“We do not pray at all until we are at our wits’ end.” — Oswald Chambers
- 1-Minute Devotional Thought:
Today’s devotional thought comes from Luke 11:33-36: “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.  Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Jesus is the light! The Gospel is no secret — God’s good news to mankind is for all to see, hear, and believe. The word of redemption offered by Christ goes forth to all in order that all who believe in Him would be saved.
Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all all people to myself” (John 12:32). His work on the cross was the fulfillment of the work first depicted by the action of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness: “so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Of course, the remainder of this passage in Luke 11 provides us a warning that although Jesus is a light which is sufficient for all, the darkness of the human heart (the darkness of the eye) must be overcome by God’s grace…or the darkness of the eye will prevent the soul from coming to faith and repentance in Christ.
As the Apostle Paul wrote: “…if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
So, Jesus tells us to make sure that the light in us is no light at all…but darkness (Luke 11:35).
For our part, the “darkness prevention” work involves our prayer life — speaking to God daily in adoration, praise, confession, and supplication.
Prayers for the week…
- Pray for the people in Colorado devastated by wildfires. Here is a clip from the PCA disaster response:
The Black Forest Wildfire, already determined to be the most destructive wildfire in CO history, is ravaging much of Colorado and is continuing to spread. To date over 38,000 people have been evacuated, 16,000 acres burned, two live lost, and 360 homes completely destroyed. MNA Disaster Response is monitoring the situation and is in contact with local PCA leadership. Many families in our PCA churches have already been evacuated and there are a number of PCA families that we already know who have lost their homes thus far. Please check back at www.pcamna.org for more information as it becomes available.
- Pray for denominational meetings taking place during the summer months. The Southern Baptist Convention met last week. Both the EPC and PCA General Assembly meets this week. Pray for these meetings to be guided by the Spirit and the Word in all their decision making.
- As neighbors: Pray for opportunities to minister to “bored kids” this summer. Kids in your neighborhood who have a lot of free time on their hands (parents working) but not a lot of meaningful activity to do. Consider hosting a one day “Backyard Bible Club” — host it and supply the snacks…look for your youth group teens to do the leadership.
- Pray for pro-life ministries throughout our land and the world. Abortion, euthanasia, biomedical issues related to the taking of life — all these matters should inform and guide our prayers.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Mississippi State University — led by Brian Sorgenfrei:
Brian was born and raised in Jackson, MS, and attended Ole Miss from ’99-’03. After graduation, Brian worked for two years with RUF as an intern at Auburn. He married Liza Thompson in the summer of 2005 and moved to Jackson to attend Reformed Theological Seminary. While in seminary, he worked with college students at First Presbyterian Church and Millsaps College. Their daughter, Shelby, was born in Jackson during the fall of 2008. After graduating in the spring of 2009, Brian and Liza moved to Starkville, MS to work with RUF at Mississippi State University. Their second daughter, Annie, was born in October of 2010..
- 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 Oman, which ranks No. 21 on the watchlist:
The legal system names all citizens as Muslim and all legislation is based on Islamic law. Apostasy is not a criminal offense, but Omani converts face legal discrimination and could lose their family, job, or even their life if their faith is discovered. Almost the entire Christian population is expatriate; there are few indigenous Christians. All religious organizations must register and Christian meetings are monitored. Several foreign workers were deported in 2011 because of their Christian activities.
That the few indigenous believers will find ways to meet for fellowship
Open evangelism is prohibited by law. Pray for wisdom for persecuted Christians sharing the gospel
Permission is needed from the authorities for the distribution of religious literature. Pray that God’s Word will spread through Christian TV and internet sites.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Massachusetts.
- In 2013, we will pray 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 Southwest: de Cristo, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and Sierra Blanca.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Pacific Presbytery (Ron Bengelink, stated clerk) and preparations for the 33rd General Assembly meeting in Colorado, June 18-22.
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Susquehanna Valley Presbytery and the 41st meeting of the General Assembly in Greenville, S.C., June 18-21.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.