If you have prayer concerns that you wish to have considered, please send them to Rev. Calvin Brown <cbbrown@bell.net>.

Jesus’ words in Matthew’s gospel declare that the kingdom of heaven is worth giving up all we have so that we can obtain this one valuable thing. Theoretically, we can agree, but in day-by-day struggles and in the specifics, do we live as if that were true? Is the kingdom so valuable to us we would risk being ridiculed and slandered when God calls us to speak out about unpopular subjects?

Is the kingdom so valuable that we would give up carnal pleasure that delights us so that we can do something pleasing for God?

Is the kingdom of heaven so valuable that we would focus all our energy on seeing the kingdom come and His will be done on earth as in heaven?

One last question.

Do we live daily in the full joy of Jesus so that spending all we have and are to experience the grace of the kingdom seems like a joyful thing to do?

Resource: Matthew 13:44-46

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline Of This Week
Begin each prayer time with the following breath prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23 NIV)

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that the PSALT Committee will increasingly be effective in encouraging others in the PCC to spend all to know the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
  • Pray that the Assembly Council, meeting October 27, will be possessed by the Holy Spirit to show compassion and wisdom around the requests for Gracious Dismissal.
  • Pray for God’s grace to flow and a great seeking to know God’s will to permeate the PCC.
  • Pray for the evangelical groups in the PCC as they unite in a covenant to guide and hold one another accountable as we move through this difficult and divisive time.

Prayer Bulletin – October 18 – 24, 2020

The words in Matthew’s Gospel are hard to hear, coming from the lips of Jesus. We are made uncomfortable by His black-and-white, good-and-evil, moral-and-immoral, and right-and-wrong dualism. This is especially so when the stories are accompanied by such images as fiery judgment for the rejected on the one hand and welcome to where you belong for the fruitful on the other.

Rather than separating good from evil, many prefer a version of Jesus that will just let the choking weeds grow and never have a time of separating the tares and wheat. But I believe that Jesus interprets the story so that we each will examine our own lives and become frightfully aware of the dire consequences of allowing the devil to use us to bring evil into the world. We are also reminded that if we truly love others, then we will do all in our power to deliver them from a terrible judgment. James urges us to be diligent in this as well, saying, “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 NIV)

Resource: Matthew 13:24-29, 36-43 (NIV)

The Parable of the Weeds

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Prayer Discipline Of This Week

Begin each prayer time with the following breath prayer:

Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that the PSALT Committee’s list of faithful Presbyterian missions will be useful in helping these missions to be effective and grow in spreading the Gospel.
  • Pray that the Assembly Council, meeting October 27, will be possessed by the Holy Spirit to show compassion and wisdom around the requests for Gracious Dismissal.
  • Pray for God’s direction in showing love to those with whom we disagree.
  • Pray for those seeking to bring to the Assembly the desire for a Relief Synod to be wise in bringing their proposal to fruition.

Prayer Bulletin – October 11 – 17, 2020

Who is the family of faith? John Calvin says the true church (God’s family) “is the society of all the saints, a society which, spread over the whole world, and existing in all ages, yet bound together by the one doctrine, and the one Spirit of Christ, cultivates and observes unity of faith and brotherly concord.” (Sadoleto, 7) Thus he emphasizes the catholicity of the church, even saying that protestants revere this church, the church which is truly catholic, as its mother; but he rejects the Roman church as fulfilling this. Calvin greatly desires to live in the holy catholic church and yet he sees from their actions that not all who call themselves church are true church. Even the best organization making the claim falls short. That does not mean we may as well just surrender the struggle for a holy church and accept any and all to do anything they feel like unchallenged. We believe that God has given us His Word in Scripture so we can find the right way and do the will of our Father in heaven.

St. Matthew quotes Jesus as saying that those we are truly family with are those who most closely do the will of God. It calls not so much for loyalty to any organization as loyalty to the Father.

Resource: Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week:
Begin each prayer time with the following breath prayer from Isaiah 51:1 –
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that the PSALT Courts of the Church Committee will produce resources effective in helping Presbyterians serve God faithfully.
  • Pray for a deeper growth as the family of God within the PCC.
  • Pray for God’s direction and blessing on those leading the three direction groups: Stay and Pray, Pull Away, and Leave.
  • Pray that the Ancient Future Group will be led in truth and humility as they seek to create a Covenant encouraging all those involved in the current controversy in the church to act in grace and love.