Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4: 6 ESV
Welcome to our March 2013 first Friday Call to Prayer. Our aim is to provide you with teaching that we trust will enhance your prayer experience and will be an encouragement to you. We will also provide you with praise items and prayer requests coming from within ANiC and the Anglican Communion worldwide.
We encourage you to set aside the first Friday, March 1st, as a day of prayer and fasting for the Church in these critical days, ideally gathering with other believers in your parish or region for corporate prayer at some point in the day
Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
INTERCESSION – A SERVANT MINISTRY
In what seems such a long time ago now, on a cold February Saturday in 2004, there was plenty of heat being generated in the town square of the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, ON by the leaders of what was then the Anglican Essentials movement. It was the heat of nervous excitement and high anticipation immediately prior to the “on air” signal for the very ambitious “For Such a Time As This” video conference that was being beamed nationwide by satellite. The purpose of this event was to link orthodox Anglicans together across the country in an unprecedented way. There was much at stake, and the risks were high: - technological breakdowns, crank phone calls, nervous mistakes – all the dangers of “live” TV.
Gathered in a darkened empty studio nearby was a small group of Anglican intercessors who had gladly volunteered to pray behind the scenes throughout the four hours of the video conference. They had arrived before the majority of the audience and would never be seen by most of the participants. But the Essentials leadership knew they were there, and were extremely grateful that there was a constant flow of prayer beaming heavenward, asking for God’s presence to rule over every aspect of this important event. They knew, as did a famous evangelist of the past who was quoted as saying, “Nothing significant can be achieved spiritually unless someone “prays the price”. Each subsequent Essentials or ANiC conference and every ANiC synod has had an intercessory team praying right through its duration, upholding the speakers, asking for wisdom and discernment concerning important decisions and elections, and asking God’s protection from the assaults of the enemy upon our leaders and their families.
On that Saturday in 2004, the names of the intercessors weren’t listed in the credits; they didn’t come out for a round of applause like the “ladies in the kitchen” after a church supper. No, their reward was knowing that they had spent four wonderful hours in the Lord’s presence and that their prayers had been answered – the video conference was a resounding success in bringing orthodox Anglicans together from coast to coast in an unprecedented way, and, indeed, the name of the Lord had been gloried!
Intercession, like all true ministry, is a servant ministry. We need only look to the actions and the words of Jesus to see this servant principle demonstrated.
“The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them . . . but not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. ”Luke 22:25-27 ESV
As we reflect on Jesus and his disciples gathered to celebrate the Passover together for the last time, picture this One who serves with a borrowed towel loosely tied around His waist, washing the street-dirtied feet of His lowly companions like a slave girl. Even the way this Prince of servants was born in the tiny village of Bethlehem in total obscurity reflected His humility and complete lack of desire for fame and fanfare. Paul had a deep and profound understanding of the humility that is at the very core of Jesus’ character:-
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7 ESV
Indeed, Paul refers to himself as a “doulos”, a bond-servant who has fulfilled his years of servitude and has chosen to remain in the master’s household, wholly surrendered to his master’s will and oriented around his master’s well being. The clerical collar that many clergy wear to this day is symbolic of the collar of servitude worn by slaves. As those who love Jesus and have responded to His call to ordained ministry, they have committed themselves to serve our Lord as Master. Although the laity’s collar is not visible, all of us should have the same servant attitude that Christ Jesus embodied.
Whereas the difficult days of uncertainty and turmoil that were a part of ANiC’s early history are for the most part now behind us, the need for concerted and fervent prayer remains. May I suggest that there are many occasions in your parish and diocese where “behind-the-scenes” intercession could be very strategic and have profound results on the outcome. Although it’s preferable to be “on-site”, there are circumstances where that just isn’t possible, but being together with others praying is vital to build faith and to spell each other off.
Some examples to consider are ANiC’s upcoming regional assemblies in April, vestry and parish council meetings, parish missions, wardens’ and executive council meetings, special Lenten and Easter services – really any occasion where we eagerly desire the presence and rule of King Jesus and want His agenda and purpose to be fulfilled unhindered.
It is a great privilege to share in the “coming of the Kingdom” in this manner, and anyone, however timid or meek they may be, can participate with the full assurance of bringing joy to the One who showed us what ultimate service looks like in the laying down of His very life. Alleluia.
Garth V. Hunt
Praise God …
That He has granted us the incredible privilege of participating with Him through prayer in His marvelous plan of redemption for humanity.
For the work God is doing in the life of our diocese and province: cleansing, restoring, transforming, healing and equipping.
For the reformation God is working out in global Anglicanism – and the entire Christian Church. In the midst of chaos, He is building His Kingdom and refining His bride, the Church.
For the many ANiC “projects” and church plants – the small, but growing congregations of faithful Anglicans that He is adding to our number.
For faithful Anglican primates, bishops, clergy and laity – throughout the Communion – who are standing for truth even when their stand for Christ and His Word makes them targets of attack.
Confess if needed…
The times that we have not demonstrated the heart attitude of a servant in being willing to pray because it was inconvenient or uncomfortable. Also, we confess the times that we considered prayer as unimportant or unnecessary.
That each of us would see more clearly the importance of having the attitude of a servant in whatever ministry we are involved in. May we more and more have the heart and attitude of Jesus.
That we would show our faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty by cultivating thankfulness, vigilance in prayer, and by expressing praise in the midst of loss, adversity or injustice.
For a new visitation of the Holy Spirit upon our bishops and clergy, our parishes and our diocese. Pray that the fresh wind of the Spirit will bring renewal, healing and empowerment.
For Bishops Donald Harvey, Charlie Masters, Stephen Leung, Trevor Walters, Malcolm Harding and Ronald Ferris – and their families. Pray for spiritual and physical protection and renewal, for wisdom, and for a daily closer walk with God.
For our Archdeacons: the Venerables Ron Corcoran (Vancouver Island), Dan Gifford (BC), Paul Charbonneau (Ontario), Tim Parent (Ottawa Valley), Paul Crossland (Prairies), Michael McKinnon (New England, USA), and Darrell Critch (Atlantic Region & Quebec) – and our Dean of Multicultural Ministries, the Very Rev Dr Archie Pell..
For our three upcoming Regional Assemblies: The eastern assembly is April 17-19 in Burlington, while both the western and Asian & multicultural assemblies are April 17-20 at Good Shepherd Church in Vancouver, BC.
For ANiC clergy and their families, especially those experiencing spiritual and physical attack.
That God would continue His work in and through the Anglican Church in North America
||For Archbishop Bob Duncan (and wife, Nara), especially for wisdom as he seeks to give Godly leadership through any growing pains our province may encounter.
GAFCon Primates and Fellowship of Confessing Anglican (FCA) leaders – Pray for the Lord’s courage and wisdom as they seek to guide the orthodox reformation and realignment that is taking place throughout the Anglican Communion. Pray for the global gathering this October in Kenya.
For the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who will be enthroned March 21. Pray that the Lord will grace him with wisdom, courage and the faithfulness to follow the teachings of Scripture in his decision-making.
For the ANiC congregations that have lost their places of worship and are meeting in temporary facilities. May God comfort and pour out His blessing on them. May they be filled with the joy of the Lord as they seek His guidance for more permanent worship facilities. Pray especially for St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) as the congregation awaits the court’s response to their appeal.
For the Anglican Sojourner Fellowship as it seeks to connect and encourage isolated Christians who live where there are no biblically faithful Anglican churches.
For the Christians in Egypt who are facing increasing pressure and persecution as the country moves in a decidedly Islamist direction.
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