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  October 2014: Please Pray for Iraq’s Terrorized Christians ... pdf version

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 October 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, October 6th, as a day of prayer and fasting in these critical days, ideally gathering with other believers in your parish or region for corporate prayer at some point in the day.

Prayer Quote
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying.
Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714)

Please Pray for Iraq’s Terrorized Christians

Over the past few months, we have been strongly exhorted by our church leadership to pray for the Christians in Iraq and Syria who have been in such desperate circumstances, desperate beyond anything we in North America have ever experienced or can accurately imagine. Both our new ACNA primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, and our ANiC diocesan, Bishop Charlie Masters, have strongly encouraged Sunday morning corporate prayer and personal intercession as we cry out to our Heavenly Father on behalf of those persecuted by ISIL and other extremist groups.

Whereas the media reports on the plight of religious minorities including Christians have been slowly increasing, and a number of agonizing emails reporting unspeakable atrocities have gone viral throughout the Internet, like most North American Christians we still have a sense of shock and helplessness.

To be reminded frequently to pray for them, some Christians are identifying with those targeted by ISIL by using this symbol in various ways. Nun (ن), the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of letter N in our Roman alphabet), is the first letter of the word Nasara (نصارى : Nazarenes), the way Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the 7th century. It may seem like such a small step, but some ANiC churches have ordered buttons that can be worn to show that we stand with those who are being so cruelly terrorized for their faith in Jesus, and, most importantly, to cause us to pray every time we see the symbol.

Many of us have become significantly more aware of the powerful ministry of Canon Andrew White, known as the Vicar of Baghdad, rector of St. George’s Anglican Church and director of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East which provides humanitarian aid through the church and a medical clinic. His poignant reports share with the world the plight of those Christians who have refused to denounce their faith in Jesus, and therefore have had to flee for their very lives leaving all their worldly good behind. If you have not visited Andrew White’s website, you can do that here.

On the FRRME website, there is a monthly prayer calendar and I have excerpted some of prayer points that I felt we could use to pray more specifically about the situation with insights from those on the ground who are seeking to bring aid and compassion.

Please pray for those displaced in the refugee camps, pray for adequate shelter and respite from the heat.

Pray for the bereaved and those who fled leaving loved ones behind; pray for peace and comfort and God’s presence in their suffering.

Pray for the Christian community as a whole, that they would be able to remain in Iraq and IS [the Islamic State militants, also known as ISIS or ISIL] would not be successful in driving them out.

Please pray for the families of those who have lost everything, whose futures look uncertain facing long-term displacement.

Pray for those looking after the young and elderly who are most vulnerable in this crisis. Pray God would meet their needs.

Please pray for the security forces in Iraq defending Iraqi people; pray for effective strategies in tackling the IS militants.

Pray for NGOs [Non-Government Agencies, usually aid organizations] in Iraq that there would be effective coordination, directing relief to where it is needed.

Please pray for a miraculous reconciliation between the Sunni and Shia Iraqis, allowing for a unified Iraqi state.

Pray for Andrew White’s health; pray that his stem cell treatment would continue to be effective.

Please pray for the staff of St George’s, Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq; pray for hope to remain in people’s hearts despite the desperate challenges facing Christianity in Iraq.

Revival prayer has been our theme over recent months, and will continue to be so going forward, but I don’t believe that we can pray for revival in our own nations and not fervently cry out to our heavenly Father on behalf of those who are enduring such suffering for the Name of Jesus. How badly would we desire their prayers if it was our nation being overrun by terrorists bent on our destruction! Please join me in frequently praying the focused items above in the weeks ahead. We must look beyond our own needs and petitions during this time of such extreme crisis. May it be so, O Lord!

Garth V. Hunt+

Thoughts on Revival Prayer

In this feature, we will share thoughts on how we might be praying for revival in our church and in our nation. Do feel free to send me via email any insights you may have on how we might learn to grow in this type of prayer.

Does it grieve you my friends, that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age...But, we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God's name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

A revival, then, really means days of heaven upon earth.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.
G. Campbell Morgan

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.

For the privilege of interceding on behalf of those around the world who are in desperate need.

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.

For Canon Andrew White and the staff of St. George’s, Baghdad, for their courageous witness in the face of such overwhelming adversity.

Confess if needed…

Our complacency in praying for Christians who are being persecuted and terrorized for the sake of Jesus’ Name. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for our preoccupation with “self” and our own needs at the expense of others in enormously greater need.

Please pray…

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 a new phase of ministry. .

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 for Bishops Ron Ferris and Malcolm Harding.

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.

For the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) as it raises funds for a pediatric ward for a busy health care centre in Yei, South Sudan. Pray also for peace in that troubled country.

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 Ukraine, Syria and 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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