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July Prayers and Information

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope that you all had a joyous Canada Day! What a good day it was for our usual first Friday of the month prayer fast in July. I hope that it reminded you to pray especially for our nation as well as for
our Church. Canada certainly needs it, as the passing of Bill C-38 last Tuesday demonstrated.

I am so sorry that I did not manage to send you the suggestions for our July prayers sooner. Essentials sent their requests out in good time, as those of you who get them direct will know. For those who don't, they are appended as usual, after my suggestions for praying
them.

I am also sorry that I have not yet been able to finish writing up my notes on the "Open Doors" Conference that would help those of you who weren't at it to pray some of the related prayers with greater understanding. I would much appreciate your prayers for my completion of that small project!

The primary thrusts of our prayers this month are:

  1. Thanksgiving for the many wonderful answers to our June prayers;
  2. Repentance. This has long been the burden on my heart, because It seems clear to me that the only way to a clean, strong, healthy Anglican Church has to pass through the valley of humiliation and deep, deep repentance for the sins of our fathers and mothers, leaders, and ourselves for the carelessness, timidity and lack of devoted watchfulness that has led us into this appalling crisis; and
  3. Intercession for our leaders and for our brothers and sisters in the wider Anglican Communion.

So without more ado, here they are.

Suggested Prayers

A. The "Open Doors" Conference

1. Dearest Father, we simply have to begin this month's prayers with huge "thank-yous" for the tremendous way in which you answered all our requests for the Essentials "Open Door" Conference in Toronto last month: Thank you so very gratefully for your many blessings on it, including the extraordinary provision you made so that at the end of the Conference there was no financial deficit
remaining to be paid off.

2. And now, Father we ask again for your grace and blessing on the aftermath of the Conference. Please make its effects exactly what you want them to be. Let everyone who was there go forward into a period of tremendous growth in faithfulness, love, wisdom, and obedience. We ask especially:

  • That the clarity and encouragement you brought to all those who
    attended the Conference may spread across the country to the many
    parishes and people who were unable to attend but who are eager to be
    part of the work you are doing among us at this time.
  • That you will greatly bless and prosper the work of the Federation
    and Network groups launched at the Conference as they begin to
    proceed with their new mandates together under the one banner of
    Anglican Essentials Canada.
  • We also ask, dear Father, that there will be a growing momentum of
    the Spirit as people sign on as members of the Federation or Network,
    and that that momentum will not be lost during the summer while
    people are having their much needed vacation times.
  • And while we are speaking of vacation times, beloved Lord, we ask
    especially for renewal and refreshment for those weary ones who have
    already been labouring for a long time, in some cases under great
    pressure, during the trying times of this long-drawn-out crisis.

3. Once again, Father, we also ask especially for truth, love, patience and unity among all those who are working to restore faithfulness to your Anglican Church here in Canada and the U.S.A. and anywhere else in the world where it is under attack and falling away from your Word into compromise with the world and accommodation to it. We ask too for clarity, courage and wisdom for all those you have given and will give us as leaders.

B. The Nottingham Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council

4. Beloved Lord, we are so very sorry that our Anglican Church of Canada and ECUSA have not repented of their departure from your Word and from the apostolic teaching of the Christian Church. We ask your grace of repentance for us all, Father, and your forgiveness for our sin of stubborn disobedience.

5. We give you grateful thanks for all the International Anglican leaders who have befriended us at this time of crisis and who continue to labour for a consistent, faithful, Spirit-filled, biblical Anglican witness in every Province of the Anglican Communion worldwide. We ask your richest blessings on them and that you will keep us faithful in prayer for them as they are for us.

6. Please, Father, fill us with true repentance and "cleanse the thoughts of our hearts.” Bring us back to where you want us to be, walking in line with your perfect Word. Help us to triumph over this terrible attack of the enemy of our souls and bring us through it filled with such love for you and gratitude for all that you have done for us that we turn back in humility from our wicked folly to our biblically orthodox Anglican heritage and become once more the faithful, fruitful Church you have called us to be.

In the Name of our precious Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Have a joyful, refreshing and fruitful summer!

Lovingly,

Patricia.

Patricia Birkett
Anglican Gathering of Ottawa
Prayer Co-ordinator
www.anglicangathering.ca
613-238-4680

JULY ESSENTIALS EMAIL PRAYER ALERT

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results..”
James 5: 16b NLT

Greetings in the Name of our Wonderful Lord, and welcome to our July Prayer Alert from Anglican Essentials Canada. Our goal is to inform you of events and issues within the Anglican Communion that really need your prayer support, and to provide teaching that we trust will enhance your prayers and be an encouragement to you.

May we encourage you to set aside the first Friday, July 1st, as a day of prayer and fasting for the Church in these critical days, ideally gathering with other believers in your parish or diocese for
corporate prayer at the end of the day.

“YE THAT DO TRULY AND EARNESTLY REPENT . .”

Two recent events have, once again, driven home to me the paramount importance of repentance being an integral part of the ministry of intercession. Sometimes that repentance is for our own sins, both of omission and of commission, and sometimes we offer repentance on behalf of those who have gone before us.

This principle was reinforced as I sat in the comfort of Roy Thompson Hall during the wonderful “Open Door” Essentials Conference held in mid June. There, on the stage, sat this august body of Anglican leaders, true servants of God who are keenly seeking to follow Jesus through the maze of these difficult times. More than once, this statement came forth clearly: “The issue of increasing liberalism and the abandonment of the centrality of scripture did not just begin with the blessing of same-sex unions in New Westminster.”

No, this downward spiral has been going on for decades. How did we allow the church to get to this state? I began to gently weep as I contemplated my own prayerlessness over the years and the negative impact of secular society that I have allowed to creep into my own life. Then, I found myself beginning to repent on behalf of primates, bishops, priests and laity, some of whom were members of my own family, who had not sufficiently raised the alarm nor taken a stand
without compromise.

The other defining event occurred this past weekend as I watched the glowing media reports from the Gay Pride festivities occurring in Toronto and elsewhere. Same-sex legislation in Ottawa and the
resulting redefinition of marriage seem inevitable. Once again, I was overwhelmed by the question, “How did we get here? How has our country slid so far from any biblical anchorage?”

Hand-wringing and ranting against church leaders and politicians accomplishes nothing. Intercession and profound repentance for our sin and the sin of our fathers can change the spiritual climate in
which we live. The great saints of the Bible understood this. Listen to the words of Daniel crying out to God from a land of exile:-

"O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love
with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done
wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away
from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants
the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and
our fathers, and to all the people of the land.”
Daniel 9: 4-6 NIV

There is no blamed-shifting in Daniel’s prayer, no self-righteousness, no look-what-THEY-have done attitude. It’s a severe but accurate appraisal of Israel’s history. He continues:-

"Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the
men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and
far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our
unfaithfulness to you. O Lord, we and our kings, our princes and our
fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against
you. . . . All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away,
refusing to obey you. . . Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers
have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those
around us.”
Daniel 9: 7-11, 16

No one is exempt from culpability here, neither the loftiest kings and princes nor the lowliest peasants, nor, indeed, their forefathers who proceeded them all. Those listed here, in most cases, are either unable or unwilling to repent. But Daniel continues by seeking God’s
forgiveness on their behalf: -

"Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For
your sake, O Lord, look with favour on your desolate sanctuary. . .
We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because
of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear
and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and
your people bear your Name."
Daniel 9; 17-19

The heart of the intercessor is always full of compassion toward humanity. As Stephen prayed while the people of Jerusalem pelted him with rocks, so the intercessor cries out, “Lord, do not hold this sin
against them!” Let the words of Jesus ring out from the Cross, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing!”

Even as we wait on God’s guidance for our next steps in this pilgrimage, may we fill the heavens with cries for mercy for our Church and our nation. May we be quick to take responsibility for our
part in the current malaise and, with all humility and sorrow, let us repent of the sins of those who cannot or will not come to the Lord of Forgiveness of their own volition.

“O my God, do not delay, because your (Church) and your people bear your Name!” Amen.
[G.V. Hunt]

PRAYER FOCUS

Thank you for your faithful prayer, month by month. The “Open Door Conference” was an example of very specific answers to prayer. Perhaps you could look back to last month’s EMAIL PRAYER ALERT to remember all that we prayed concerning the Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham. Then do take time to give thanks for many, many very clear answers from the Lord. I believe we can see evidence of answered prayer on every item we prayed together about and more.

Even our finances, which were a concern, were looked after. As our Treasurer, Claus Lenk reported on the Friday afternoon, June 17 of the Conference, we were expecting a substantial deficit for the
Conference. I’m sure due to the fervent prayer of many, God wiped that out. Very soon after the Conference was over, we received word that the Saturday Offerings were about double anything we had ever received before. Added to that, the folks from Roy Thompson Hall who had been so helpful all along, announced, after the Conference, that our bill was going to be significantly less than projected. The combined affect, as Claus later joyfully announced, is no deficit.
Alleluia!

Concerning the Anglican Consultative Council, we were able to report:

“Anglican Essentials Canada (AEC) sent observers to the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham to hear the presentations of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of U.S.A. (ECUSA) over the last two days. Today, a motion prohibiting the Canadian Church and ECUSA from participating in two key committees, the Standing Committee and Anglican Finance Committee, passed by a narrow margin (30-28, with 4 abstentions). This motion effectively upholds and strengthens the suspension of the Canadian Church from Communion activities until the next Lambeth Conference in 2008.”

So how can we continue in prayer together, this July?

· Please pray that the clarity and encouragement that the Lord seemed to bring from the Open Door Conference to all the delegates might spread across the country to the many, many Parishes
and people who were unable to attend but are eager to be part. Let us pray for a growing momentum of the Spirit as people sign on as members of Federation and Network.

· Please pray for the work of these two new groups as they begin to proceed with a new mandate together under the one banner of Anglican Essentials Canada (AEC).

· Please pray for renewal and refreshment for weary folk who have been labouring, in some cases, under great pressure over these long days of crisis. Please pray for good vacation times and a
return, strengthened for the days ahead.

· Recognizing the need and value of summer vacations, let us also pray that the summer months would nevertheless be productive time, so that what began in Toronto would not get bogged down over the summer months. Praise the Lord that he is one who “gives to his beloved even in his sleep.”(Psalm 127:2)

· Please pray for our whole Anglican Church of Canada. Having been given, through the recent Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham an even stronger call to repentance, let us pray that we
would heed the call and return in humility to our Biblical orthodox Anglican heritage. What a gift it is to us, to have brothers and sisters around the world, who will not stand by and watch, as we
drift away. They love us too much not to call us to account. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to invite the Holy Spirit who searches all hearts, “to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts” and
bring us back to where he would want us to be in line with his perfect word. This repentance is exactly the theme of this whole EMAIL PRAYER ALERT.

· Let us pray for our International friends who continue to labour for a consistent, faithful, spirit-filled, Biblical Anglican witness in every Province of the Anglican Communion, worldwide.