Martin Luther, on prayer…
“We pray after all because we are unworthy to pray. The very fact that we are unworthy and that we dare to pray confidently, trusting only in the faithfulness of God, makes us worthy to pray and to have our prayer answered. . . . Your worthiness does not help you; and your unworthiness does not hinder you. Mistrust condemns you; but confidence makes you worthy and upholds you.”
From Luther’s, “On Rogationtide,” LW 42:89; WA 2:176.129–37, quoted here.
Prayers for the week…
- As people of the world: Pray prayers of mercy and relief for the people of the Philippines.
- As neighbors and citizens: Pray prayers of forgiveness. If you have lived in any community for any length of time, you are sure to have experienced offenses from the hands of neighbors, acquaintances, or folks you don’t even know but who spoke or acted wrongly to you. A rude clerk at the grocery store. The guy down the street who lets his trash blow out the top of his can … which the wind blows into your rose bushes. Your next door neighbor who has bumper stickers on his car, letting the world know of his disdain for Christianity. Whether you would classify the person as friend, foe or stranger — you carry these instances of offense in your heart like a man carries his wallet — and the very naturalness of living with bite-size bitterness has blinded you to the texts of Scripture wherein the Lord would have you forgive them. So today, in your private place of prayer, talk to Jesus about these matters. Forgiving people does not open you up to naivety or gullibility in your future relationships with folks, but it does open you to fresh winds of God’s Spirit in dealing with sin in your own life. Forgive your enemies … forgive your friends … forgive your neighbors.
- And, if the Lord shows you that you are the one who has given reason for offense, go to the person and seek their forgiveness. This is the Lord’s way for His people.
- Pray pro-life prayers. Memorize and meditate and pray the words of Psalm 139:13-16 —
For you formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in Your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16, ESV)
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado — led by Jimmy Covey:
Jimmy and Vicki were married in May 1969 while students at Phillips University; both graduated in May of 1971. Jimmy received his Master of Divinity from Phillips University Graduate Seminary in 1974 and his Doctor of Ministry in 1995 from Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando). Jimmy’s ministry experience includes six years as a pastor and twenty-three years as a staff representative for The Navigators. During his service with The Navigators, he ministered for three years on the campus of Texas Tech University, two years at Oklahoma State University and seventeen years at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). To date, his ministry at the Academy spans more than three decades. Jimmy and Vicki have no greater passion than seeing Air Force Academy cadets and graduates grow in their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. In his free time, Jimmy enjoys swimming, motorcycles and shooting sports. The Coveys have two adult children and three
Using the 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Malaysia, which ranks No. 42 on the watchlist.
Being Malay is synonymous with being Muslim. Chinese or Indian citizens can choose their religion, but it is almost impossible for a Malay Muslim to convert to Christianity. Yet still Muslims come to know Christ. Officially, the constitution provides religious freedom. However, in recent years, judges have offered personal interpretations of parts of the constitution. People who want to change their religious affiliation on their ID cards from Islam to anything else now have to go to Sharia courts.
- For Muslim-background believers (MBB); once discovered, an MBB can be sent to a re-education center until they agree to reconvert
- For church leaders who have to be very cautious as their services are watched
- Outreach to Muslims is strictly forbidden. Pray that persecuted Christians will have courage and wisdom to know how to share their faith.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the territory of Puerto Rico.
- In 2013, we are praying together by name for Christians in 50 nations, Christians in all 50 states and all the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the emerging new Reformed body, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. You are encouraged to add specific pastors, lay leaders, congregations, missionaries, new church developments and other ministries to the list by posting a comment to the blog. (Please do not publicly post the names of missionaries serving in contexts where exposing their identity would cause them harm or bring harm to those they serve in Christ’s name.) Let us kneel before the Father and ask His will be done.
- Prayers for the PCUSA: Pray for the presbyteries of the Synod of Alaska-Nothwest: Alaska, Central Washington, Inland Northwest, North Puget Sound, Olympia, Seattle, and Yukon.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): Alleghenies (Bruce Allison, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Eastern Pennsylvania Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.