Prayer Bulletin – August 2019

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

A word of encouragement to those tired out:
“I will keep the ground that God has given me and perhaps in his grace He will ignite me again. But ignite me or not, in his grace and in his power, I will hold the ground.” – John Knox

Dear Psalty Supporters,

Many among us are in the process of discerning what God would have us do in relation to the institutional PCC. Some speak of staying and continuing calling us to an ever-deepening commitment to the Word of God as our principle guide. Others invite us to leave the shaky and declining institution and pray for a new, more vigorous enterprise. Still others propose that we stay, but limit our participation in the PCC to the bare minimum.

In St. Luke, Jesus guides us to remember that the cost of being a disciple is total commitment to the Saviour. He tells us to count the cost and see if what we are thinking has the commitment and resources to be successful. He even proposes in some cases that the best strategy for the losing side (not yet determined) is to ask for terms of peace that are acceptable. He warns us that “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Our only option is to continue to be salt if we want to stay in Jesus’ kingdom.

It is tempting to simply quit the struggle, but that is not an option for those who want to stay salty.

Resources: Luke 14: 25-35

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week: Begin each prayer time with the words, “Lord help me count the cost of being your disciple and enable me to be fully salt that keeps seasoned.”

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray that the truth of God will prevail in the PCC.
  • Pray there will be much prayer, total submission to God, and holy wisdom in responding to the Remits and creating overtures and reports to the next Assembly.
  • Pray for renewal groups as they work together with others to see the church rejuvenated and pure.

Prayer Bulletin – July 2019

Robert Godfrey in his article on Calvin and discipline in the church noted that Theodore Beza, Calvin’s friend and successor in Geneva, called “The Necessity for Reforming the Church” the most powerful work of his time. Calvin organizes the work into three large sections. The first section is devoted to the evils in the church that required reformation. The second details the particular remedies to those evils adopted by the reformers. The third shows why reform could not be delayed, but rather how the situation demanded instant amendment.

He concludes with a quote from Calvin saying, Since the reformers acted in obedience to the Bible, he (Calvin) rejects any suggestion that they are schismatic: “… the thing necessary to be attended to, first of all, is, to beware of separating the Church from Christ its Head. When I say Christ, I include the doctrine of His gospel, which he sealed with His blood… Let it, therefore, be a fixed point, that a holy unity exists amongst us, when, consenting in pure doctrine, we are united in Christ alone.” It is not the name church that provides unity, but the reality of the true church which abides in the Word of God.
In any case the cause must ultimately be left to God who will grant what blessing He sees fit to all reform efforts: “We are, indeed, desirous, as we ought to be, that our ministry may prove salutary to the world; but to give it this effect belongs to God, not to us.”

Resources: Hosea 9

Do not rejoice, Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor. Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them. They will not remain in the Lord’;s land; Ephraim will return to Egypt and eat unclean food in Assyria. They will not pour out wine offerings to the Lord, nor will their sacrifices please him. Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat them will be unclean. This food will be for themselves; it will not come into the temple of the Lord. What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals, on the feast days of the Lord? Even if they escape from destruction, Egypt will gather them, and Memphis will bury them. Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers, and thorns will overrun their tents. The days of punishment are coming; the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac. The prophet, along with my God is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God. They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week: Begin and end each prayer time with the words: Lord forgive us our sin and bring glory to your name…

Prayer Focus This Week:
Confess sin in our life as a denomination and personally:

  • for our carelessness in failing to confront those in sexual confusion with love and grace.
  • for our indifferent attitude toward Scripture and its authority over Christian lives
  • for failing to teach true biblical and reformed doctrine that brings a closeness and joy in Jesus.

Prayer Bulletin – June 23 – 30, 2019

Dear Psalty Supporters,
Henri Nouwen in his book Beloved said, “Worship to me, is constantly to say, ‘yes’ to God’s love. To say, ‘Lord, I love you too, because you’re beautiful and you are great. I love you too.’ All our life should be worship. Every occasion in our time should be an occasion to say, ‘Yes, I love you too.’ That signals a change of heart.”

“Worship and work must be one” are the words of a new hymn, and in all we do, let us pray that that is the guiding principal of our life together. It is not about manipulating the system to get what we want, but an opportunity to worship so that God is glorified with all our outcomes. We are the beloved and are responsible to declare the same in all our actions.

Resources: 1 John 3:1-7

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. (NIV)

Prayer Discipline This Week

Begin and end each prayer time by answering the questions Henri poses in his book Beloved: “When do you choose to live from a place where you know you feel rejected?” and “When do you choose to live from the place where you know you are the beloved of God?”

Prayer Focus This Week

  • Pray for the PSALT Leadership Team to be effective in conversations regarding the remits that are being sent down to presbyteries.
  • Pray that Presbyterians may seek to live in the reality of being God’s beloved. Ask God to show you what that looks like.
  • Ask Jesus to send a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit to bring the whole church to faithful submission as God’s beloved.