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

Dear Psalty Supporters:
In his letter to the church, James asks the question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” It is a painful reality that the PCC in its various groups are quarrelling. Each group has a tendency to judge the other with whom they disagree. Sometimes, we grow sick and tired of the struggle and just wish they’d go away or just die out so that we could carry on in unity with like-minded people in the work of the Lord. James tells us that the way forward begins with examining our own motives. Why do you want a particular outcome? Are you honest with yourself about it? Perhaps, most, in fact, have mixed motives. Perhaps, in some, there is just a touch of self-righteousness, and in others a lust to choose to act in a way that most suits them. Whatever we do, what is it motivated by? Is it inspired by the world or truly seeking to please God? We are warned not to neglect this inner work, since “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” We are urged to come near to God in the promise that if we do He will come near to us and show us the way to go. I invite you to reflect on this passage of James and seek to draw near to God that we may be shown the way forward in unity.

Resource: James 4:1-10

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week
Begin each prayer time reflection on the following passage by Martin Luther:

This life, therefore is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not wealth but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished but it is actively going on, this is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that God instill in all members of His church pure motives to do His pleasure.
  • Pray for those who are devastated by anxiety.
  • Pray for those in leadership positions within the denomination to humble themselves and be best at listening to God.
  • Pray for the church in this time of pandemic.

Prayer Bulletin – May 24 – 30, 2020

Dear Psalty Supporters:
Sadly, we live in an age of conflict. But even when we can’t avoid conflict with others, we want to show ourselves to be wise and peace-loving as Scripture teaches us. Sometimes, groups in conflict try to outsmart the “others”, or outmanoeuvre them, or out-think them (especially among Presbyterians). James tells us that the real sign of being wise is to outlove the others — not in our speech primarily, but in our actions, which are motivated by humility that comes from the focus on serving others. We don’t boast of our superiority but we are to think hard and long on how to bring blessing on others. As we are led by the Holy Spirit, this may mean finding a compromise (if that is agreeable to the word of God) or confronting a wrong-headed road that leads to destruction in a gentle way that enables them to hear and gladly repent.

James tells us that wisdom from heaven and not mere human cleverness begins with purity. Purity is not considered of much importance these days in our culture and yet it is a sign that we have awe and respect for God. Let us keep all these things in mind so that we, in all our doing, will reap a harvest of righteousness.

Resource: James 3:13-18

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week

Reflect on this passage by Eugene Peterson and then focus your mind and heart in humility to pray in earnest for wisdom from above.

Be still and know. Civilization is littered with unresolved problems, baffling impasses. The best minds of the world are at the end of their tether. The most knowledgeable observers of our condition are badly frightened. The most relevant contribution that Christians can make at these points of impasse is the act of prayer — determined, repeated, leisurely meetings with the personal and living God. New life is conceived in these meetings.
– From Earth and Altar by Eugene H. Peterson

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray for wisdom that comes from above so that your prayers may be answered.
  • Pray for God to guide the PSALT Leadership Team as they meet this Thursday.
  • Pray that the families of those in deep sorrow and distress, as they deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, will know the peace of God that leads them in the way of righteousness.

Prayer Bulletin – May 17 – 23, 2020

Dear Psalty Supporters:
God does not reward or judge us according to our holiness, and yet, often it seems that our state of holiness is a sign not only of making our call and election sure but also of making us vessels through whom God chooses to work. Let us pray as we reflect on 2 Peter that God will empower us to be equipped to lead the church to be holy for His name’s sake.

Resource: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure; they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week
Begin each prayer time thinking in terms of Calvin’s thoughts in the Institutes, Book 1.

1. Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves…. For, in the first place, no man can survey himself without forthwith turning his thoughts towards the God in whom he lives and moves; because it is perfectly obvious, that the endowments which we possess cannot possibly be from ourselves; nay, that our very being is nothing else than subsistence in God alone. In the second place, those blessings, which unceasingly distil to us from heaven, are like streams conducting us to the fountain…. For as there exists in man something like a world of misery, and ever since we were stripped of the divine attire our naked shame discloses an immense series of disgraceful properties every man, being stung by the consciousness of his own unhappiness, in this way necessarily obtains at least some knowledge of God. …in the Lord, and none but He, dwell the true light of wisdom, solid virtue, exuberant goodness. We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves. For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself, is not only urged to seek God, but is also led as by the hand to find him.
2. On the other hand, it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself.

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that God will deepen our desire to live holy lives that bring honour to Him.
  • Pray for the Psalt Leadership Team as they seek to lead those in the church who seek to be directed by the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures.
  • Pray God will protect and save those exposed to the pandemic outbreak.