Prayer Bulletin – October 14 – 20

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

Dear Psalty Supporters,
Often we feel burned out. It comes especially strongly to us when we feel that our co-workers and congregants have essentially abandoned us. We can even take on the depression and soul-gripping sense of abandonment that Elijah experienced. God reminded him, as he does us, that in spite of not being in contact with others who were like-minded, nevertheless God had preserved other like-minded followers. Let us be reminded by the examples in Scripture and the words of the Psalms that we are not alone in the struggle to worship in Spirit and in truth.

Prayer Discipline This Week

In your prayer time this week use the following as a breath prayer to prepare for prayers of petition: God, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray for the PSALT Courts of the Church Committee as they discuss this week suitable candidates to serve faithfully on the National Committees of the church.
  • Pray for a person with God’s vision for ministry today to be appointed to the office of Associate Secretary of Vocation and Ministry.
  • Pray that God’s choice to bless the church will be expressed in the one named as Moderator for the upcoming General Assembly. Pray that good candidates will allow their nomination to stand.
  • Ask God to add to our number as people commit to being faithful prayers.

Resource: Psalm 138 (NIV)

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.
May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord, when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great.
Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.

Prayer Bulletin – October 7 – 13

Dear Psalty Supporters:
This is Thanksgiving, and Paul tells us, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV). At times, it is hard to give thanks. When things seem to be going from bad to worse and hope is thin, complaining rather than thanksgiving seems the order of the day. But we need to be obedient, and often, as we abide in faith, we begin to see God at work and our eyes are opening to see things for which we can genuinely give thanks. Pray this week with a thankful heart.

Prayer Discipline This Week

In your prayer time this week, combine your prayer with that of the Psalmist and the people of ancient Israel who followed each petition with the refrain: for His mercy endures forever.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Give thanks to God who has raised up the Presbyterian Church in Canada to be a witness for His kingdom and His gospel — for His mercy endures forever.
  • Give thanks for the former moderators who have been assigned an important task to bring truth and unity to the church as we struggle with human sexuality and other important issues — for His mercy endures forever.
  • As the Spirit leads, pray for the well being of the church and the glory of God — for His mercy endures forever. (After each of your petitions add the phrase — for His mercy endures forever.)

Resource: Psalm 136

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.
To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
For His mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from among them,
For His mercy endures forever;
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
For His mercy endures forever;
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever. (NKJV)

Prayer Bulletin – September 30 – October 6

Dear Psalty Supporters:
Pray that we will always be a people who desire peace but not those who cry Peace Peace when there is no peace. Rev Martin Hoegger reminds us of our tradition’s commitment to it, which we are commended to reflect on as we daily come to prayer.

The Topic of Peace and Harmony Are Essential to Calvin’s Thinking
For Calvin, a Christian is someone who has to seek peace and harmony within himself, in his family, in the church, and in the life of the city. Why is this? Because Jesus Christ, his Master, was a man of peace. One must imitate him: “If we want to prove our obedience to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, then we must bind ourselves in a holy harmony (pia conspiratio) and cultivate peace among ourselves.”1 He also writes that we must make every effort to “promote holy unity” and “nourish a healthy consensus” (con-sensus, in Latin).2 The responsibility of everyone is to “maintain a fraternal accord with all the children of God” and to “watch over the unity of spirit through the bond of peace.”3
Therefore the two key terms—peace and harmony—appear in the same text of Calvin. This clearly shows that peace and harmony are a universal quest and common to all times. For him, a Christian who does not seek them with all his or her heart and strength is not a true disciple of Jesus.
There Is No Peace or Harmony without Truth
But how can we create peace and harmony? For Calvin, the way was clear: through truth! There is no peace and harmony without truth. According to him, truth is found in the Source, which, for us Christians, is God: “when heresies and schisms arise, it is because men return not to the origin of the truth, because they seek not the head, because they keep not the doctrine of the heavenly Master.”
For Calvin, there is no peace or unity outside of truth. And this truth is revealed in Jesus Christ through the Scriptures. If, in order to maintain peace, we make a decision that goes against the Word of God, this is but “an impudent trick.” In his comment on the Letter to the Romans, Calvin used this concise formula: “Unity that lies in truth.” And in a letter to the Swiss Reformer of Zurich, Bullinger, he states that the bond of unity cannot be found in anything other than in the pure truth of God.

  1. Preface to the Catechism and the Confession of Faith, Opera Calvini (OC) 5, 321. Lukas Visher, Pia Conspiratio: Calvin on the Unity of Christ’s Church (Genève, John Knox Series 12, 2000), p. 15, underlines the meaning of conspiratio: “The literal translation of conspiratio is ‘breathing together.’ The term is normally used to designate ‘accord’ or ‘harmony.’ For Calvin, there is no doubt a deeper meaning: the Christian community shares in the same Spirit. Calvin uses the term possibly as the equivalent of the Greek sympnoia which occurs several times in the writings of Basil the Great.”
  2. OC 15, 333. Institutes of the Christian Religion (IC) IV, 1, 1.
  3. IC IV, 1, 3, 16. He also states that the Christian’s calling is to “maintain the unity of faith,” to “keep the bond of unity” which must be unassailable, so that “the saints remain among themselves” (IV, 1, 5), to “maintain the unity of the Universal Church.”

CLARITAS | Journal of Dialogue & Culture | Vol. 2, No. 1 (March 2013)

Prayer Discipline This Week

Begin each prayer time with this prayer found on the Project Plowshares webpage:

Prayer in Times of Violence and Fear
Almighty, all-merciful God,
through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another,
to love our neighbors as ourselves,
and even to love our enemies.
In times of violence and fear,
let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,
so that we may not be overcome with evil
but overcome evil with good.
Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace
you have shown us in Christ.
Put away the nightmares of terror
and awaken us to the dawning of your new creation.
Establish among us a future where peace reigns,
justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled.
We ask these things in the name
and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– From a collection of Prayers for Times of National and International Crisis and Tragedy posted on the PCUSA website.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that God will find that we live up to the measure of His grace required of us.
  • Pray that the Special Committee of Former Moderators will not be afraid to be creative in their proposed solution and that above all they will seek to please God with a biblical solution.

Resource: Psalm 120

A song of ascents.
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.
Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
What will he do to you, and what more besides, you deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom bush.
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek that I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.