“Prayer, Sovereignty, and God’s Will” — by Jerry Bridges
“We must keep in mind that the Spirit of God is sovereign over when and how he works through the instruments of prayer. He certainly hears our requests and responds to them. But it’s not for us to question the purposes and actions of his sovereign will. Instead we’re to submit to and accept whatever he has for us. And as we respond to his answers to our prayers, we must continue to acknowledge our dependence on him through more prayer. As we cycle through our prayers and his answer in this way, our dependency grows. No wonder those who regularly practice this spiritual discipline often speak of there being power in prayer. The more prayer, the more dependency; the more dependency, the more power. The source of power is not the prayer; it is the Holy Spirit, who uses prayer as a means of grace through which he provides the power.” – from The Bookends of the Christian Life, by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington.
Prayers for the week…
- As neighbors and citizens: Pray to be an agent of bringing tangible blessing to people, giving them an incarnate understanding of the fact that “God is good.” Do good to those around you. You cannot do everything for everyone, but you can do a few things for a few people. Because the kindness of God leads to repentance (Romans 2:4), your acts of Christian kindness can be a means of bringing the Gospel to life in the eyes of folks in your community. Begin with prayer. Then, act!
- Pray pro-life prayers. Take up Psalm 139 and pray through the verses. Ask God to help you understand the important bioethical issues of our day. Admittedly, some of these topics get complicated quickly. But as you read through the 139th, find amazement in how the power of the lyrics and the science of this text come together to persuade the heart to believe that God is the only rightful giver and taker of life.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Tulane University (New Orleans) — led by Will Tabor:
Will started the RUF ministry at Tulane in 2010 after receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Dallas. Prior to attending seminary, Will worked as a financial analyst in Memphis after graduating from Vanderbilt Business School and Mississippi State University. Will lives in Uptown New Orleans with his wife Michelle and their dog Riley.
Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Comoros, which ranks No. 41 on the watchlist.
Since Islam became the state religion in 2009, converts from Islam can be prosecuted in court. Nevertheless, new Muslim-background believers have withstood a lot of pressure and gained some acceptance in parts of society. In Gran Comoros, where believers have to worship in secret, in many cases their relatives have accepted their new faith. Most believers are men and, in a matriarchal society – where the groom moves in with the bride’s family – demands on Christian husbands are very high.
- For relationships to improve between congregations in Comoros and Malagasy
- Thank God for a steady growth in the number of believers: pray for the spouses of Christians to come to know Him
- Open Doors provides support and training to persecuted Christians in Comoros. Pray for good relationships to be built.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Pennsylvania. This state is rich in national history … and religious history. May God grant Pennsylvania to be full of Gospel-strong churches that will pray and work toward a future where the Good News of Christ shines bright through the state.
- 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 the Trinity: Beaver-Butler, Carlisle, Donegal, Huntingdon, Kiskiminetas, Lackawanna, Lake Erie, Lehigh, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Redstone, Shenango, Upper Ohio Valley, Washington, and West Virginia.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): East (Ron Meyer, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Eastern Carolina Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.