Harmony Presbyterian Church Prayer for Week of June 29-July 5, 2011 (Individual Prayer Requests also found at www.HarmonyPres.com ) Jesus calls us to live in His light, to share that light and to be His witnesses where we are called. Our prayers this week pick up on that theme. I hope they lead you to deeper faith and stronger trust in Him. Be sure during these warm, gentle days, to take intentional time with God in prayer. He waits to visit with you, He has given all to build this relationship, and we are responsible to ‘be there’ from our end. God will not do the work for us, but He makes it as easy as possible for us to be with Him. (For individual prayer requests, check www.HarmonyPres.com go to “News” page and there You will find the “Prayer Requests” with the latest prayer needs & these listed on the bottom.) Wednesday, June 29 John 12: (The Message) 20There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. 21They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?” 22 Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. These Greeks ask the right question, “We want to see Jesus. Can You help?” They are like us, seeking truth, seeking God. You are the question in our minds, Jesus, who are You? We struggle to know You, to draw close to You. But, we want You to be on our terms. We have formed our ideal god and we seek that god who is captive to my needs, my magic one, the god I can invoke and control, we want You to be soft, friendly and all for us. We are like a feral dog, wanting food, wanting attention, wanting love, but we shy back and won‟t let You close. Lord, we want to see You, we pray You open our eyes, open our hearts and minds that we will let go of our sinful prejudice and actually engage You, actually see You. You are God, totally free and perfectly good. We want to see You and we want ot follow You. Give us faith, give us trust that we can be with You and let go of our need to do it all alone. We also pray we can be there for those who are far from You and bring them to You. We pray our lives are so dedicated to You that people would know to ask us about You, that they would watch us and want a life like ours, because You are present in our lives. We desire to hear, “You know Jesus, will You introduce me to him?” How delightful that would be. Give me the opportunity and give me the response You want from me. Amen. Thursday, June 30 John 12: (The Message) 23Jesus answered, “Time‟s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. 25In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you‟ll have it forever, real and eternal. Jesus, You are such an optimist. Your reality, sure and solid future that is good, is so startling to us. We see Your death stalking You, Your crucifixion coming and we shudder, and You see it and You call it Glory. We clearly do not see the reality of life like You do. You live with pure hope and joy, and even the events that bring You anger or tears, are filled with Your reality of what God is doing. Your vision transforms everything into times of Grace and Hope. You alone would see Your impending death as glory, as good and wondrous. O Lord, move us that we can see and live life like You. We are so afraid of death, so fearful of what happens after our death, that Your approach is our only rock our only sure purchase for our life line. Your imagery helps us, we know about seeds growing. We did this in kindergarten; little seeds in Dixie cups, water & impatience until they sprout, talking to the plants and encouraging them to grow faster- which never helped, and finally they bear flowers, fruit and seeds that lead to new life and we know it happens every time we plant right. You do this for us, every time, like a seed planted, but it is hard for us to translate that truth into comfort at our core fear level, so that we live by pure hope and confidence in You. Fill us with Yourself, give us Your Holy Spirit that we can trust You and live in confidence in You. Take away our fears, based in our misplaced trust in our own ability to save ourselves, and let us wholly trust in You. Help us place You as Number One, the center of our life, on the throne of our life, and make You totally the one we trust and follow. We desire to let go of our deadly ways so that we can be reckless in our gracious love and be with You for eternity. Amen Friday, July 1 John 12: (The Message) 26“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you‟ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment‟s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. Jesus, You are the Lord of my life. I say I want a life of meaning and purpose, and I say I want to be Your servant to do Your will. So now You call me on my words, that if I want to serve You, then I must follow You. Help me to move from my „right‟ words to being a righteous person. I do want to follow You, but I also want o have a life where I am in control, where I go to events I chose to attend, and I do things I want to do. Help me Lord, for I am of mixed motives. I discover I want to serve You and see the world transformed, but I also do not want You to change anything in my life. I want it all, all the benefits of following You, but I don‟t find it easy to let go of selfish me so I can actually follow You. I need Your help, I need Your guidance and power so that I can do what I intend to do, follow You. I do want to be ready at a moment‟s notice, even though it means all my plans, structure and order are placed in second priority to Your will. Man, that is hard. Like a volunteer firefighter, still at my work, still with my normal life, I am also ready, trained, waiting for the fire call to a place where I can help save a life, save a person‟s property, I find myself waiting to be called to serve. I love my daily life, but I also desire to serve You, to follow to where Your will leads. I trust You and know You will provide for my needs, but truthfully, I will go just for the fun of it, for the excitement, for the romance and joy of serving You. I know it is like a cross You give me to bear, but to do it with and for You transforms it from ugh, to passion. Thank You for Your assurance and words of confidence that You will reward and honor us for our service. Here I am, Lord. I will go, Lord. Amen Saturday, July 2 John 12: (The Message) 27“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? „Father, get me out of this‟? No, this is why I came in the first place. 28I‟ll say, „Father, put your glory on display.‟” A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I‟ll glorify it again.” 29 The listening crowd said, “Thunder!” Others said, “An angel spoke to him!” O Jesus, I know Your feeling of being „storm-tossed and conflicted in my feelings. I feel closer to You for knowing how I feel. I trust You easier as I know we share those temptation filled feelings, and I read Your words closer because You chose well, You chose God‟s will. You went on to fulfill Your calling, You felt the tug of sin, but chose to follow the divine path of God‟s will, and even knowing it led to Your death, You followed. I wish I were that deep in my trust of Your will, my faith in Your call, but I often get washed up on the beach when I am storm tossed. My sand castles wash away and I find I have taken the easy and sinful path. It didn‟t seem that way as I made my choice, as I responded affirmatively to temptation, but to choose other than Your will means I have placed You into #2 spot and my sinful plans I have elevated into first place. When I do do Your work, when I do place You first, I find those around me get confused. It is as if You speak but they hear natural sound they dismiss. They hear Your voice, but then think it was thunder. They see Your action, Your might acts, and then they ascribe it to a funny coincidence. In a sad, sick way, it is funny how often we get confused over simple things, not that I can‟t think or reason, but my defenses get involved and I solve issues I don‟t have while I miss the obvious truth staring me in the face. Lord, help me to know what I know. To hear You clearly and respond in trusting love. Amen. Sunday, July 3 John 12: (The Message) 30Jesus said, “The voice didn‟t come for me but for you. 31At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. 32And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” 33He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death. You speak all the time, yet I do not hear You. I have been trained and rewarded by our world to hear only the „natural‟ sounds, to see the „natural‟ world, with none of that faith mumbo jumbo stuff. But here, against all I have been taught is truth, I discover You breaking into my well trained world, and irresistibly, You speak. You say things and provide guidance for things beyond my expectations. The world seems to be in outrage against You, and the evil one, Satan himself is making much trouble, yet You assure us that he has lost, he is being cast out, thrown away. Lord, I hear Your voice calling us through the wild, violent, sick world in which we live. I hear Your voice calling so we can know You are the Savior, You are the Messiah, the Christ, and in You is life. As You have died, risen and ascended to heaven, we are truly drawn to You, and we are drawn to Your way of life, a way of living now and forever with You. You came that I might have life, that I might understand and hear God‟s will and be about the work of the Kingdom. O Master, make it so in my life. Amen. Monday, July 4 John 12: (The Message) 34Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God‟s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man „be lifted up‟? Who is this „Son of Man‟?” O Lord, how hard it is to let You be who You are. I try to redefine You and remake You into my own image. I make up good and well meaning religious definitions for You and then when You do not fit my dogmas and rules, I get mad at You. I have discovered that I want You to bow to me, perhaps that is the original sin I partake in, trying to replace You, wanting to be god myself. I want You to fit my standards, to be my god alone and never mess around with me. I want to always be right and not feel guilty or have to be responsible for my actions and thoughts. When You proclaim Your path, Your way, Your will and it doesn‟t match my made-up ones, I get very insecure. Lord Jesus, You are God, You are the One and Only. In Father, Son, Holy Spirit, You reveal Yourself to me and it is nothing like I dreamed. You are much more, bigger, greater, more awesome and wonderful than I ever had manufactured about my puny, parasitic god. Lord, teach me the truth, give me the ability to hear You and listen to You. I have learned from You that it is not me, but You who save. I am humbled that You call and elect us to be Your covenant people. I am humbled that it is not my wonderfulness, my works or perfection that brings my salvation, but it is You who graciously bring life, and life eternal, as a gift for me to receive. Lord, forgive my sin, forgive my rebellion and set me free to follow You, You are my life. Amen. Tuesday, July 5 John 12: (The Message) 35Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn‟t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don‟t know where you‟re going. 36As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You‟ll be children of light.” What an awesome passage, Lord. You really capture my imagination with this imagery of light and darkness. I love the light, and I am always more fearful in the darkness where I trip and run into things and constantly hear things go bump in the night – maybe a demon in my dark spot. I‟m always the one who opens the window blinds to let more light in, so to think of doing that with You, Lord, is awesome. You are the light of life, brilliantly shining into the darkness of evil and death. Because You have lived with us, we know You understand how searing Your light and Your presence, feels. For all of us who have been in the darkness and have been hiding in the shadows, Your light, Jesus, comes in, and You know how much it actually hurt to have Your light shine on them, but quickly they turn their backs on the darkness and wholly embrace You. You are light, not the scary dude we were told to avoid, You are life and hope, not the judgmental, nasty, vindictive god we were warned about by those in the deepest part of the cave. What You transform is my death into life, You remove my vices and deadly habits, You bring me into clear, focused light – I see and believe. I do believe in You, Jesus, for You illuminate all around Yourself. You banish the darkness and in Your light and in Your presence, everything shines. The contemporary Graham Kendrick hymn is „Shine, Jesus, Shine‟ and it really true about You, it captures Your luminous presence. Jesus, You are like the sun I experience in the daylight hours, powerful, life giving, revealing and healing. We desire to live and walk in Your light, in Your presence always. Fill my life with Your presence that I may shine with Your radiance at all times. I ask You to make me a child of Your life, that I may be with You and cast Your presence on all I meet, that Your presence within me may light up all the places You send me. Let me be like that light on the hill that can‟t be hid. Amen. GENERAL PRAYER AREA Generic Prayer needs that seem to always be there, a list of categories or topics You can fill-in with Your prayers Prayers Especially for Tornado damage – grief and loss of home, jobs, family histories, Prayers for Japan with the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster going on. For New Zealand with the massive earthquake they had several weeks ago. For Lybia & other Islamic nations who are having demonstrations for change – some good, some questionable, but all need our prayers for peace and wholeness. Pray For: Family, Relationship, Friends, Children, Parents, Divorce, Births, Deaths, finances For: Illness, healing, broken bones, broken spirits, emotional problems, depression, Rage, addictions, surgery’s, cancer, suicidal thoughts, unknown emerging issues For: Employment, harassment, promotion, challenges, opportunities, entrepreneurs, retirement, service, & businesses that they use Christ-like methods in all their actions, For: workers that they are safe in the work place and especially for American workers that they can stay employed and produce good products; for the unemployed that their spirits are lifted up and they keep trying to find that job – open opportunities for all who want to work For: Bills, stewardship, debts, loans, homes to live in, cars that work, for Banks and financial institutions, the Government’s debt load, (& Harmony’s debt load) For: the world – for Racism & Slavery that is bigger than ever, the poor, medical needs, economic needs, development needs, moral and social needs, For: people and nations on every continent and island area, for floods, earthquakes, typhoons & hurricanes, tornados, fires, avalanches & blizzards For: The environment, prayer for all the critters that have no voice, from the seemingly least to the biggest, prayers for their environment, prayers for poachers, for those who pollute, for the clean-up of polluted areas, for wisdom & good intentions in Governments, environmental groups, citizens as well as industry & business. For: Harmony & all churches, faithfulness, trust in God, belief in the word of God, for those who are not saved, for those who sit in church and don’t yet know God, for unity in the Body of Christ. For other religions, especially those who consider us their enemy, prayer for peace, and God’s Spirit to work For Peace, for our enemies, for our Military, for Military families, for terrorist groups, for all who use violence and evil means to take away freedom and liberty, For our Government, at all levels, that they look to God for leadership and vision, and have the courage to follow. For our courts that they seek truth and practice justice in all their actions, always eschewing politics. For our fellow citizens that they become active and involved in the political process and vote, that we exercise our Constitutional rights For all the governments of the world, for an end to racism, despots & tyrants, rule by pitting groups against groups. An end of genocides, oppressions of minorities, withholding education or food or medicine from anyone. For: Immigrants from lands with failed economies or governments, for patience and loving action by states and federal government, for safety for all people, for those who are refugees and those who have no home, for our debate about those here illegally. For all who do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, that they will her the good news and respond in faith. (Any more to add, anything we forgot? Let us know at RevKunter@aol.com, we’ll add them in too.
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