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Monday, November 02, 2009

A Call to Prayer for the Churches in Crisis

I found this card in a used book the other day. Since November 8 is this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, I thought I would share this to prepare us. I got my wife to type and change some of the wording to make it more common language. Not so churchy. For more info on the Persecuted Church, Click on the title of this post.

The church of Christ is in crisis Throughout the world
ABROAD:Suffering is terrible in many lands.
Imprisonment and death are very real for some.
Tension and strain are usual.
Alarming needs, both spiritual and physical abound.
Losses, like never seen before, are being suffered.
Heroism and steadfastness in the faith need encouragement.
Where there may be lies, blindness,
Self-centeredness, spiritual poverty,
Lack of power and joy,
May it not rob Your church of her witness.
Loyalty and sacrifice need recognition and increase.

THEREFORE:A call to prayer and penitence is given here,
Calling Christians everywhere to show themselves
with the critical challenge of burdens abroad
and also with the indifferences at home—that it will
please God to set our souls and churches AFLAME
with His gospel of salvation in this dreadful
day of opportunity and judgment.

Here is a prayer for the persecuted Church:
"O Lord, we lift our prayers together to You
For Your church in crisis. Only You can lead it;
Only You can clean it;
Only You can save it for its task today.
Where it is troubled without, strengthen it within.
Where it is confused, deliver it from hopelessness.
Where fires of persecution rage against it,
Let it know that You have not forsaken it.
Where it is cast down, show that it cannot be destroyed.
In its comfort zone, excite it.
In its complacency, waken it.
In its blindness, show it Your face.
In its deadness, bring it to life.
In its loyalty and sacrifice, sustain it.

So, O Lord, may Your church be shaken awake
in this awesome day of judgment---
to its central place in history,
to its divine power on earth,
to its clear gospel of peace and salvation,---
and witness so to Thee
that men and nations may know
You ONLY are God."

“Set us afire Lord,
Stir us we pray!
While the world perishes,
We go our way
Purposeless, passionless day after day.
Set us afire, Lord,
Stir us we pray!”

Taken from a committee of the council of the Presbyterian Church
February, 1950

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