Thursday, April 04, 2019

2019 04 04

Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" John 7:41-42 (NKJV)
     Lord, those who claim to know the most about you often know the least.

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." John 12:32 (NKJV)
     Father, draw me daily to Jesus and raise me up on the last day.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." John 6:51 (NKJV
     Jesus, help me feast on this bread of life.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
     Jesus, please lead me by your Holy Spirit into the sonship you have for me.

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 (NKJV)
     Father, thank you for adopting me. Dad, please come help me day by day.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (NKJV)
     Holy Spirit, help me in my weakness.

Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. Psalm 69:1-3 (NKJV)
     O God, hear my cry and rescue me.

A Word Received: Look to me for help in times of trouble.

Albany Intercessor

Prayer Table / Montgomery County Correctional Facility. St. Ann's Episcopal Church, April 1, 2019
     DCN ALAN and DCN MARYCAROL -- Very pleased, as always, to keep all you faithful prayer warriors informed about the regular Monday neighborhood ministries in which St. Ann's involves itself -- the morning Prayer Table and the evening Services From the Reserved Sacrament at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. This week's events on Monday, April 1, were both very fruitful.
     Prayer Table -- It was very windy and only about 36 degrees Monday morning, so sexton Don Clifford and I set up two tables in the Parish Hall and office manager Cherie Nethaway put up signs out on the patio saying that we had clothing and food available in the Hall. About 15-20 people came and we were able to give out most of the remaining wintry clothing we had on hand and we also gave some needy persons food to help them get through the week. The people are wonderful about the food distribution: they only take what they need and are grateful for it, not greedy. LUCY got prayer for continued healing of the leg she injured over the winter.
     Montgomery County Correctional Facility services -- This was a moving and productive night of ministry, but truthfully it also was a very long and exhausting evening. We had 18 men for three men's pod services, and this time we had 9 women for two services in two temporary pods, for 27 inmates in all coming to hear the word of the Lord.
     We deacons and volunteer Jeff Newell also heard two extra extended prayer requests which we attended to, and this took an extra 20 minutes or so. As a result we didn't complete our visit until 9:45 p.m. instead of the usual three hours or so. Oh, well. That's the way God wanted it.
     The men and women in the five services were very taken by the readings, especially Luke's gospel Parable of the Lost Son, as well as Psalm 32. One of the male inmates asked a good question. He asked, "I've been reading the bible a lot here when I'm alone in my cell, and I got to wondering, "How come the Old Testament doesn't mention Heaven at all?" That's a darn good question, and we tried to answer it as best we could. Actually, the bible does mention heaven in Genesis with creation. But the best answer we could offer is that Jews of that time (who did not believe Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah they were expecting) believed in a kind of shadowy afterlife called Sheol -- an underworld where you are kind of asleep in peace when you died. When someone passed away, they were "... asleep with their fathers," it is often written. Other inmates were touched by the Lost Son parable. One man said, "I think we all know how the older son felt when his younger brother returned and all that fuss was made for him. I know I myself have been jealous at times like that ." Another man in a different pod said, "This story really shows you how God forgives you and gives you a second chance. I've done a lot of bad things in my life, but I have asked God for a second chance in here (MCCF) and I know he has forgiven me and is giving me that chance." A woman said she loved the verse in Psalm 32 that said, "You are my hiding place, you preserve me from trouble, you surround me with shouts of deliverance."
     Good stuff, Lord! They're hearing you.
     The two special requests for individual anointing and separate prayer were very moving events. The young man told us he is praying but doesn't think God is listening or cares about him anymore because of things he has done. And he is crushed at the recent shooting death of his younger brother. He just found out a few days ago in a jail telephone call from his mother that this boy was shot and killed three weeks ago soon after this inmate (name withheld) was arrested. Then we talked with a young woman (again. name withheld) is really grieving over being in jail because she maintains she is innocent and shouldn't be there. She is awaiting trial. Meanwhile, her mother has told her she is ashamed of her and called her "the black sheep of the family." We did our best to console both these troubled inmates and assure them God knows what is going on and hears their prayers. Please pray for these two children of God.
     Also, these inmates signed the Request for Healing and for Special Needs -- the same form that appears in the back of our sanctuary every Sunday and is used for Prayers of the People. Please pray for them and noted loved ones: Ray (and children Olivia, Ray Jr., Sophie and Mike), Ricardo (and son and unborn son on the way), Jesse, Israel (and Triniti, Carrie and Gisela), Michael, Daniel, Juan, Depree (and three children), Eli (and Nay), Justin (and daughter Jaivah), Samuel (and Frances and Jorge), the Flores family, Melissa (and Richard.)

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