Sunday, July 17, 2016
"The LORD Loves the Gates of Zion" - 17 July 2016
From Psalm 87
On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah. Sometimes, Lord, we forget that you love the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob; sometimes we think you should cherish our country more than you do your Church; sometimes our constitutional concerns become more important to us than the cares of your kingdom. So, remembering that you love the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob, we still pray for our country as you have bidden us to do: Tensions abound on the right hand and the left. Violence raises its beastly head in brutal and bloody ways. The rhetoric of many simply pours more petrol on the smoldering embers threatening to ignite into a bursting flame. There are places and spaces of injustice in our courts, on our streets, behind closed doors, and out in the open. Therefore, we implore your kindness and goodness to come and smother the seething cinders and to promote fairmindedness, helpfulness and benevolence. Thank you for the many who are working to foster civility and sanity; those in office, those who patrol neighborhoods and streets, and those who influence their communities. / We pray for countries, like France, that have been bloodied by bandits; and for countries that are governed by gangsters. Please give relief, justice and restoration.
Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush— “This one was born there,” they say. And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her. The LORD records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Selah. We pray for your Church that meets here, your Church all over the world; and even more pointedly your Church in Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Palestinian Territories; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; and Portugal. Where she is facing hard ways in hard places, grant her help and relief. Where she is impoverished and penurious fill her up with all she needs. In the places where she has compromised with the prevailing philosophies, bring her to hearty repentance. May her numbers increase, her faith flourish, and her hope be rock solid. We pray that for many from “Rahab, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre with Cush” you will register and record, “This one was born there.” May wayward children be restored to the fellowship of Christ’s people….; and may many, many more who have never believed come to faith in Christ and be numbered among the citizens of Zion from every tribe, tongue, skin color and nation… May our Mega Sports VBS be an valuable part of this happening!
Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.” Father, as you well know, some find themselves experiencing troubles – health, finances, future, family, recovery from surgeries, physical weakness, mental or emotional struggles, and other areas. We ask you on their behalf, to raise them up; give them hope; show them better times and better days; and may they feel all the way down into their bones that you will never leave them nor forsake them, so that with the singers and dancer they may say, “All my springs are in you!” Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.