WEEK 5 - WEEK OF March 18 - march 24 - PRAY FOR our congregation
Pray 30 minutes this week for our congregation.
We invite you to pray this week for our congregation. Wednesday is a special day of prayer. If you are able and your circumstances allow, we invite you to fast for a portion of the day or until the dinner meal. Spend special time asking God to help us love him better and do more good in the world.
WEEK 4 - WEEK OF March 11 - march 17 - PRAY FOR our sister church in matanzas, cuba
Pray 30 minutes this week for the church in Cuba.
Our sister church in Cuba is Central Presbyterian Church in Matanzas, Cuba. They are a thriving and vital church that makes an impact in their community. Circumstances are difficult for all Cubans but especially Christians. Cubas, in general have few resources, because most items are simply unavailable in the country. Churches are still considered somewhat suspect by many and even the government. Therefore there is a cost to being a Christian in Cuba, often in terms of employment and opportunities. Yet the church continues to work, persevere, and thrive.
This week, we pray for Central Presbyterian Church in Matanzas. We pray for their pastors and people. We pray for their programs and witness. We ask that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts of people in Cuba to be receptive to the gospel. We also pray that pastor Ary's work as a professor at the seminary will be fruitful and many more people will feel a call to ministry in the church.
WEEK 3 - WEEK OF March 4 - march 10 - PRAY FOR Children and Youth
This week's prayer emphasis is on children and youth around the world.
Over 50% of the world's population is under 30 years of age. Statistics say that 95% of Christians made their commitment of faith to Christ before the age of 30. 85% made their commitment between ages 4 and 14. The other
10% before the age of 30. This week we invite you to pray for the children and youth of the world. Statistics also say that growing numbers of young people now describe themselves as either atheists, agnostics, or "nothing in particular." In America, this number is up from 10% in the 1980's to 23% today. This week, spend 30 minutes in prayer for children and youth, around the world, in America, and in our congregation.
A Sample Prayer -
Loving heavenly Father, we pray Your loving kindness and gracious mercies be poured out on the young today. We pray for those in harm's way, because of poverty, war, abuse, and other dangers. Keep them safe and protect them by your care.
We pray for the many young people of today who do not know you. Father in your grace and mercy You sent Your only beloved Son to take the punishment for their souls and yet so many have not yet found your grace. They have been tempted by the lure of the world, assured of their own invincibility, and lost to the way of life. Lord, open their hearts.
We pray for children around the world. Send teachers to teach them, protect them, encourage them, and help them. . May the stories of the Bible take hold in their hearts so they come to know and embrace the truth.
You told us to pray for laborers to go into the harvest, and so we do. Call people by your grace to go out with the good news of the gospel, so that many will hear and be saved.
We thank and praise you for the young men and women who have believed in you and trusted in you. Draw them ever closer to you. May they grow in grace and knowledge and walk in the truth. May they know that your grace in sufficient for all their needs.
Give them grace and wisdom as they face the challenges of life. Keep them humble in heart and teachable in spirit and may they learn to look to Jesus day by day knowing that without Him they can do nothing but in His strength all things are possible.
week 2 - week of February 25 - march 4 - Prayer for persecuted christians
Pray for 30 minutes this week for children and youth.
Lenten Prayer Emphasis- Persecuted Christians Around the World
Important Facts (from the Open Doors World Watch List)
· 215 million Christians experience high or extreme persecution.
· North Korea remains the most dangerous place to be a Christian.
· Islamic extremism remains the global dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 out of the 50 countries on the 2017 list.
· Ethnic nationalism is fast becoming a major driver of persecution. “While this took an anti-establishment form in the West, in Asia it took an anti-minorities form, fueled by dramatic religious nationalism and government insecurity. It is common—and easy—for tottering governments to gain quick support by scapegoating Christians.”
· The total number of persecution incidents in the top 50 most dangerous countries increased, revealing the persecution of Christians worldwide as a rising trend.
· The most violent: Pakistan, which rose to No. 4 on the list for a level of violence “exceeding even northern Nigeria.”
· The killings of Christians in Nigeria increased more than 62%
· The killings of Christians were more geographically dispersed than in most time periods studied.
· The worst increase: Mali, which moved up the most places on the list from No. 44 to No. 32.
· Asia is a new center of concern, with persecution rising sharply in Bangladesh, Laos, and Bhutan, and Sri Lanka joining the list for the first time.
Top ten countries where it is most dangerous to practice one’s faith: Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea.
“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18, 19
PRAYER FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
Sovereign God, we worship You and we acknowledge that You know all of those who suffer in Your name.
We remember those who are imprisoned for their faith and ask that they would join with the Apostle Paul to see that even though they remain captive, their chains have furthered the gospel, not frustrated it.
May they inspire and embolden their fellow believers to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
God of all comfort, for those who are tortured both in body and mind,
give them the grace to endure and to see their suffering as part of following in Christ’s footsteps.
Merciful God, for those asked to pay the ultimate price; who are martyred because of their love for You, may they truly know Christ
and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.
Father God, for those who are widowed and orphaned, may they know the comfort that comes from Your promised presence even when they walk through the valley. May they be strengthened by Your Spirit,
enabling them to rejoice with the psalmist as they proclaim that the Lord will not abandon them in death.
Heavenly Father, make us ever mindful of our brothers and sisters around the world who need us to stand with them as they suffer in Your name.
Teach us what it means to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony; we pray that we would not love our lives so much as to shrink from death. O Lord, hear our prayer.
– from Release International
Week 1 - Week of February 18 - 24 - Prayer For First Responders
Spend 30 minutes in prayer this week (at one time or in shorter intervals) for - POLICE OFFICERS, FIRE FIGHTERS, AND EMT'S.
A Sample Prayer for our First Responders -
We thank you today for all those who keep us safe, particularly our police, fire fighters, and EMT’s.
For our police we pray for their safety – protect them and stand guard over them. Rescue them from danger and keep them safe. We pray for their wisdom – give them guidance and wisdom to know right thing to do in the appropriate moment. We pray for their families – give them the peace that transcends understanding and protection from anxiety. We pray for those who might do them harm – may all who harbor anger and violence know there is a better way. Bring to repentance those who intend evil. We pray for their peace – May they not be anxious about anything but commit their labors to you.
For Fire Fighters we pray for their courage – that they may be able to save lives, to guard their neighbors from harm and protect their property. Give them wisdom to know when not enter into harm’s way. Keep them always alert and protected from harm. As you kept the three faithful disciples in the fiery furnace, watch over, protect, and keep safe those who fight fires and stand with them in the midst of the flames. We thank you for them and their courage.
For EMT’s we pray - Give them courage for being the first to a terrible accident. Give them wisdom to know what to do in the moment. Give them a calming presence in anxious situations. Give them steady hands for delicate work. Give them peaceful dreams instead of nightmares. Give them the knowledge that what the do makes a difference.
Give them the opportunity to save many lives because of their brave and quick action.
O God, you call some to careers full of danger and trauma but with great potential to do good. May all these know your presence, feel your care, and experience your help. We are grateful for them and ask your blessings on them.