First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people . . . This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2: 1-4 ESV
Welcome to our September 2014 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, September 5th, 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.
Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.
Charles Finney 1792-1875
Praying for Revival – Let’s Just Do It!
Over the past few months, we have been exploring the importance of praying for revival, a concept that is, perhaps, unfamiliar to many Anglicans. We have stressed the increasingly evident fact that the only hope for our fallen world is a sovereign move of God that brings forth repentance and transformed hearts and lives. It has also become abundantly clear to us that we cannot in any way make this happen, but that our Heavenly Father desires that, once our hearts truly have a passion for the lost, we would ask him for the revival he wants to bring.
What I very much want to do this month is to give us something practical, a prayer format that we can pray every day; something to which we can commit that will take our yearning for revival out of the theoretical or dialogue stage and into meaningful prayer activity. Satan really doesn’t care if we talk about praying for revival, just so long as we don’t actually do it. Until we get serious about this and start praying, nothing will move off dead centre.
Back in July, we reflected on Isaiah’s prayer found in Isaiah 63:15 through to the end of chapter 64 as a model for revival prayer, and we were challenged by the phrase “may it not be said of us in this generation, There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you! “ (Isaiah 64: 7) As I use this prayer, I am finding it more and more helpful in praying for revival in our day. If you missed this meditation or would like to review it, you can find it here.
David, the psalmist, takes another tack. Look at what he says in prayer:
God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him! As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God! But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him!
Psalm 68:1-4 ESV
David is confident that God shall arise, defending the honour of his Name and driving his enemies before him like wax is melted by fire. David bursts into song and encourages God’s people to do the same.
Isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want God to arise, scattering Satan and his hordes before him, releasing the many captives being held in the enemy’s grip, and ushering in the ultimate manifestation of his Kingdom? Then, let’s not settle anymore for the status quo, being content with a sort of détente with the enemy. Let’s get to praying!
Here is what I am asking of you and of myself. Below is a format of prayer that can help us be disciplined in asking God for revival. It’s not perfect, or necessarily even the best way, but I believe that it will be easy for us to remember so that we can use it wherever we are; driving to work, standing in the grocery store queue, cleaning up the dishes, drifting off to sleep at night, whenever . . .
The basic prayer is this simple appeal, “Rise up, O God!” Each letter of “Rise Up” stands for a particular aspect of our intercession. Let’s look at them briefly.
R is predictably for Repentance. But before we can pray for the world to repent of their rebellion, lawlessness, and rejection of their Rightful King, I believe we need to repent, including repenting on behalf of our prayerless generation that has not sought the Lord on behalf of the lost. Each generation of Christian believers is responsible before God for those of their generation who do not yet know him, and yet we so frequently have not been prayerful for them. So often the Church has been satisfied with just being the Church institutionalized rather than the Church mobilized. I for one am guilty as charged. I know I am forgiven, but I need change.
I is for Intervention. Let’s ask our God to intervene in the same way Isaiah did. “Rend the heavens, Lord, and come down!” Intervene, O Lord, in the midst of our decaying culture and society! Raise up an army of intercessors who will call out to you for a mighty visitation of your power and presence! Do not let your Name be disparaged or trivialized! Intervene, O Lord, we pray!
S is for Salvation. Let’s cry out to God for the salvation of thousands, yea, millions, across the world, and let’s thank him for the spectacular privilege of participating with him in his wondrous plan of redemption. Let’s not stop at merely praying for those close to us; family members, friends and colleagues. Let’s believe God for a major awakening.
E is for Equip. We intercessors still need to be further equipped in prayer. Evangelists, who will proclaim the message of the Gospel, need to be empowered and prepared so that they can be effective in their presentation. Pastors need to be equipped to deal with new converts who have come to Jesus but are broken and deeply wounded. Equip us, O Lord, for what you are about to do!
U is for Unity. One of Satan’s greatest and most successful strategies against a mobilized Church has been to bring competition, jealousy, fracture, and schism into the midst; distracting and preoccupying those whose energies were being much better used in prayer, evangelism and disciple-making. O God, keep us humble and submitted to one another and totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. May we guard and cherish the unity that only you can give but that we can so easily destroy. Guard our hearts, O Lord, we implore!
P is for Passion. For many of us complacency has become so much the norm that we think that any passion for the salvation of the lost sounds a bit fanatical. We so desperately need to see the world through the eyes of the One who gave his life for it. We need to love with the Saviour’s love; we need to care with the Saviour’s compassion. If these are just nice-sounding Christian platitudes, then complacency definitely has set in, and we need to cry out to the Lord for a renewed passion.
Churches of ANiC, will you heed the call and embrace the challenge? Will you join me in a commitment to call daily upon the Lord to “Rise Up”? Even if we forget what each letter stands for, we can still pray the basic petition. Like many before us, we may not even see the revival that we are seeking. But, in God’s timing, it will indeed come, and we can be confident in the knowledge that we had the privilege of being part of God’s great purposes of redemption; revival “midwives” if you will, aiding in “the birth process” of something absolutely extraordinary! Amen.
Garth V. Hunt+
Praise God …
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.
Praise God for our new primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, and our new diocesan and moderator, Bishop Charlie Masters. May God be pleased to glorify Himself through ACNA and ANiC.
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…
Times where we have grown weary and allowed doubt and complacency to erode our fervor in prayer for renewal in the Church and revival to sweep across our land. Let’s repent of discouragement and any sense of futility that the enemy has sown into our hearts.
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 revival across our land.
For Bishop Charlie Masters (& Judy) – Pray for our new 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 rest and joy as they adjust to a slower pace.
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.
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 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 impact of a surprisingly unfavourable legal decision.
That God would continue His work in & through the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
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 in the Anglican Communion.
For the 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 decisions & leadership.
For the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) as it raises funds for a pediatric ward for a busy clinic in South Sudan. Pray also for peace in that troubled country.
For Christians in the Middle East, Asia & Africa who face growing pressure and persecution as countries embrace extreme forms of Islam and Islamic terrorists groups advance their agendas. Pray especially for Christians in Syria, Iraq, northern Nigeria, South Sudan, Egypt & North Korea.
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 and premiers, and our federal MPs and Prime Minister.
For God’s wisdom for the world’s leaders with regard to the escalating situation in Israel and Gaza, the Ukraine, and in Iraq.
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.
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