When I am Weak
It is a real challenge to think St Paul wrote “When I am weak then I am strong” We would rather feel “strong and courageous, not afraid nor discouraged, knowing that the LORD our God is with us wherever we go.” (Jos 1:9) But the Lord told Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” We could then add as Paul did “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10) Our weaknesses could help us be more dependent on God, to glorify Him, to strengthen our faith, and to show God’s power in ways that our strengths never could. This could help us relate more gently and patiently with those who struggle with their weaknesses that are different from ours (Heb 5:2) But being aware of our own weaknesses could help us be more dependent on God’s grace and more thankful for those who have strengths where we are weak (based on 1 Cor 12:21–26) Could our most valuable talent be our weaknesses instead of their being our liability? God choses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God choses the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God choses the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Cor 1:27) When we think of St Paul as a strong evangelist let us remember he wrote “as to the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”. (1 Cor 9:22)
The wonderful song “O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee” was written by George Matteson (who was blind) when his sister, who had wonderfully helped him for years, had left him to get married.
* That as a nation we catch a new vision of the majesty of God, a God of tenderness, mercy and compassion, and also one of justice, holiness and wrath against sin.
* That no longer will we as God’s people see ourselves as weak and helpless, but that God’s grace will be made perfect in our weakness, our lives marked by the gifts that only the Holy Spirit can give and marked by the fruit that only He can bring.
* That though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the olive crop may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls— Yet will we rejoice in the LORD, we will joy in the God of our salvation. (Hab 3;17-19)
Praying for the Voice
As the referendum comes ever closer and debate over the Voice intensifies it is time to pray into the issue which will have a huge potential impact upon the future of our nation. Over coming weeks, we will highlight areas where we believe we need to concentrate prayer in order that the result of the referendum is the best outcome for Australia and in line with God’s perfect will. Let us pray:
* That the church will have the anointing of the sons of Issachar, to know and discern the times and the seasons and what the Church and nation should do regarding the Voice.
* Also, that the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength and knowledge would rest upon all Christians as they consider how they will vote in the referendum.
* That the fear of the Lord would guide the deliberations of all Australians as they approach the referendum.
Australian Christian Lobby Submission on Voice Proposal
A number of Australian Christian organisations are expressing strong support for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of our nation but at the same time questioning whether the proposed “Voice” is the best way of doing that. There is concern that it would divide Australians according to their racial background, and how it would operate in practice, and may also open up other possible unintended Constitutional consequences. The nationally accepted real and pressing issues which continue to affect many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities necessitate urgent action.
“He was given power to rule – that all races, colours, and creed – would serve Him. His rule would be forever, never ending. His kingly rule would never be replaced.” Daniel 7:14 MSG
* Thank our God that He paid the price for every human being out of His deep love for us all, no matter what race, colour or creed.
* Pray that Australia will continue to treat all its citizens equally under the law.
* Ask the Lord to direct the Government in how to focus its resources on practical initiatives to ‘Close the Gap’. Pray for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are most disadvantaged, particularly those in remote locations.
Praying for Issues in the News
* The fatal bus crash in the Hunter Valley has deeply impacted the nation. Please pray for all affected by the accident. The injured, those who lost loved ones and friends, the first responders and the bus driver himself. May God take something that has devastated so many and turn it into something that brings new life into the lives of others as only He can do.
* The alleged rape of political staffer Brittany Higgins has opened up many cans of worms with the original allegation becoming lost in the midst of political intrigue involving the media and politicians who all seem more intent that their reputations do not get tarnished rather than in establishing what actually happened to Ms. Higgins. Please pray for all the truth to come forth from the many allegations being made, for any wrongdoing on the part of anyone associated with the case to be exposed and appropriate justice delivered to any who have done wrong. Pray also for the mental wellbeing of both Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann to be protected in the midst of such public exposure.
Praying for Others
This week let us pray for Eritrea. Pray that Eritrean churches and church leaders would be unified and have wisdom when engaging with their government about religious freedom.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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