An Advent hymn/prayer by Charles Wesley —
“Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
Prayers for the week…
As people of the world:
- As neighbors and citizens: During the holiday season, pray for your tongue to be ready to share a word of Christ with family members and friends. And, pray for their ears and hearts! Immanuel, God with Us!
- Pray pro-life prayers. Keep your eyes open for people in the cross-hairs of personal decision making in these situations — they could use your friendship and prayers.
- Continued prayers of mercy and relief for the people in the path of the line of storms that crossed the midwestern United States on Sunday, Nov. 17. Pray for the families and friends of those who lives were lost, pray for those who lost homes and pray for those who lack hope. Pray also for the Church to bear authentic witness to the goodness of God in the midst of it all. Pray for the Presbyterian churches in Washington and Peoria, Ill as they find themselves on the front line of witness.
- Continued prayers for the people of Syria and for Christians caught in the crossfire: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2013/11/18/children-killed-attack-near-damascus-church-and-sc/
- Continued prayers for the people of the Philippines as relief and aid has yet to reach some communities cut off by the typhoon more than a week ago.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at the University of Alabama — Birmingham — led by Joe Dentici:
Joe is a native of Birmingham. He grew up in Mountain Brook, went to college at UAB, and then to seminary at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, where he graduated in 2007. He married Melissa in the summer of 2005. She is a nurse at UAB’s hospital in the bone-marrow transplant. They have a black lab, Knox. He is awesome.
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 Tajikistan, which ranks No. 44 on the watchlist.
The persecution of Christians in Persian-speaking Tajikistan is mainly driven by the government. The ruling elite will do anything to stay in power, organised corruption is rampant and the authorities focus their attention on Christians. Church registration is obligatory and can only be obtained after a long, cumbersome and often arbitrary process. In July 2012, Tajik citizens were prohibited from going abroad in order to receive religious education, preach and teach religious doctrines, or establish ties with foreign religious organizations.
- For churches that experience government raids and persecuted Christians who may be physically harmed or have to leave their villages
- The importation and distribution of religious literature is tightly controlled. Pray for protection for those delivering God’s Word to His people
- For youth work, which must now be done in secret; a new law prohibits any religious activity for those aged under 18
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on South Carolina.
- 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 Boriquen (Puerto Rico): San Juan, Noroeste, and Suroeste.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): Mid-Atlantic (Howard Shockley, Stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Evangel Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.