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 June 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, June 7th, 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
Prayer is the main secret of success in spiritual business. It moves Him who can move heaven and earth. It brings down the promised aid of the Holy Spirit, without whom the finest sermons, the clearest teaching, and the most diligent labors, are all alike in vain. J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Are You an “Extoller”?
Of the many forms of ministry that occur in the Body of Christ, there are two that can weigh down those engaged in such ministry with what we might call “accumulated pain”. Those ministries, which often go together, are healing/counseling and intercession. Both frequently involve being deeply immersed in the brokenness and heartache of those to whom we are ministering or for whom we are interceding. All too often such ministries can end up in burnout, discouragement, or even clinical depression.
Even as we pray from afar for those whom we know are seriously ill or deeply hurting, their pain can deeply burden the intercessors if they are not vigilant. I have even known of some intercessors who have actually prayed that they might carry some of the pain of those for whom they are praying, in the spirit of Paul’s exhortation to “bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. (Gal. 6:2). It is not a practice to be embraced lightly or without the knowledge and consent of those in spiritual authority within the parish.
So, are there ways to prevent accumulated pain overwhelming us as we intercede for hurting people? Absolutely! We have spoken before about the importance of wearing the “whole armour of God” as outlined in Ephesians 6: 10-18; being appropriately dressed for battle as it were. We have also referenced the vital necessity of keeping our eyes fixed firmly on our Saviour, Jesus, so that we are not overly preoccupied with the vile darkness of the enemy.
One of the ways to do that jumped out at me recently as I was reading my daily portion of Scripture:
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Psalm 145: 1 ESV
What does it mean to “extol”? That’s not a word we typically use in everyday speech. A little archaic, we might say; perhaps a bit “religious” sounding. Nevertheless, I really like it because it describes an activity that is strategic to our long-term spiritual well-being. Here’s what the dictionary says about “extol”:
“to praise highly; laud;” from the Latin extollere “to lift up, raise”.
The Message translates the above verse like this:
I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless your name into eternity.
This really captures the essence of the word “extol” in the aspect of “lifting high” the Name of the Lord in praise and worship. It is an energetic activity that is deliberate and proactive. It doesn’t happen by accident or by rote – a decision is required to extol. There is intent and passion in this act.
This is not the only place in Scripture where the verb “extol” is used with respect to God. Here are a few others:-
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. Psalm 30:1 ESV
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! Psalm 117:1 ESV
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Okay, so how does one do this? How do you become an extoller? Let’s go back to Psalm 145 and see how David extolled the Lord. Space doesn’t allow us to look at the entire psalm, but let me encourage you to take some time to do so. Here are a few key verses. Listen to the tones of wonder, awe and passion that are in these words:
Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psalm 145: 2-7 ESV
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Psalm 145: 10-13 ESV
Given that the psalms were intended to be sung out loud, I can imagine David singing with all his might as he uses phrases like “great is the Lord”, “declare your mighty acts”, “the glorious splendor of your majesty”, “your wondrous works”, “your awesome deeds” and “your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom”. Can’t you see him, as his extolling of the Lord builds within him, standing to his feet on the hillside, and shouting his praises to the Lord with his hands raised towards heaven? A growing faith in God and trust in His eternal promises would have welled up in him, and single-minded obedience to the call of God was the result; the fruit of his extolling the Lord.
Let me encourage you to give it a try. Become an extoller. You can use this psalm or others like it, and then add some phrases of your own that are specific to the wonderful things that you personally have seen the Lord accomplish. Don’t be embarrassed to do it out loud. It’s hard to really extol under your breath or in a whisper. My expectation is that, as you grow in this, you will see the darkness and pain that perhaps has accumulated begin to disperse and ultimately be banished by your willingness to extol the One who is worthy of all praise! Amen.
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. Psalm 107:32
Garth V. Hunt+
Praise God …
For the incredible sacrifice that Jesus, our Advocate and the Propitiation for our sins, has made on our behalf, and for the indescribable joy that His salvation brings.
For the joy and liberty that come when we are willing to “extol” the Lord in all His Glory and Majesty. Praise Him that His Kingdom of which we are a part is an everlasting kingdom and endures throughout all generations.
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 allowed the burden of prayer ministry and intercession to weigh us down through the accumulated pain of those for whom we are praying.
That each of us would guard our hearts more closely to maintain our joy in the Lord, no matter the circumstances.
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, Ronald Ferris and Malcolm Harding (retired) – 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 all of our ANiC clergy and 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.
Southern Cone – Pray for Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala in his primatial duties and for this province which includes much of South America.
For the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. 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.
For the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) as it raising funds for a training and education centre in the Diocese of Recife (Brazil) and for those in the Anglican Church in North America who are working to bring relief to the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
For the all the Christians in the Middle East who are facing increasing pressure and persecution as many of their countries embrace a more aggressive and extreme form of Islam.
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