Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4: 2 ESV
Welcome to our November 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.
PLEASE PRAY FOR ANiC’s UPCOMING ELECTORAL SYNOD
Our moderator, Bishop Don Harvey, is most eager that we pray fervently for our upcoming synod November 14-16 in Ottawa. He has urged us all to keep a copy of the prayer below handy to remind us to pray often for this pivotal moment in our history - when we elect our coadjutor bishop who will succeed Bishop Don when he steps down in mid-2014.
Prayer for ANiC synod 2012
Almighty God, You have demonstrated Your favour and covenant faithfulness to Your people, both in the accounts of Scripture and in the experience of the Church through the centuries. We thank You for Your tender care for ANiC and our local congregations over our brief history.
Visit us, we pray, by Your Spirit with Wisdom and Power at our upcoming Electoral Synod. Preside as Lord and King over all that transpires. Grant discernment and unity to all delegates. Protect us from any snares of the evil one, and may all that is decided be in complete accordance with Your perfect will for ANiC. This we ask in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen
Why We Pray For ANiC
t is now over five years since that fateful week in the summer of 2007 when the Anglican Church of Canada decided at its General Synod ”that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being creedal) of the Anglican Church of Canada”. It was a landmark decision that hastened the preparation of a new ecclesiastical structure – the Anglican Network in Canada. It was a time of fervent prayer, personal sacrifice and a counting of the cost for individuals and parishes alike.
Four years ago this month, we held ANiC’s first synod in Burlington, and no one who was there will forget the gracious video message from Archbishop Gregory Venables offering us the episcopal oversight of the Southern Cone as we took our first fledgling steps with two bishops, two priests, two deacons and two parishes. Our moderator, Bishop Don Harvey said, “It is a day of great joy as we begin a new expression of Anglicanism in Canada to freely proclaim the transforming power of the Gospel, and it is also a day of great sadness that this structure became necessary.” Again, fervent prayer was offered asking the Lord for His protection on this small and highly vulnerable movement of Biblical orthodoxy. We prayed for wisdom as to how to handle conflicting claims of ownership of disputed church buildings, and we asked the Lord to provide many new venues for our Sunday worship. We were desperate – in that place of living in the centre of a miracle on the brink of disaster. The most appropriate posture for us as a desperate people was on our knees!
During these past years, I have been afforded the opportunity to travel across the country presenting weekend seminars for ANiC congregations – some just emerging. It has been a great privilege for me to spend time in many of your parishes, getting to know you personally and the unique DNA of each congregation. The single most frequent question that I am asked goes something like, “How do we stay vigilant in prayer so that we don’t slip back as a church to just doing “business as usual” and squabbling over all the same things that we used to squabble over?. How do we stay desperate for God?”
There are aspects of “peacetime”, when the immediate crisis is over, that are harder than when we are in the heat of battle. In his farewell sermon to the Israelites recorded in Deuteronomy, Moses exhorted,
“When the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
Deut. 6: 10-12 ESV
Moses understood well the perils of no longer being in desperate need of the Lord for survival. For many of our ANiC churches, the immediate crisis has passed. We have settled into a more normal routine in our church life, and it would be all too easy for us to forget how the Lord has faithfully met our needs time and time again. We need to be stirred once more to a sense of desperate dependence on the Lord, day by day, moment by moment.
Bishop Don has chosen as the theme for Synod 2012 a passage from Romans 13. Let’s look at it in the context of the verse preceding it:-
You know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13: 11-12 ESV
There is a clarion call here for us to shake off the slumber that so easily besets us, and wake up. There is still an urgency to our call to proclaim the Gospel. The night is almost over, so let’s throw off any “works of darkness” that have sought to ensnare us once again, and be beacons that reflect the transforming light of God’s glory to a hurting and devastated world.
One of the most obvious ways that we can “wake up” is to restore an urgency and priority to pray for ANiC and its role in the purposes of God. Here are a few suggestions as to what we should pray for:
||Bishop Don has urged us to pray daily for our Electoral Synod this month. You can use the prayer above on page one, the prayer for synods in the Book of Common Prayer (see below) or your own prayers. But please pray regularly for this important event in our unfolding history.
||Let me also encourage you to pray for Unity. ANiC was formed from a great variety of expressions of Anglican worship, polity and theology, and that makes us vulnerable. But we know from Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 that He deeply desires unity in His Body, His faithful Church:-
“. . that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John 17: 21 ESV
Jesus prays that we might embrace a unity that is a reflection of the unity that the members of the Trinity experience – that we might be one, just as the Father and Son are one! How amazing is that! But it’s not just for our benefit. Jesus says that it is so that the world will believe that the Father sent him. He’s giving the world permission to check us out and He is putting the credibility of His word on the line. Please pray that the Lord will foster and protect our unity because it is always the first target of the enemy. Pray that we will cherish our unity as a priceless treasure and see its evangelistic importance.
||Finally, pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power upon our church. Just before His return to His heavenly Father, Jesus urged the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father – the Holy Spirit. Then He told them;
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 ESV
We cannot be what God has called us to be, and do what He has called us to do, in our own strength. Yet the pages of church history are replete with accounts of the Church’s feeble attempts to do just that. Such reliance on our own abilities, intellect and resources inevitably lead to liberalism, heresy and ultimately, apostasy. The closer our personal walk with God, the closer will be our unity with others who are also wholeheartedly pursuing Him.
Pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our synod this month and upon each of our parishes in the weeks and months ahead. The only thing that will keep us from slipping back to “business as usual” is a desperate dependency upon the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to respond to the Lord’s call upon us to reach our generation with the liberating, transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ! Amen.
Garth V. Hunt+
Praise God …
For His gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church without whom we would be hopelessly ineffective.
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 the work God is doing in the life of our diocese and province: cleansing, restoring, transforming, healing and equipping.
Confess if needed…
The occasions when we have allowed minor issues or personal agendas to rob us of our Unity.
The numerous times we have attempted to build the Church in our own strength and resources.
That we would demonstrate our faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty by cultivating thankfulness, vigilance in prayer, and by expressing praise in the midst of loss, adversity or injustice.
For a new visitation of the Holy Spirit upon our Synod, 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, 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 later this month 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 July 2014.)
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world: We beseech thee to be present with our Electoral Synod soon to be assembled in thy Name. Save its members from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe so to direct, govern, and sanctify them in their deliberations by thy Holy Spirit, that through thy blessing the Gospel of Christ may be faithfully preached and obeyed, the order and discipline of thy Church maintained, and the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour enlarged and extended. Grant this, we beseech thee, through the merits and mediation of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
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.
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 planning of the global gathering next May.
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.
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. Pray especially for St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) as the congregation is still embroiled in legal proceedings
For the Anglican Sojourner Fellowship as it seeks to connect and encourage isolated Christians who live where there are no biblically faithful Anglican churches.
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