1-Minute Devotional Thought —
“When Martin Luther’s puppy happened to be at the table, he looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes; he (Martin Luther) said, ‘Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish or hope.” Luther’s Tabletalk
Prayers for the week…
- As neighbors and citizens: The summer goes by so quickly! My family (this is Carmen speaking) spent this past “tax free weekend” doing “back to school” shopping, attending meetings for Sunday school fall planning, packing kids for college and planning strategies for carpooling. Our home schooling friends are re-establishing the patterns of the school year as well. For grandparents there’s the “whew” that comes, but for parents and primary care givers the anticipation and preparation of this time of year can prove stressful. Pray for God’s blessing upon moms and dads, students and teachers, bus drivers and after school program providers as the vacation season ends and the learning season is about to begin again. Many families struggle this time of year to put together all the resources now required to send children back to school. If you know of a family struggling under the weight of little economic means, pack a bag of school supplies in a new backpack and take it to them in the name of Jesus. Slip a gift card to the grocery store in as well – it’s a measure of added grace that will bless beyond your imagining.
- Pray for the pro-life movement and pro-life ministries around the world. Pray for parents of babies born severely premature. Though the battle for the lives of these children is uphill all the way, what a wonderful testimony it is to hear such stories. When children are born at 2 pounds…then go on to college…it creates an awesome narrative which illustrates the reason we believe in the sanctity of human life. See if there is a way in your community to support the parents who find themselves in such circumstances. When weeks and weeks are spent in neonatal hospital wards, community support is needed.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Rhodes College (Memphis) — led by Andrew Flatgard:
Andrew grew up in Mississippi and Memphis and was educated at Ole Miss and Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. He was an assistant pastor in St. Louis and then led RUF at The University of Memphis for three years. His wife, Shelley, worked with RUF for five years..
- 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 Tunisia, which ranks No. 30 on the watchlist.
Home of the Jasmine revolution which gave rise to the Arab Spring, Tunisia is the country where democratic transition seems to have the greatest chance of success. However, elections in October were won by the Islamic Ennahda party, which has already announced its intention to transform Tunisia into an Islamic state. Reports indicate that pressure and persecution on Christians, both from family and the authorities, has increased since the revolution. The murder of a Polish priest in February indicates an increase in religious violence.
Radical Muslims are organizing violent demonstrations that the weakened security services find difficult to contain. Pray for wisdom for the authorities
A local church leader had to flee the country after his family was threatened. Pray for protection for Christian leaders
Foreign Christians have reported increased surveillance by the authorities. Pray for courage and discernment in sharing the gospel.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Nevada.
- 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 Living Waters: East Tennessee, Holston, Mid-Kentucky, Mid-South, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, North Alabama, St. Andrew, Sheppards & Lapsley, South Alabama, Transylvania, and Western Kentucky.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): East Presbytery (Ron Meyer, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Blue Ridge Presbytery (Virginia).
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.