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  March 2015: Consider Keeping a Prayer Journal ... pdf version

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 2015 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.

We encourage you to set aside the first Friday, March 6th, 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 Quotes
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”
Charles Spurgeon 1834 1892

Consider Keeping a Prayer Journal

God is “in” to history. Some scholars would suggest that the reason for this is that what we call the history of humanity is really “His Story”, not ours. However, writing things down and keeping a record of God’s dealings with his creation has always been an activity that he has encouraged his people to embrace.

Here’s a case in point: when the Israelites were poised on the banks of the Jordan, finally arriving at their destination after forty years of wandering in the wilderness because of their rebellion, God gives them very specific instructions, through Moses, on how to write down and display his word to them.

”You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your hearts and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes… You shall write them on the doorposts of your houses and your gates. Deut 11:18-20 ESV

The point is that the Lord is aware of our propensity to forget his benevolent provision, his incredible blessings, and his answers to our prayers. The Lord reminds the Israelites that, once they have come into the Promised Land and are dwelling in “great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill… then take care lest you forget the Lord.” (Deut 6: 10-12).

As those who believe in the power of prayer, it is vitally important that we do not forget the Lord, by becoming presumptuous in taking his care and provision for us for granted. Nor do we want to become complacent in our prayers with a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” attitude that can so easily slip in.

One of the practical ways that I have experienced in keeping my attitude in a prayerful posture is the keeping of a prayer journal. There are many helpful websites with information on how to keep a prayer journal – just “Google” the subject and you will find them. My desire here is to share the benefits with those of you for whom this may be a new concept.
There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Some people keep track of those for whom they have been praying in a “check list” format with date, subject of intercession, and a space for answers to prayer. Once the “answer” to prayer has come, the prayer request can be marked as completed.

My personal choice, however, is a bit more detailed, and perhaps, more onerous, but especially during times of retreat and reflection, I prefer to actually write out my prayers as I am praying them. Just as you might expect, sometimes they are prayers of joy and thanksgiving, sometimes they are full of repentance and anguish. I write down my fears, my disappointment with my own spiritual progress, and my little victories over weaknesses. I strive to write them down just as the words come, not “sanitizing” them or making them more religious sounding - real communication with the Father, but in written form.

Then I take the time to listen, because loving communication is always a two-way process. In the quiet of our moments of solitude, God still speaks to our hearts concerning what we have prayed. If I believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, then I write those words down as well, all the while realizing that this process is quite subjective and must be tested against the Scriptures. God will never contradict what he has already communicated to his people through the Word. If there is anything directive in what I believe that I have received, I will share it with those under whose spiritual authority I am submitted, such as my rector or bishop, for confirmation or adjustment.

So what are the benefits? Some of my earliest “journaling” goes back fifteen years or more, and I find it extremely helpful to reread them periodically, noting the theme of my prayers at that time, and seeing areas of growth where the Holy Spirit has been changing me. Quite honestly, I frequently weep as I read; weeping tears of gratefulness for the Lord’s extraordinary patience with me (a sinner), and for his answers to my intercessions on behalf of my family and my Church. When I reread the words that I believe the Spirit has spoken to me prophetically, even though they may have been as much as twelve or more years in the past, I rejoice greatly as I see them being fulfilled in my life. Such confirmation strengthens my faith and encourages me to trust him at a deeper level for what is yet to come.

So, dear Friends, let me exhort you to consider beginning a prayer journal. Perhaps you began one years ago but have not kept at it. Pick it up again. There is no right or wrong way. Personally, I cannot manage writing in it daily as some may do, but during specific seasons of need in my life, it has been an excellent tool in the Lord’s hands to remind me of his great faithfulness and the specific blessings that he has bestowed upon me, and to propel me forward in greater trust and deeper intimacy with him.

And surely that’s the point, isn’t it.

Garth V. Hunt+

This meditation was originally published in the September 2009 First Friday Call to Prayer

Thoughts on Revival Prayer

In the September 2014 Call to Prayer, we introduced a simple prayer for revival, “Rise Up, O God”. It is an easy yet biblical prayer that calls upon our Soveriegn Lord to visit the earth with a mighty outpouring of his presence and power, to bring true revival across our continent! Each of the letters in the words, Rise Up, stands for a specific prayer. I thought it would be good to refresh our memories on how we could pray for revival:

R – Repent of any personal impediments to a fresh move of God, including past prayerlessness and complacency.

I – Pray that God would sovereignly Intervene in our decaying culture; that He would “rend the heavens and come down”.

S – Pray for the Salvation of those who are desperately lost without Jesus. Let’s ask God for a harvest of millions worldwide.

E – Ask the Lord to Equip and prepare intercessors, evangelists, and pastors for what He is about to do, making us ready.

U – Pray for Unity in the Body of Christ, within the bounds of Truth, asking God to protect us from competition, jealousy, and fracture, which can so easily distract and paralyze the Church.

P – Seek the Lord for a renewed Passion for the salvation of the lost, and ask that you might see them as He does - with eyes of compassion, sacrifice and love.

Even if we forget what each letter stands for, we can still pray the basic petition whether we’re driving to work, standing in line at the bank, or babysitting our grandkids. Let’s do it! Rise Up, O God. Amen!

Praise God …

That He reigns supreme. Despite the chaos and evil in the world, God is working out His purposes for His glory and our good!

That He delights to spend time with us as parents delight to be around their children.

For the incredible gift that God has given us in prayer – immediate access to our Father at any time of day or night. Thank Him for the incredible privilege of participating with him through prayer in his grand redemption plan.

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…

Our fear in sharing Jesus with others when we have opportunities to do so. Sometimes we have allowed embarrassment and fear of rejection to force us into silence.

Please pray…

For our primate Archbishop Foley Beach - Pray for great wisdom, courage and strength as he gives leadership to our province. May God glorify Himself through the ACNA.

For Bishop Charlie Masters (& Judy) – Pray for our diocesan bishop as he leads ANiC. May God grant him vision, spiritual protection, and spiritual and physical renewal.

For Bishop Don Harvey (& Trudy) – Pray for Bishop Don in his roles as ANiC’s episcopal vicar and senior chaplain to the ACNA College of Bishops.

For ANiC’s suffragan bishops: Stephen Leung (& Nona) and Trevor Walters (& Dede). Pray for discernment, energy and grace as they care for their clergy and congregations. Also also for Bishops Ron Ferris (church planting in Langley, BC) and Malcolm Harding (retired in Brandon, MB).

For our Archdeacons: the Venerables Ron Corcoran (Vancouver Island), Dan Gifford (BC), Bruce Chamberlayne (Alberta & BC Interior), 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 all ANiC clergy and families, especially those experiencing spiritual and physical attack.

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. Pray especially for the rector, Canon Tom Carman, the leadership, and the people of St Aidan’s, Windsor, ON, as they work through the financial implications of their unfavourable legal decision.

For the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) as it raises funds to drill three deep wells to provide clean and safe water for communities in the Diocese of Wau, South Sudan. Pray also for peace in that troubled country.

For Canon Andrew White and his ministry team in the Middle East. Pray for courage, safety and the provision of basic needs for them and the people that they serve.

For those who serve us and are in authority over us – our police forces, our armed forces, our emergency responders, our municipal elected officials, our provincial MLAs, MPPs and premiers, and our federal MPs and Prime Minister.

For God’s wisdom for world’s leaders with regard to the Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and other troubled nations. Pray that the evil one’s agenda for violence, hatred and bloodshed would be averted.

Pray for protection of innocent civilians – adults and children – who so often are the victims in today’s urban warfare. Pray especially for the many Middle East and African Christians who are brutally persecuted for their refusal to renouce their faith in Jesus..

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