants at the Spiritual Life Center, for they are devoted to you and you are their God and they trust in you.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. (Psalm 86:3)

Lord Jesus, hear our cries to you for your protection in the day of battle.

Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4)

Holy Spirit, bring your joy and lift up the souls of your servants in the Diocesan Office and at the Spiritual Life Center. When they are attacked, so are we.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. (Psalm 86:5)

You are forgiving and good, Jesus, abounding in love to all who call to you; we call on you now to defend us in the midst of the battle.

Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 86:6)

Father, hear our prayer to you, listen to our cry for mercy. Protect your servants Matt Baker, Fr. Nigel, Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave.

In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. (Psalm 86:7)

 

3/23/2006, #109, 1st Quarter 2006

Lord, help us find our strength in your might. Clothe us with your full armor: put on us the shoes of the preparation to share the gospel of peace; put on us the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation; place in our hands the sword of your Spirit which is your word; help us speak and pray boldly as we ought to, and having stood all to stand. (From Ephesians 6:10-20)

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mark 6:30-31)

Jesus, please prepare a quiet place and a quiet time with you for each of the candidates for apostolic ministry during the next few days.

Holy Spirit, come and touch the hearts of each of the candidates and their families with your peace and comfort.

Father, let each of the candidates find comfort and rest in your arms of love. Father, only one of them can be selected; please comfort the others. Give us hearts of love and compassion for all of them.

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. (Mark 6:32)

Jesus, please help each of the candidates choose to set aside that time with you day by day. Thank you.

LORD, you have been favorable to your land; you have brought back the captivity of Jacob. (Psalm 85:1)

LORD, be favorable to your faithful people and bring them out of every captivity that they are in to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

You have forgiven the iniquity of your people; you have covered all their sin. (Psalm 85:2)

Jesus, thank you for covering our iniquity with your blood.

You have taken away all your wrath; you have turned from the fierceness of your anger. (Psalm 85:3)

Father, thank you that your love and mercy and compassion have triumphed over the justice demanded by your law. Help us remember the cost of our freedom: Jesus agony and death on the cross.

Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger toward us to cease. (Psalm 85:4)

Father God of our salvation, restore the Episcopal Church and cause your anger toward us to cease.

Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? (Psalm 85:5)

Have mercy on us, LORD, for we are sinners in your sight.

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6)

Holy Spirit, please revive us again: bring us to new life through your ministry to us.

Show us your mercy, LORD, and grant us your salvation. (Psalm 85:7)

I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people and to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. (Psalm 85:8)

Even now, LORD, you are speaking to all those who will vote for the Bishop Coadjutor; do not let them turn back from your choice or indulge in a party spirit.

Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. (Psalm 85:9)

Surely your salvation is near to those who fear you, that your glory may dwell in our land.

LORD, let your mercy and truth meet together at the Candidates Forum on Friday; let your righteousness and peace kiss one another at the Special Convention; let your truth spring forth from this diocese and let your righteousness look down form heaven upon us. Give us what is good that we may yield up an increase, a fruitful harvest for your kingdom. Please let your righteousness go before you as you move among us, and make your footsteps our pathway. Thank you. (From Psalm 85:10-13)

 

3/22/2006, #108, 1st Quarter 2006

The following was on Titusonenine this morning. Seemed apropos. God is going to do a mighty work on Saturday.

Whenever, therefore, we perceive the Church scattered by the wiles of Satan, or torn in pieces by the cruelty of the ungodly, or disturbed by false doctrines, or tossed about by storms, let us learn to turn our eyes to this gathering of the elect. And if it appear to us a thing difficult to be believed, let us call to remembrance the power of the angels, which Christ holds out to us for the express purpose of raising our views above human means. For, though the Church be now tormented by the malice of men, or even broken by the violence of the billows, and miserably torn in pieces, so as to have no stability in the world, yet we ought always to cherish confident hope, because it will not be by human means, but by heavenly power, which will be far superior to every obstacle, that the Lord will gather his Church.
–John Calvin

*****

(Fr. Nigel+) Father God, Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you for the gift of Christ the King Spiritual Life Center not only to the diocese of Albany but to the greater church of Christ Himself. I thank you for the privilege of praying for those who present at this place from many denominational backgrounds, people from all social and economic backgrounds, and indeed people from all over the world. I thank you for the hundreds of souls seeking solace, peace, healing and the love of Jesus at this place that has been put aside to worship you. I thank you God for the essence of the healer, Jesus Christ, at the healing center; this place chosen by you and set aside for a specific purpose; a place where the veil is thin between heaven and earth; a place indeed where prayer is answered in most marvelous ways. A place where the love of God is poured out upon souls that are in need of help. Christ the King a destination of pilgrimage...

I thank you for Your healing holy presence especially at the Tuesday healing services, the Wednesday soaking prayer, the individual prayer ministry, the school of healing prayer, and upcoming programs, the thousands of phone calls and email requests generated through Guideposts magazine and the Washington Times (DC) newspaper.

Oh God you know our needs, you know the wounds of ministry as you suffered so for us. I humbly pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will hover over this land and that lives will continue to be healed and blessed by your holy presence on this sacred land set aside to worship you.

Oh God, will you pour out your blessings upon everyone who visits this place and we trust in you that you will provide.

May we decrease that you may increase oh Lord my God...

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Amen.
In His name
Fr. Nigel+

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

3/22/2006, #107, 1st Quarter 2006

Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. (Joel 1:14)

My sense of things is that God is calling us to fast and pray daily from now through the election of the Bishop Coadjutor on Saturday. The Holy Spirit will guide you day by day as to the amount you should fast and how you should pray.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

This call to prayer in Ephesians 6:18 assumes that you have FIRST put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Begin your prayers each day through the election of the Bishop Coadjutor by FIRST putting on the full armor of God.

Sing aloud to God our strength; make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. (Psalm 81:1)

Jesus, please help us sing the songs of Zion joyfully as we pray and wait on you for your candidate to be chosen Bishop Coadjutor.

Raise a song and strike the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the lute. (Psalm 81:2)

Holy Spirit, give us songs in the night and throughout the day so that we may worship Jesus with holy joy.

Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day. (Psalm 81:3)

Father, thank you for calling us to prayer as we await the move of your Spirit at the Special Convention.

For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob. (Psalm 81:4)

Holy Spirit, help us respond to your promptings.

This he established in Joseph as a testimony, when he went throughout the land of Egypt, where I heard a language I did not understand. (Psalm 81:5)

LORD, unless you establish us we shall be like Israel in bondage in Egypt. LORD, we no longer speak the same language -- we use the same words but they mean something quite different in much of the Episcopal Church.

"I removed his shoulder from the burden; his hands were freed from the baskets." (Psalm 81:6)

LORD, set us free from bondage to those who call evil good and good evil.

"You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah." (Psalm 81:7)

LORD, hear our cry to you to raise up your candidate to be our Bishop Coadjutor; speak in the secret places of the heart to all those who will be voting.

"Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you! O Israel, if you will listen to me!" (Psalm 81:8)

Holy Spirit, help us to hear you and hearken to your words.

"There shall be no foreign god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god." (Psalm 81:9)

Father, you are the LORD our God who brought us out of captivity to sin; help us open our mouths wide and receive all that you have for us. (From Psalm 81:10)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

3/21/2006, #106, 1st Quarter 2006

"Novices on the Spiritual Life Center bull" is posted at
http://photos1.blogger.com/hello/212/6910/640/NovicesOnSLC%20Bull.jpg
Pray for more vocations for the Sisters of St. Mary.

Pray for all the people who are doing all the arrangements and running around for the Forum and the election, for peace, stamina, clear thinking and guidance and that things will fall into place quickly and easily. Pray for the Lord's blessing on them.

Pray for stamina, peace, clear thinking and the Lord's CLEAR guidance for all who are going to the Forum on Friday and straight to the Cathedral afterwards and the Cathedral for the election on Sat. Pray for the Lord's powerful presence both days and that God's WHOLE will, will be done.

Cry out to the Lord for our Diocese and this election that all God's purposes will be accomplished. Pray for a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit at the Forum on Friday and election on Sat. Pray for travel mercies for all and good weather. Pray for hearts of those voting to be very sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God and for clear discernment and a common, quiet mind as to who God's candidate is. Pray he will be decisively elected, approved and consecrated. Pray for unity, peace and Truth to fill this Diocese. Pray for peace and protection for ALL the candidates. Pray for strength and guidance for Patti and Forest and intercessors and all who work on this election.

Pray for Tennessee election for God to reveal his choice and people to choose it.

 

Novices on the SLC bull. Posted by Picasa

 

3/21/2006, #105, 1st Quarter 2006

A word received: My glory was manifested in the love I showed by laying down my life for you.

A word received: Pray for my obedience to be worked out in your hearts.

How often they provoked him in the wilderness, and grieved him in the desert! (Psalm 78:40)

Father, we have been rebellious sons and daughters, and we have provoked you; have mercy on us.

Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 78:41)

Jesus, you could no mighty works there among your own people and marveled because of their unbelief; have mercy on us and renew our belief and trust in you. (From Mark 6:5-6)

They did not remember his power: the day when he redeemed them from the enemy, (Psalm 78:42)

Jesus, please move in our hearts this Lent to remember your power and how you redeemed us from the enemy.

When he worked his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan; (Psalm 78:43)

LORD, we remember your signs when you elected Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave on first ballots, we remember your mighty deeds of healing all around this diocese, we remember with awe the Diocesan Conventions and how you have visited your people at the Spiritual Life Center.

But he made his own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; (Psalm 78:52)

LORD, the Episcopal Church has become a wilderness of false teaching; we trust that you will shepherd us and guide us like a flock through the wilderness.

And he led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. (Psalm 78:53)

Holy Spirit, guide us through to safety. Help us know our true enemy for what he is, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (From Ephesians 6:12)

And he brought them to his holy border, this mountain which His right hand had acquired. (Psalm 78:54)

Thank you for bringing us so far, Jesus. You have done this; we could not have done it on our own. Thank you for the way you are renewing us and bringing us to new life in you.

Father, please help those among us who test and provoke you and do not keep your testimonies but have turned back and acted unfaithfully to return to you and your ways. (Psalm 78:56-57)

He also chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; (Psalm 78:70)

Lord Jesus, choose a shepherd to be our new Bishop Coadjutor. Let him shepherd us according to the integrity of his heart and guide us skillfully in the years and battles ahead. (From Psalm 78:71-72)

***** Pray for the Lord's peace and protection for the diocese and that the Holy Spirit will hover over it this week and over the Forum and Election. Pray for the Lord's spotlight to illuminate his choice for bishop coadjutor. Pray he will be elected, approved and consecrated. Pray for the Lord's work in the hearts of all the candidates, that God's truth will be revealed about each person.

Pray also for all those candidates who will be disappointed for the Lord to show them what he has for them and comfort them. Pray for unity and a common, quiet mind in and about this election.

There is a spiritual war going on against what God has been doing in this diocese. Pray that people will recognize who the real enemy is. Pray that the nominating speeches will be free of venom and innuendo and speak the truth clearly and in love. Keep on praising God in the battle.

Pray for God's candidate to be elected in Tennessee this Saturday and for God's choice to be elected in Maine and in the other elections.

Monday, March 20, 2006

 

3/20/2006, #103, 1st Quarter 2006

A litany for the protection of our diocese from Psalm 64:1-5,10

Hear our voice, O God, in our meditation;

Preserve our lives from fear of the enemy.
Hear our voice, O God.
Hide us from the secret plots of the wicked,
Hear our voice, O God.
From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
Hear our voice, O God.
Hide us from those who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
Hear our voice, O God.
From those who bend their bows to shoot their arrows--bitter words,
Hear our voice, O God.
Hide us from those who shoot in secret at the blameless;
Hear our voice, O God.
From those who suddenly shoot at us and do not fear.
Hear our voice, O God.
Hide us from those who encourage themselves in an evil matter;
Hear our voice, O God.
From those who talk of laying snares secretly;
Hear our voice, O God.
Hide us from those who say, "Who will see us?"
Hear our voice, O God.

The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and trust in Him.
We are glad in and trust in you, O LORD.
And all the upright in heart shall glory.
Glory to you, O LORD.

 

Lord, bring us out of the bondage of sin. Posted by Picasa

 

3/20/2006, #102, 1st Quarter 2006

I cried out to God with my voice-- to God with my voice; and he gave ear to me. (Psalm 77:1)

LORD, we cry out to you for your church and your people: have mercy on us and shepherd us; bring us to pools of living water and your rest and refreshment.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. (Psalm 77:2)

Jesus, your church is in distress because of the sins of your people. We have sinned and cry out to you. Help us by your Holy Spirit to repent and find the comfort you offer us.

I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. (Psalm 77:3)

Father, when we think of your holiness and our sin we are overwhelmed and troubled. Establish us again in your truth, for your word is truth.

You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. (Psalm 77:4)

Jesus, give us no rest till we return to you and your ways.

I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. (Psalm 77:5)

LORD, we remember your mighty acts and how you rescued your people from out of the house of bondage.

I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. (Psalm 77:6)

Lord Jesus, we trust that you will not cast off your church forever, and that you will be favorable to your people once more. Your mercy has not ceased and your promise has not failed. You do remember to be gracious and in your anger at our sin you have not shut up your tender mercies. (From Psalm 77:7-9)

Jesus, in our present distress we choose to remember the years of the right hand of the most high and the many wonders of your father. Surely we will remember your wonders of old. We will meditate on all your work and talk of your deeds. (From Psalm 77:10-12)

O God, we trust that when we come into your sanctuary to elect a Bishop Coadjutor next Saturday that you will help us by your Spirit to remember your greatness. You are the God who does wonders; you have declared your strength among the peoples. You have with your arm redeemed your people and you will raise up the man of your choosing to lead us. (From Psalm 77:13-15)

***** Sunday School lessons 23 and 24 are posted at:

http://albanyintercessor.blogspot.com/2006/03/study-guide-sunday-school-lesson-23.html

http://albanyintercessor.blogspot.com/2006/03/study-guide-sunday-school-lesson-24.html

Sunday, March 19, 2006

 

STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON 24 March 26, 2006

The Raising of the Dead
Theme: Living by Faith in Christ Alone
Theme Verse: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 NIV
Readings: Acts 20: 1-12
Optional Readings: Luke 9:1-6, Ephesians 2:1-5
Memory Verse: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12

Setting "After the uproar ceased" refers to the riot in Ephesus started by the silversmiths who were not selling as many silver idols of Artemis as they used to. Luke is traveling with Paul again and we get "we" passages. Luke is quite detailed about the time spent in some places. Quite likely it is from a diary he kept and later used to write the Book of Acts.

Paul encourages and exhorts the believers in Ephesus before he starts the journey back to Jerusalem by way of Macedonia and Greece. As he was traveling through Macedonia he visited and encouraged ("much encouragement") the churches he had planted. He spent three months in Greece, undoubtedly doing the same thing. Word received: I want you to encourage others as well. Word received: That's what I want you to share, words of encouragement. When you build each other up then you will see each other grow.

Paul escapes another plot just as he is about to sail for Syria, so he decides to go back through Macedonia. (!!) It is likely that God warned and protected Paul by other Christians as before. Paul never gives up, he just travels another way. In addition to his regular traveling companions, there are 6 others from various churches going with them. This sounds like the representative group that was carrying a gift of relief money to Jerusalem that Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 16:1-9 and 2 Corinthians 8:20 and 9:5.

The timing is very soon after Passover (and therefore after Easter) and five days later they came to Troas. Recall that Troas was where Paul had seen the vision of a man from Macedonia saying "Come over and help us." (Acts 16:8-11) They left for Macedonia immediately so we don't know how there came to be a church in Troas. Someone else probable founded it and this could have been Paul's first visit. He wanted to make sure they were properly taught because he stayed there for seven days. Clearly Paul feels an urgency and a sense of duty to cram as much as he possibly can into this short visit.

In the next few verses we see a glimpse of the first century church at worship. Notice that it was on the first day of the week- the day of Jesus' resurrection, not the Jewish Sabbath. It was at night since most people had to work during the day and they were less likely to be noticed at night where there were hostile surroundings. They broke bread (v.7) and ate (v.10). Many of the earliest churches had the Eucharist and a fellowship meal together (see 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, 33-34). There was also a teaching and/or sermon. We know from other sources that the early church took patterns of worship: scripture reading and singing from the synagogue. (Compare Acts 2:42)

It was late, midnight, and probably hot (many oil lamps) and crowded. Poor young Eutychus was sitting in the window, fell asleep and fell down from that 3rd story window and was killed, "taken up dead". Then the story turns astonishing. Paul goes down, bends over the boy and embraces him and says in a matter of fact way, "Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him"!!! (Paul's approach was like Elisha's in bringing back to life the son of the Shunammite woman.(2 Kings 4:32-37).

Something bad happened, Paul takes care of it, goes back up for the meal and the "breaking of bread" and keeps on talking till dawn!!! He expected God to work! Do we? That's how God wants it to be in his community- using the gifts God gives as just a normal part of spreading the Good News of Jesus. Even today in many parts of the world where the people have no one to turn to except God, miracles of healing are a common place part of evangelism.

Compare what Paul did here and elsewhere with what Jesus did with his disciples while he was still with them on earth. In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus gives his 12 disciples power to heal and authority over evil spirits and with this demonstration of God's power, they are to preach the Gospel. The Memory Verse says that anyone who has faith in Jesus will do what Jesus had been doing and "even greater things". (Probably means more things since Jesus was going to the Father. Word received: Paul did those greater things. I want you to do those greater things too. I want your daily journey with Me to be as vibrant as Paul's. Have we received the power of God's Spirit to be used by God and follow Jesus or are we trying to do it in our own strength?

Paul and Jesus raised people from the dead but physical death is not all that God is concerned with. Read Ephesians 2:1-5. God is even more concerned when people are "dead in sin" "following the course of this world" and the Evil One, and "following the desires of body and mind". "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us….made us alive together with Christ" "By grace you have been saved." Just as Paul brought this young man back to life through the power of Jesus' Spirit, so God brings us back from the dead through Jesus.

Young Eutychus is like the church sometimes. We get sleepy and fall. But just when it looks dead, God through his Holy Spirit revives his church.

 

STUDY GUIDE: SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON 23 March 19, 2006

Paul's Perseverance in Witnessing: Jesus is Exalted
Theme: Living by Faith in Christ Alone
Theme Verse: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 NIV
Readings: Acts 19:1-22
Memory Verse: He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. (Acts 19:9b-10)

This lesson begins after Paul had gone back to Jerusalem, made a swing through Galatia and Phrygia strengthening the churches and had gone on to Ephesus. Apollos was still in Corinth. Recall that Paul had left Aquilla and Priscilla in Ephesus. It appears that they never encountered these disciples Paul found. For many years disciples of John the Baptist became disciples of Jesus (see John 1:35) but not all. (NOTE: A History of the Christian Church, p.18, Williston Walker states that those in Acts 19:1 were still just disciples of John the Baptist.)

They had not even heard of the Holy Spirit and had only received John's baptism of repentance. Probably they were Gentiles or they would have heard of the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew scriptures. Did Paul see or not see something he expected? The Lord prompts him to ask the question about the Holy Spirit. Word received: Paul is again listening to Me. I want you to listen to My Spirit as Paul did. "On hearing this…" Word received: See the result of Paul listening and obeying Me. As you listen and follow Me, You too will see Me work. Prayer: Lord, open our ears and hearts to keep on listening to you for guidance.

"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Word received: I want you to ask that same question to believers who show no evidence of My power in their lives. "No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Word received: That is the condition of so many of My people. They hear of evil spirits, but not of My Holy Spirit. I want them to hear, I want them to know the power of My Holy Spirit.

Have you heard that the power of the Holy Spirit that began to operate in the apostles on the Day of Pentecost is available to you today? Have you received it? Recall that Jesus' disciples received the Holy Spirit after Jesus rose from the dead (John 20:22) but they did not receive His power until Pentecost (Acts 2).

When Paul heard their answer, he immediately tells them about Jesus to whom John pointed and the necessity of being baptized in the Name of Jesus. He baptized them and laid his hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit with power. Word received: I want you to find the freedom of My Spirit and lay hands on others as Paul did so they may receive the full power of My Spirit. The Lord is faithful and wants his people to receive all that he has for them. After they received the Holy Spirit, they received outward manifestations of God's Spirit.

Notice that there were only twelve, but Paul thinks they are just as important as large numbers. Word received: It isn't only the times with thousands that are remembered in Scripture, it is the twos and threes and twelves as well and even one lonely Ethiopian by himself. Don't be afraid to minister to only a handful. Paul was not held back by such fears.

The next thing to notice is Paul's perseverance. As was his custom, he preaches and argues with those in the synagogue, both Jews and God-fearers (those Gentiles who worshipped the God of Israel but had not become Jews). He does this week by week for three months. The Amplified Bible, verse 9 says, "But some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving) discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way before the congregation." As long as people were seriously considering the news about Jesus, Paul stayed but when people's minds were made up--both ways--there was no longer any point in staying. We need to know when to continue and when to stop and move on.

Paul took those who had become believers, left the synagogue and moved into a large hall (unused during siesta time, noon to 3 or 4) and stayed there daily presenting and debating the Good News till ALL in the province of Asia had heard!!!!

"God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul". Word received: I do not work in one manner only. You should not assume how I will work, only that I will. Look to Me to do more than you expect. God works in many ways. Here God uses things Paul has touched. One of the ways He works is by using physical, created things such as blessed water for baptism, Paul's hands to convey his healing, bread and wine to become vehicles of his grace to convey the spiritual reality of his Body and Blood given for us. God blessed the faith of the men who let down their friend through the roof to get him to Jesus. Jesus healed in many ways. There isn't a recipe that we can follow to control God. He will not be put in a box. God uses things but he wants us to look to him in faith and expectancy. (The problem with relics is that people's attention shifts from God himself to the physical thing.)

That is where the sons of Sceva went wrong. They saw Paul heal in the Name of Jesus so they thought they could use that name like a magic formula without knowing Jesus himself (relationship). They didn't fool the evil spirit! He said, "Jesus I know and Paul I know , but who are you?" and he beat them up badly. Word received: My power is not to be mocked or misused. It should always point to Jesus. These men were obviously misusing God's power -- to point to themselves and not to God.

God takes what was bad and uses it for good. God used both the unusual miracles and the dramatic failure of the sons of Sceva to glorify and make known the Name of Jesus. People developed a healthy respect/fear/awe for the tremendous power of God in Jesus. The result was that the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. People's lives were changed.

The other result was that new believers, who had been hiding their involvement with the occult and sorcery repented publicly and brought their magic books together and burned/destroyed them. They were worth a lot of money! (50,000 pieces of silver or $9,300 in 1987 dollars.) Ephesus was famous as a center of magic and sorcery and the occult magic books were often called "Ephesian Writings".

Is there anything you think you are hiding from God??? Several of the teachers mentioned possessions they destroyed after becoming Christians because these things represented forces that opposed God. (Examples: records, statues of Buddha, jewelry decorated with symbols of astrology). God's people may have stuff they shouldn't have and at the same time even believers may not have all that God wants them to have. God is calling us to be open to helping people both receive and let go of things. How have you experienced the power of Jesus' Name and the power of the Holy Spirit?

Finally, notice how Paul made decisions. Again and again we see that Paul listened to the Lord when he made decisions. The Greek says Paul resolved "in the Spirit" that he would go to Jerusalem through Macedonia and Greece and then hoped to go to Rome. (He didn't leave right away however which was how he got involved in the riot that was a backlash against all the conversions to Jesus and drop in sale of idols.) (Ephesus forms the background of Paul's two letters to the Corinthians.)

What should we do when things are not going well for us?
1. Keep things in perspective. Jesus has won the victory!
2. Recognize that trouble is a normal part of the Christian life. (Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.")
3. Keep praising God through the midst of it. You can always find something to praise God about.
4. Look for the good that God is bringing out of the bad situation.
5. Turn to Jesus. Turn to your Christian friends for support.
6. Don't try to "get back" at anyone. Leave that to God. Jesus said, Forgive and pray for those who "despitefully use" you.

Look again at what Paul says about his first visit to Corinth. (See 1 Corinthians 2:1-5) Paul keeps his attention on following Jesus, the crucified and risen One, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit, no matter what happens.

Word for SS teachers: Invite them to receive more of My Holly Spirit. I AM with you as you pray for them.

 

Jesus, please shepherd our hearts and our thoughts by your Holy Spirit. Posted by Picasa

 

3/19/2006, #101, 1st Quarter 2006

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

Jesus, please help us by your Holy Spirit to be so centered in you that we escape all condemnation. Please help those among us who continue to walk in the flesh to walk according to your Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

Father, please help us enter into the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus and please set us free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: he condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:3)

LORD, have mercy on those who try to find freedom through the flesh.

that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

Jesus, please help us be a sign of what you can accomplish through your Holy Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

Holy Spirit, please help us think on those things which are true, those things which are noble, those things which are just, those things which are pure, those things which are lovely, and those things which are of good report. Help us to meditate on those things which are of virtue and are praiseworthy. (From Philippians 4:8)

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

Father, we cry out to you for those among us who are carnally minded and who have gone to law against us. Have mercy on them and on us.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

Holy Spirit, help us do the things which we have learned and receive and heard and seen in your saints. (From Philippians 4:9)

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)

Father, let it be our hearts' desire to please you.

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. (Romans 8:9)

Holy Spirit, please come with your power into our midst. Fill the Cathedral with your glory and your presence when we gather to elect your Bishop Coadjutor. Help us know clearly the man you have chosen.

And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)

Holy Spirit, you raised Jesus from the dead, please come and give us life in you in our mortal bodies by dwelling in us. (From Romans 8:11)

Dad, we did not receive from you a spirit of bondage again to fear, but a Spirit of adoption by which we cry out, "Abba, Father." Thank you. (From Romans 8:15)

***** Keep on keeping on praying for our Bishops (Bp. Dan at House of Bishops, and Bp. Dave traveling to the NJ funeral Bp. Pettit), Fr. Nigel and Healing ministry and Matt Baker and Christ the King Spiritual Life Center. Pray for God's blessing, protection and provision. Pray that what Satan meant for evil, God will use for good and those attacks will fail. Pray for God's truth and light.

Pray for the Forum on Friday and the Special Convention. on Saturday. next week for God's candidate to be clearly revealed, discerned, elected, approved and consecrated.

Pray for hearts open to the Lord's guidance. Pray all present will be mindful of the danger of self-righteousness and attention on themselves like the Pharisee praying in the temple. Lord, help all to join the tax collector in crying out, "Lord be merciful to me, a sinner."

Pray for the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit hovering over the Special convention on the 25th and the Forum on the 24th. Pray for God's truth and light to fill the Cathedral and the Spiritual Life Center and the hearts of ALL those present.

Pray that God's people will surrender their lives and their wills to the Lord all over again.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

 

3/18/2006, #100, 1st Quarter 2006

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Father, we hold up to you those who are being attacked in this diocese: Bp. Dan and Bp. Dave, Fr. Nigel, Matt Baker, the diocesan staff, and the staff of the Spiritual Life Center. Please be their light, their strength, and their salvation, so that they need fear no one.

When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (Psalm 27:2)

Holy Spirit, please cause those who are attacking your work and your people in this diocese to trip themselves up.

Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. (Psalm 27:3)

Jesus, in the day of battle, you are our hope and our confidence.

One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

LORD, thank you for giving us a place of great beauty and holiness in the Spiritual Life Center where we can come together from all parts of the diocese to inquire of you and worship you.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret place of his tabernacle he shall hide me; he shall set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)

Father, set the feet of our diocesan leadership firmly on Jesus; he is our rock and our hiding place.

Jesus, we ask you to lift up the heads of our diocesan leaders so that they may offer you the sacrifices of thanksgiving and righteousness for ever and ever. Amen. (From Psalm 27:6)

***** Pray for our Bp. Daniel in the lion's den of the House of Bishops meeting.

Pray for the Lord's protection, peace and strength.

Pray that God will give him the words to say in each situation.

Pray for God to work in a transforming way to accomplish HIS purposes there.

***** Pray for God's covering over the whole election process, those who are working on it, Patti and Forest, the intercessors, the candidates and especially God's candidate.

Pray for a work in God's choice to prepare him for the work and battles ahead.

Pray that God will make him a true shepherd who will submit to the Lord in and above all things, renew him daily in the Holy Spirit, deliver him from temptation to please others more than the Lord.

Pray that God will protect and strengthen him and his family and give them holy joy.

Pray that God's choice will be clearly discerned, elected, approved and consecrated.

Pray that the other candidates will discern God's will for themselves.

Pray that what Satan meant for evil, God will use for good and that no weapon formed against our bishops, the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, Matt Baker and the staff, the Healing ministry and Fr. Nigel will not prosper or succeed.

Pray against all deception and lies and that God's truth and light will reveal everything.

Friday, March 17, 2006

 

3/17/2006, #99, 1st Quarter 2006

Today is St. Patrick's Day and I commend to your prayer today this prayer which is in the Episcopal Hymnal: St. Patrick's Breastplate. Given all that has been going on, I urge you to pray with special intention verses 6 and 7 (which were left out of the hymnal).

St. Patrick's Breastplate
1. I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

2. I bind this day to me forever
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

3. I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet 'Well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

4. I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun's life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

5. I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

6. Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

7. Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

8. Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

9. I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

***** Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 10:23:21 -0500
From: "Sister Mary Elizabeth"
Subject: We won!

Torre and Jean—

Last night in NYC our video, The Hidden Life, won an Emmy Award for best writing in a television documentary. We had been nominated for three categories, and won in this one.

The upshot of this is that the writer/producer is now working on getting it released on national PBS – a very good possibility. Should this happen, then its just a matter of time before it can air in the Albany area.

Praise the Lord!

Sister Mary Elizabeth

 

3/17/2006, #98, 1st Quarter 2006

On the same day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." (Mark 4:35)

Jesus, please help us follow where you lead.

Now when they had left the multitude, they took him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with him. (Mark 4:36)

Jesus, help us to take you as you are and cease projecting our agenda on you.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. (Mark 4:37)

Lord, we too are in the midst of a great windstorm and the ship of the Episcopal Church is filling and sinking.

But he was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38)

Teacher, the wind and the waves are beating on us and we are afraid. Please come to our aid.

Lord, make haste to help us.
O God, make speed to save us.

Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)

Father, we know we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore we take up your whole armor, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Father, we long to hear Jesus', "Peace, be still!" spoken into our storm. (From Ephesians 6:12-13)

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

But he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40)

Father, you have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. Help us keep our attention on what Jesus is doing and saying and not on the wind and the waves. (From 2 Timothy 1:7)

And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!" (Mark 4:41)

Holy Spirit, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do his commandments. Help us do his commandments and may his praise endure forever. (from Psalm 111:10)

***** Regarding Francis MacNutt:
Francis is back at the Emerging Leaders Conference in Dallas...he had this incident on Monday, the hospital kept him overnight for tests, found nothing! Praise God from whom all blessings flow...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

3/16/2006, #97, 1st Quarter 2006

Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 08:48:19 -0500
From: "Sister Mary Elizabeth"
To: "'Torre and Jean Bissell'"

Torre and Jean--

I want to pass on the text of an article which appeared in The Eagle, a weekly published out of the Hoosick Falls area, last Thursday. I pass this on because with all the ugliness coming out of the Albany press, it is good to hear local people writing with excitement about the SLC. Jean will remember the prayer meeting Gail writes about.

------------

The Christian Perspective: "The Sweet Song of Unity" by Gail. M. Smith from The Eagle, March 9, 2006

For a while now, I have sensed a need to pray more intentionally for Revival. To that end, I recently attended a Revival Service at the Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich. This beautiful 612 acre retreat center is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, and is available to anyone desiring to deepen their relationship with Christ.

What a blessing it was to share that time with believers of many faiths. There were no walls erected between us, no defenses put up. Our differences didn't matter. We were there for one purpose, to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst. We were praying for that spark of the Refiner's fire to ignite within each of us, to burn away the chaff, to set the torch ablaze so our lights might shine more brightly in our respective communities. We were praying for God to touch those we know, and those we don't know, and to break down the strongholds in our lives and villages that separate us from Him, that we might be brought into the fullness of His presence, to pave the way for Revival.

In Prepare the Way for Revival, Ian Malins writes, "The barriers between churches have to be broken down. When we seek unity and reconciliation across the Body of Christ, we open the channels for Revival to come. God is not concerned just to revive our church. He wants to revive His church."

Those attending that service were there because they have a burden, a burden that comes from knowing that unless we passionately and persistently pray for an awakening, and unless we ourselves are wrought, our communities will likely not experience the manifest Presence of God the way He so desires. I was there because I knew I had to be, because I want that Holy Fire to burn in me, for the express purpose of bringing in the sheaves.

I sensed an awareness of God that day as I never have before. It was not just a sense of His Presence. It was much more than that. It was a moving of the Holy Spirit stirring in each of us simultaneously, as we subtly broke out in our own diverse song or prayer. Just loud enough so a beautiful melody could be heard, one that could never be written by human hands. I envision heaven being like that, only better. It was the melding of hearts and minds that God so desires of us. It was the Sweet Song of Unity, as only the master musician could orchestrate.

------------

Gail's article continues in the same vein but towards the end of lifting up a similar Prayer for Revival meeting beginning in the Hoosick area that week. (Jean, do you remember the prayer for waters flowing out from our Prayer Meeting and from the SLC -- spreading out into local villages and towns -- outward and onwards -- with flames of fire bursting forth at places where the Spirit rests? Seems to be happening!)

It was a wonderful testimony!

With thanksgiving,

Sister Mary Elizabeth

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