Prayer Diary from Thursday 21st July to Tuesday 6th September 2022

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Dear fellow pray-er,

Prayer Diary for the period Thursday 21st July – Tuesday 6th September 2022.

Do we listen to prophets today? Certainly our first reading in the Old Testament, which continues with the story of Samuel, shows how it is wise to listen with discerning ears to those with the gift of prophecy, even today! It also calls to mind the recent shenanigans in the Westminster bubble?

Samuel learns to listen to the Lord and obey him, and so all Israel comes to recognise him as a prophet. However the loss of the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines (together with the death of 30,000 foot soldiers and Eli’s sons) caused Eli, Samuel’s mentor, to fall backwards off his chair and die when he heard the news.

It was only after all the people of Israel mourned and sought the Lord, that Samuel offered to intercede for Israel and so it was, after a day of fasting and confession, that the tide turned in Israel’s favour. We as a nation could well follow their example today as we did in May 1940 during WWll. (You may be interested in an article by Dr Victor Pearce about the Seven Calls to Prayer in WW ll and the events that followed each day of prayer https://ctntp.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/seven-national-calls-to-prayer-in-wwii.pdf )

Samuel grows old, his sons do not follow his ways, and so Israel asks Samuel for a King, against his advice, which brings Saul into the picture. Saul is anointed king by Samuel but he fails to live up to the standards required of him by the Lord and so Samuel is sent to Bethlehem to anoint a new man as King – David! We continue with the famous story of David’s encounter with Goliath, his time in Saul’s service and his close friendship with Saul’s son, Jonathan. Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him; Samuel dies, and then finally during a battle with the Philistines Saul is critically wounded and falls on his sword, which brings us to 2 Samuel.

David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, is anointed King over Judah, and then at the request of all the tribes of Israel, is anointed King over Israel. He brings the Ark of the Covenant from Baalah (or otherwise known as Kiriath Jearim) which is best known for the house of Abinadab which held the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel until the time of David (about 120 years) to Jerusalem. We continue with reading of David’s victories, his encounter with Bathsheba and Nathan’s rebuke for his actions. I have to admire the immediate contrition of David. Oh that we all might be able to accept and own up to our failings day by day.

The New Testament readings continue with Luke’s gospel with the parable of the talents, Jesus’ teaching on paying taxes, resurrection and marriage, whose son is the Christ, the widow’s offering and the signs of the end of the age. Then Judas’s betrayal, the Last Supper, praying in the Mount of Olives, his arrest and Peter’s denial of him and on through his “trial” death and burial. THEN the resurrection and his appearance to the disciples and his words, which have been followed down the centuries: “and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached to all nations”. (Are we bold enough to carry on his exhortation in our lives to those around us?) Then finally his ascension.

We continue with the Book of Acts,  (I do love the Luke’s reference to Theophilus – it, to me, makes it so personal). The Day of Pentecost, the stoning of Stephen at which Saul was present and on to the conversion of Saul. (As part of a small group I once studied these early chapters of Acts as an exercise in how the early church grew and related together. As you read them too you may gain some interesting insights.)

We do pray: as you read these passages of scripture over the coming weeks that God will show you new things, speak into your life, and bless you and those near and dear to you.

 

Peter And Sylvia Raine