1-Minute Devotional Thought —
“We must be careful not to break the habit of true prayer and imagine other works to be necessary which, after all, are nothing of the kind. Thus at the end we become lax and lazy, cool and listless toward prayer. The devil who besets us is not lazy or careless, and our flesh is too ready and eager to sin and is disinclined to the spirit of prayer.” — Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Prayers for the week…
- As neighbors and citizens: Pray for farmers around the country as they enter into the harvest season. Depending on what part of the country they are in, this year has brought joy or sadness. In the post-Genesis 3 world we live in, we are promised that “thorns and thistles” will infest our labors and make them difficult and toilsome (Genesis 3:17-19). The fact that we often see bountiful harvests instead of drought and famine is due to the kindnesses of the Lord. Pray that farmers and their families will be safe during this season, but also that they who are daily so close to God’s creation would not miss out on a relationship with the Father.
- Pray for the pro-life movement around the world. These issues strike at many different fronts, but anywhere that human life is cheapened and devalued — we must pray! Whether the battle is against actions which, literally, end life (euthanasia, abortion, religious persecution, unjust forms of capital punishment), or takes a person’s life away through human enslavement — pray and take local action whenever you can.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.) — led by Matthew Terrell:
Matthew was born and raised in Atlanta. He met his lovely wife Megan at Clemson University and somehow convinced her to marry him in 2007. They moved to St. Louis for seminary in 2008 where Megan graduated with a Master of Arts in Educational Ministries (May 2011) and Matthew with a Master of Divinity (December 2011). They have one son (Eliot, born October 2011) and one crazy dog (Grizzly). Matthew loves mountains, family, sports, cities, afternoon naps, fly fishing and grilling, among other things, and is thrilled to serve students through RUF at Samford.
- 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 Myanmar (Burma), which ranks No. 32 on the watchlist.
Religious militants are one of the most prominent attackers of the Christian minority, claiming that every Indian has to be Hindu. “Anti-conversion laws” have been adopted in several states and are frequently used as a pretext to disrupt church services and to harass and accuse Christians. Permission to build or renovate a church building is almost impossible, and church activities can be perceived as “hurting religious feelings” and “disturbing peace and order.” The caste system, which is deeply rooted in society, makes outreach extremely difficult.
Pray: For Christians attending Open Doors’ “Standing Strong through the Storm” seminars to strengthen them in the face of persecution
For converts from Hindu or Muslim backgrounds, who face exclusion by friends and family
Praise God that, despite the troubles, the Indian church is growing.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of New Hampshire.
- 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 Mid-Atlantic: Abingdon, Atlantic Korean-American, Baltimore, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Virginia, The James, National Capital, New Castle, New Hope, The Peaks, Salem, Shenandoah, Western North Carolina. .
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): Mid-Atlantic (Howard Shockley, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Catawba Valley Presbytery (parts of North Carolina).
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.
Additional prayers are going up for the nation of Syria. Visit http://layman.wpengine.com/syrian-pastor-pours-heart-poignant-prayer/ for a pastor’s poignant prayer regarding the situation in Syria.