1-Minute Devotional Thought —
During these “back-to-school” days, here is John Calvin’s prayer for those preparing to go to school.
Ps. 119:9. Wherein shall a young man establish his way? If he wisely conduct himself according to thy Word. With my heart have I sought thee, allow me not to err from thy precepts.
O LORD, who art the fountain of all wisdom and learning, since thou of thy special goodness hast granted that my youth is instructed in good arts which may assist me to honest and holy living, grant also, by enlightening my mind, which otherwise labours under blindness, that I may be fit to acquire knowledge; strengthen my memory faithfully to retain what I may have learned: and govern my heart, that I may be willing and even eager to profit, lest the opportunity which thou now givest me be lost through my sluggishness. Be pleased therefore to infuse thy Spirit into me, the Spirit of understanding, of truth, judgment, and prudence, lest my study be without success, and the labour of my teacher be in vain.
In whatever kind of study I engage, enable me to remember to keep its proper end in view, namely, to know thee in Christ Jesus thy Son; and may every thing that I learn assist me to observe the right rule of godliness. And seeing thou promisest that thou wilt bestow wisdom on babes, and such as are humble, and the knowledge of thyself on the upright in heart, while thou declarest that thou wilt cast down the wicked and the proud, so that they will fade away in their ways, I entreat that thou wouldst be pleased to turn me to true humility, that thus I may show myself teachable and obedient first of all to thyself, and then to those also who by thy authority are placed over me. Be pleased at the same time to root out all vicious desires from my heart, and inspire it with an earnest desire of seeking thee. Finally, let the only end at which I aim be so to qualify myself in early life, that when I grow up I may serve thee in whatever station thou mayest assign me. AMEN.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will make known His covenant unto them. (Ps. 25:14.)
Source: John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Tracts Relating to the Reformation, Volume 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 96-97.
Prayers for the week…
- As neighbors and citizens: Pray for our nation’s leaders as they consider weighty decisions relating to the United States’ response to so many difficult international situations — Egypt, Syria, Iran, North Korea.
- Pray for the pro-life movement around the world. Follow the leadership of Presbyterians Pro-Life as they call the church: to renew its historic and biblical stance of opposition to the destruction of innocent human life through abortion. We call the Church to renew its commitment to preserve and nurture life at every stage of development, from conception to natural death.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Savannah College of Art and Design — led by Soren Kornegay:
Soren and Emma Kornegay are childhood sweethearts from Columbia, S.C. He attended the University of South Carolina from 2004-2008, where he became a Christian while attending RUF, while she went to Appalachian State University. After college, they did the RUF internship at the University of South Carolina and then attended Covenant Theological Seminary from 2010-2013. They are currently creepy dog people, but hope to have kids someday soon.
- 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 Kuwait, which ranks No. 33 on the watchlist.
The Kuwaiti constitution declares that the state protects freedom of belief; however, the practice of religion is not supposed to conflict with public order, morals or established customs – in other words, Islam. Islamic law is an important source of legislation. Conversion from Islam is not permitted and converts face persecution, especially from their families. They also risk harassment, police monitoring of their activities, arbitrary arrest and detention, physical and verbal abuse, legal discrimination and property challenges in court.
- Most persecuted Christians are foreign workers. Pray for wisdom and opportunities to share the love of Jesus
- For the four registered denominations meeting in compounds – that they will get permission to expand their facilities
- Give thanks that the number of Kuwaiti believers is growing.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of New Jersey (flag below).
- 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 Northeast: Albany, Boston, Cayuga-Syracuse, Eastern Korean, Elizabeth, Genesee, Geneva, Hudson River, Long Island, and Monmouth.
- Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): Pacific Presbytery (Ron Bengelink, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Central Carolina 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.