Praying for the persecuted church

Yesterday was a day of prayer in our church for the worldwide persecuted church. We called out several places in the world where believers meet in “underground” (or hidden) churches. I was mindful of some friends who recently had less that 24 hours to evacuate a country because their lives were in danger. They were there only to show the love of Christ to people around them.

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The gift of mourning

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Ps. 30:5)

The Lord teaches me the way of the Cross and part of that journey is the gift of mourning, or the gift of sorrow. He wants to gift to me the heart of the Father. I can’t have that heart without knowing sorrow. It’s not all about “happy”. The joy is sweeter when the sorrow has been deeper.

St. James of Jerusalem

James led the Council at Jerusalem in Acts 15. He helped forge the decision concerning Gentile believers being allowed into the Church as equals to Jewish believers.

A prayer:

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your apostle James the Just, kinsman of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen.

james the just

Tearing off the roof in prayer

As I read through the Gospel of Mark again, the story of the friends carrying their paralyzed buddy to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12) continues to challenge me. They have the faith to get him to Jesus. The paralytic himself doesn’t have that faith. The others have that faith and carry him to the One who can answer.

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A prayer of spiritual hunger

Lord Jesus, Master Carpenter of Nazareth, on the Cross through wood and nails you wrought our full salvation: Wield well your tools in this, your workshop, that we who come to you rough-hewn may be fashioned into a truer beauty by your hand; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 2019)