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  June 2012: Praying for Mothers and Fathers ... pdf version

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

1Timothy 2:1-2 ESV

Welcome to our June 2012 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, June 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 Quotes
Accustom yourself gradually to carry Prayer into all your daily occupation: speak, act, work in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be. François Fénelon 1651-1715

Praying for Mothers and Fathers

“Honour your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Ephesians 6:2-3 ESV

We are in the season of honouring the mothers and fathers that are in our circles of family and friends. Mother’s Day was last month and Father’s Day is approaching rapidly this month. On these festive days, restaurants, florists and greeting card companies do a “land office business”, mothers endure breakfast in bed (frequently consisting of burnt toast and lukewarm coffee), and dads receive a seemingly endless supply of ugly ties that likely will never be worn. But the tradition is good, and if the heart is in the right place, God is pleased by our attempts to be a blessing to our parents.

The verse from Ephesians above is a quote from the Old Testament Decalogue. The apostle Paul adds the parenthetical comment, “this is the first commandment with a promise”. How we feel and treat our moms and dads is very important to the Lord. In this chapter, Paul is dealing with God’s plan for family dynamics and his instructions to children, however old they may be, is to show honour and respect to their parents. Paul’s description in Romans 1 of the lawless and degenerate culture of those who rebel against God’s laws includes, along with gross immorality and other nasty expression of evil, the act of being disobedient to parents (Romans 1: 30). Apparently, this subject matters to God.

My wife, Margaret, and I are celebrating these two days with a fresh enthusiasm this year although both our sets of parents have “gone to glory” some time past. But we are anticipating the birth of our first grandchild later in the year, and our thoughts and prayers go out for our son and his young wife as they contemplate the joys and responsibilities of parenthood for the first time. Like matrimony, parenthood is not something to be taken lightly or casually. Moms and dads have been given a enormous task in raising their children in a Godly manner.

If your parents are still living, you probably don’t need me to remind you to pray for them. They may be in their twilight years, requiring more care and assistance than they have needed since they were youngsters. You may find yourself praying about their health issues, financial pressures, or the stress of moving out of their home into a support facility, or the loss of driving privileges. Perhaps they do not yet know the Lord and you are interceding for their salvation, especially at this stage of their lives.

But if you are like us and your parents are deceased, then how do we pray for mothers and fathers? If you have children who are now parents, then start with them. Many grandparents today are vitally involved in the lives of their grandchildren, driving them to sports and other activities, caring for them after school until they are picked up by one of their parents, babysitting, and probably praying for the children as they grow. But do we pray for the moms and dads that they will raise our grandchildren in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Do we stand with them in prayer against the incredible pressures of our culture to hand over their education and preparation for adulthood to a decadent, secular state where, as one elementary school principle once told us, “The children will be freed from the narrow thinking of their homes and be prepared to be world citizens”? Young parents desperately need our prayers to navigate their children through the snares, pitfalls and temptations that the enemy has strewn in their way.

If you have parents of young children or teenagers in your parish, pray for them in their God-appointed roles as mothers and fathers. Many of today’s parents had poor or no modeling in their own home growing up, and now face an enormous task with little to no preparation. Pray that they will seek the Lord for His principles of child-rearing, not what secular “wisdom” our culture propagates. If there are single-parent families in your church, especially pray for the parent and seek the Lord for how you might be able to come along side this family and be a support. If you have no grandchildren of your own, ask the Lord to show you whether you might “adopt” some by being a blessing to a struggling family. Pray, pray, pray for parents who carry such a heavy load.

Besides praying a general blessing on them, how should we pray for these dear moms and dads? How can we practically and specifically intercede in a way that will make a difference? Let me make just a few of many possible suggestions:

Praying for Mothers:
Pray that mothers will have a deep sense of their calling by God to motherhood - this most fundamental and rewarding task/privilege, even on trying & stressful days.

Pray that they will see their children as gifts from God, not as an inconvenience or a disruption from pursuing their personal goals.

Pray for grace, strength and organizational efficiency for moms that is beyond their own natural abilities and gifts.

Pray that mom and dad will be of one mind in terms of the nurturing and disciplining of their kids.

Praying for Fathers:
Pray that fathers will see and accept their role in the family as servant leaders whose responsibilities include the spiritual well-being of all those in the family.

Pray that the seductive lure of financial and career success will not consume fathers or inhibit them from fulfilling the call on them to Godly fatherhood.

Pray the fathers will learn how to convey love to their kids, both verbally and in physical affection, so that, in their teen years, they will not need to seek such love and affection in the wrong places.

Praying for single parents:
In addition to the above prayer points, stand with them in prayer against loneliness and rejection. Many are single due to broken relationships and struggle with a deep sense of inadequacy to parent on their own.

Garth V. Hunt+

Praise God …
For the loving Father-heart of God from which all true parenting flows
That we can depend fully and unreservedly on our loving Father for every aspect of our lives, including our parenting.

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 …
For our lack of prayer support for the mothers and fathers whose lives we regularly touch in our families, our workplaces and our parish.

For our naivety about the wiles of the evil one as he works in our culture and in our churches to destroy the God-ordained, God-honouring family unit.

Please pray …
That each of us would recognize our ongoing desperate need of forgiveness

That even in times of prosperity and relative peace, we would be vigilant in prayer

That we would demonstrate our faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty by cultivating thankfulness and expressing praise in the midst of loss, adversity or injustice.

That we would have a passion for souls – for those around us who need our Lord.

For the parents in our parishes that they would seek the Lord for His plan and purpose for their family, and that God’s Word on parenting would be the formative standard they use.

That our parishes would develop and creatively demonstrate God’s heart for families.

For the ACNA College of Bishops (June 5), the Provincial Council (June 6) and the Provincial Assembly (June 7-9) in Ashville, NC. Pray for God’s wisdom in all decisions made and programs initiated at this very strategic event.

For Bishops Donald Harvey, Stephen Leung, Charlie Masters, 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 the upcoming electoral synod in Ottawa in November and for God's clear leading in the election of a coadjutor bishop. The coadjutor will succeed ANiC's moderator Bishop Don Harvey when he retires in June 2014.

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).

For ANiC clergy and their families, especially those experiencing spiritual and physical attack. May the joy of the Lord be their strength.

For those suffering under the attack of the enemy in our congregations and families. Pray for victory in Christ and healing where needed.

For new and forming ANiC congregations as they attend to the many details of organizing and launching a parish – and for other congregations considering joining ANiC.

For the ANiC congregations that have lost and are losing their places of worship. 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 new worship facilities.

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 leaders of the Anglican Communion Alliance (formerly Anglican Essentials Federation), as they seek to provide support for orthodox Anglicans still within the Anglican Church of Canada.

For those in the Zacchaeus Fellowship who are giving testimony to the liberation God offers those held captive in sexual sin; for the Anglican Church of Canada to listen to their testimony.

For strength and wisdom for the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, the Most Reverend Tito Zavala and for God’s blessing on the Province of the Southern Cone.

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
For the other ACNA dioceses.

For Anglican1000 and those engaged in church planting in Canada and throughout ACNA. Pray for courage and strength for ANiC’s church planters and for an increase in passionate, trained workers.

GAFCon Leaders – Pray for the Lord’s wisdom as global Anglican leaders seek to implement plans following their meeting last month in London, England.

For growing support of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC). Pray especially for the implementation of the projects which help impoverished women in Peru and Myanmar to set up micro-businesses to support themselves and their children.

For the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the process in selecting his successor. May the Lord grant to His church courageous leadership that will stand firmly for the true Gospel of Christ

For suffering Christians around the world in conditions of persecution, war and poverty – especially those in Muslim and communist countries who face injustice and violence.

For God’s protection of Israel as it is surrounded by those who seek its destruction.

For a lasting peace in Sudan and in South Sudan.

For those in authority over us and those who serve our country. Pray for wise decisions that honour the Lord and promote the welfare of our nation. Pray specifically:
For those in government – both for our elected leaders creating laws and for civil servants in positions of responsibility – that they would uphold righteousness.
For judges in our court system who are charged with interpreting and applying laws;
For officers of the law & emergency response personnel who risk their lives for us.
For those who selflessly serve our country in the military as well as for their families at home.

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