WE SHALL OVERCOME
When Martin Luther King Jr spoke for the marginalised coloured races in USA he said “Despite the overwhelming darkness, we shall overcome. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” Pete Seeger then sang about it : “We shall overcome” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhnPVP23rzo) We are currently facing a challenging world with a war, a changing focus in society over things which can bring darkness and a nation that can appear to be losing its firm foundation. To be overcomers we need to be like the seven churches in Revelation and hear what the Spirit is saying to us ( Rev 2:17) Those seven churches needed to hear different things. For many it was the need to repent. The Ephesian church needed to repent of losing their first love and doing what they did at first. For others it was to be faithful, not afraid, not be misled by false prophets or to remain true to the name of Jesus. For the church at Sardis, it was to know they were dead but had a reputation of being alive. For others it was to obey what they had heard and endure patiently, or not be lukewarm and hear the voice of Jesus and open a door for Him to come in. What do we need to hear?
How are we to overcome? For some it will not to be overwhelmed by fear or desire to avoid situations that make them frightened or anxious. For others it will be like the father whose son had an evil spirit and prayed “ I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief”. (Mark 9:24) Even if it is hard to break any cycle, let’s remember everyone born of God can overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1Jn 5:4) We need to be encouraged many times to be overcomers. We might need to pray for others like Jesus did when He prayed for Peter “ I have prayed for you that your faith does not fail and when you turn back strengthen your brothers” ( Lk 22: 32). There is always room to be an overcomer, but it is seldom easy. St John wrote “I write to you young men because you have overcome the evil one” (1 Jn 2:13) When Christians find themselves constantly being accused by Satan, they can know about many in the past “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and did not love their lives to the death.( Rev 12:11)
* That the faith of Christians shall not fail , that we overcome as individuals, families, churches and as a nation and help strengthen one another.
* That many shall overcome their fears of Covid, isolation, unbelief, doubt, rejection, anxiety, racism and poverty and come to trust in the Lord.
* That we are not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. (Rev 12:21) for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (I Jn 5:4)
BEING A TRANSLATOR
Jesus acted as a translator. He got His message from the Father then translated it to those around Him. He heard a voice others were missing. And because He could hear it, He acted differently. Jesus had unbroken communion with His Father. How did He do it? He rose in the pre-dawn hours to pray. He communed with His Father through the night whilst others slept. He turned from the incessant demands and expectations of others to be sure that His agenda lined up with God’s agenda. Do you suppose the Father desires the same for us? Absolutely. Paul says that you have been “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 NRS). Such a lifestyle is promised, but it is not guaranteed. It comes at a price. Are you prepared to pay that price. Only when you have spent time in God’s presence, when you have “seen and heard”, will you be able to talk about Jesus in a way that compels others to listen.
* Asking God to help us to be translators of God’s message and love to those around us.
* Asking God for the self-discipline to pay the price required to have the same relationship with God that Jesus had with Him.
* Asking God to make you a reflection of Himself so that others are drawn to Him by interacting with you.
COVID SPIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATE
One in 25 teenagers dropped out of school during the pandemic according to research commissioned by Save the Children Australia. It reveals that Covid-19 cemented postcode poverty among young Australians. It reveals a 33 percent increase in rates of self-harm and a 9 percent increase in suicide attempts in among people between the ages of 10 to 24. Save the Children Australia warned that a generation of children was ‘losing its drive and ambition’, with kids in poorer suburbs the least able to get help for mental health issues. The social and economic cost of inaction is a generation of children who are more disadvantaged, disengaged and disheartened than ever before.
“He has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to all humbly with your God.” Micah 6:
* Let’s acknowledge to God that during the Covid-19 pandemic our children and young people were not treated justly. Let’s ask Him to forgive us and give us wisdom in how to change.
* Pray that our poor and disadvantaged young people and children would receive compassion and kindness in our schools and education systems . Ask the Lord to give wisdom to people who have responsibility in these areas. Pray that hope and encouragement will be restored.
* Pray as you feel led for all who follow Christ that we would recognise where we have not obeyed His call to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him and that we would respond by repenting of our failures and doing better in the future.
PRAYING FOR ISSUES IN THE NEWS
* The electricity crisis has caused much fear and consternation this past week. Much blame has been apportioned in many directions depending on people’s political allegiances. Putting aside those political allegiances let us pray for wisdom for all of our political and business leaders with responsibility for decision making in this area of our nation that they would put the national interest above business profits and ideological preferences so that we will never have to suffer the loss of electrical power in our homes or businesses.
* High schools across the nation are concerned by the rapidly growing high use of vapes or e-cigarettes, among adolescents. A recent NSW Health survey showed twice as many people aged 16 to 24 vaped last year compared to the previous year, and the situation is accelerating among younger teens and pre-teens too. Some high schools are locking their toilets to prevent vaping during class time; others have installed vape detectors, but these are easily vandalised. And vapes can be hidden in plain sight because they look like highlighter pens. Being a relatively new phenomenon we don’t know the exact health consequences yet, but it’s looking grim. A five-year-old boy recently landed in hospital after vaping at school and poisoning himself with high doses of nicotine and other chemicals. Let us pray that as a society we will be able to save our young people from the health consequences of vaping before a similar situation arises to what we faced with cigarettes in previous generations.
PRAYING FOR OTHERS
This week let us pray for Egypt. Pray for strength and boldness as the underground church continues to face difficult restrictions from authorities and violence from extremists
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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