God is our refuge and our strength – a very present help in the midst of trouble. – Psalm 46
The people of Moore, Oklahoma, their families and friends need our prayers and our help this day. Grieving with those who grieve and rejoicing with those who rejoice, we bow our knees before the Father in heaven.
“O God, save! Even now let those who are searching through the rubble that was once an elementary school, a hospital, a church, a home and a town find people whose lives you have preserved beneath the carnage of the storm. We ask your hand of blessing upon those who are searching and upon those who may still be trapped waiting to be found.
“Let sufficient help come from the outside and let grace abound. Bless the first responders and bless those who will now seek to serve them with a cup of cool water, a shoulder to cry on, a bed to rest in and counseling to help them cope. We pray specifically for the members of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance team that is being deployed and for the counselors that are a part of the Billy Graham’s ministry rapid response team already on the scene.
“We pray ardently for our fellow Christians in the Moore community and wider region. O God, may your people be a living demonstration of grace and may your Church be a pillar of beauty and help in the midst of a scene that defies description. Use even this to turn hearts toward home. In Jesus’ name – who alone can save – Amen.”
Prayers for the week…
- In the midst of national scandals, pray for wisdom and godly leadership. Pray for the President, the cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, civil servants of the IRS, members of the military, the media, and all those affected by the decisions these people make every moment of every day. May they receive wise counsel and may they make decisions that honor God and advance His purposes of justice, equity and liberty for all. May those with self-seeking agendas be thwarted and the plans of those who would harm our common life frustrated unto futility.
- As resident aliens and neighbors to the lost: This summer, pray and seek creative opportunities to reach out into the lives of the families who live around you. Summer offers a great opportunity for kids to learn, but if kids are home by themselves while parents are at work . . . other, not-so-good, opportunities arise. Do what you can to be Christ’s presence in the life of your immediate neighborhood. Hold a side-walk Sunday school – you might be amazed who is attracted by sidewalk chalk and the offer of simple lemonade. Put up a yard sign advertising free backyard Bible club. Again, it doesn’t have to be extravagant and you don’t have to open up your home if you are not comfortable doing so.
- Pray for pro-life ministries throughout our land and the world. Many seem to be discovering (for the first time?) the horrific nature of abortion — all abortion. Right now seems to be an important moment in the history of the fight for the sanctity of human life. Keep praying!
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania — led by Scott Mitchell:
Scott Mitchell comes to Lehigh from Dallas, Texas, where Scott completed his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary (Texas Campus). After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in civil engineering, Scott worked in private practice in Tyler, Texas, until September 2004 when he began to pursue God’s calling him into vocational ministry. While in seminary, Scott continued to work in civil engineering on a part-time basis. Also during that time, Scott met his wife, Bonnie, in a small group through church, and the two were married in June 2007. Scott is thrilled to merge his strong engineering background and seminary training to answer the Lord’s call on his life in college ministry through RUF at Lehigh.
- 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 Laos, which ranks No. 17 on the watchlist:
Laos is unique as one of the few remaining Marxist-Leninist countries that also follows Theravada Buddhism. Being Lao is synonymous with being Buddhist; Christians who do not participate in traditional festivities and ceremonies face Buddhist aggression. Evangelism is effectively prohibited on the grounds it would create social division. Families see Christianity as breaking family unity. The majority of persecuted Christians are from a tribal background, and face severe persecution – mostly instigated by animists and spiritists who lose their trade due to conversions.PRAY• That Christians will respond to monitoring by village officials with wisdom and sensitivity• For believers from the Katin or Hmong tribes, who are especially vulnerable. Some have been killed in army clashes• Give thanks for reports that orders to expel 10 Christian families from their village were retracted.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Kentucky.
- 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 Pacific: Boise, Cascades, Eastern Oregon, Kendall, The Redwoods, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, Sierra Mission Partnership and Snake River Mission Area.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Florida Presbytery (Bob Garmen, 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 Southwest Presbytery (Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas) and the 41st meeting of the General Assembly in Greenville, SC, June 18-21.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.