Prayer Focus: November 2011

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Released 20 October 2011

A Day and Night Cry for Justice

November 2011

Is not this the kind of fasting that I [God] have chosen?

Isaiah 58:6

This month our reflection and prayer will focus on the justice that God requires of his children, of individual Christians, and of his Church. The spiritual quest and desire to please God have always been in the thinking of Christians: “How can we touch the heart of God?”

This question is in mind whether we’re involved in a personal or communal search, whether we reflect individually or in groups, whether we form community development committees or engage in thinking about how to organize our worship meetings or ask how to reach new people. We always want to have more spiritual power. As the General said in her invitation to prayer, we have "a desperate desire for a powerful relationship with the Lord."

It may be that fasting is not very common among us; our agenda may be more concerned with trying to discover what kind of praise pleases God, but in any case we search. As Isaiah 58: 2 puts it, “[God said] ‘They seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways.’” We certainly are seekers.

Dare we say that even though we multiply the moments for prayer, that we meet to pray fervently on Thursday morning all around the world, the we cry to the Lord day and night, that we could come to say (as the seekers in Isaiah’s day said) "Why? "

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’

Isaiah 58:.3

Now, the intention is not to raise doubts about the value of prayer. On the contrary, this note is meant to encourage you to mobilize and to get up for “crying to him night and day.” (Luke 18: 7) But we must pay attention to what it is we pray for. Persistent and fervent prayer is not itself enough. Do we pray for the things that God really wants us to pray for?

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.

Luke 18:7

Pray that our prayers will be heard (v. 4) :

  • that our business and personal interests do not take first place;
  • that God will help us to treat all those around us—family, children, friends and colleagues—with his gentleness;
  • that quarrels and strife stop in our communities.

Pray that we have eyes, ears and hearts open to do everything according to what the Lord asks in Isaiah 58: 6 and 7 :

  • to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke
November 13th, 2011, participate in the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church;
"Christians are now the most persecuted religious group in the world. Because of their faith in Jesus Christ, more than 100 million believers face discrimination, persecution or acts of violence, whether from people of other religions or totalitarian regimes. Christians are often treated as second class citizens who are being denied even the most basic human rights. "
http://www.idop.org/
  • to set the oppressed free and break every yoke
Majority of victims of slavery are women and children, they are exploited for sex trade or trade at all. A significant number of people are also abused in homes for domestic work.
http://salvationist.ca/action-support/human-trafficking/
  • to share food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter;
“The famine declared in south-central Somalia is feared to be worse than the historic famine of the 1980s that afflicted a wide region of the Horn of Africa, which includes Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.
Across the country, nearly half the Somali population -- 3.7 million people -- is living in crisis. An estimated 2.8 million of those are in the south-central regions of Southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle.” World Vision
http://home.worldvision.org/?page=nonflash#pseudo_story1426
  • when we see the naked, to clothe them
The first Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to halve extreme poverty by 2015. The economic crisis undermines this goal. Join the Micah Challenge.
http://www.micahchallenge.org/about-us/mdgs/mdg1-hunger
  • not to turn away from our own flesh and blood.
Minorities, foreigners, disabled, the elderly, children, refugees struggle to find their place, to be recognized, accepted and loved. Pray for all those who are abandoned and neglected.

Blessing

When we pray for justice as God would have us pray for justice, let us also pray that the wonderful promises God made to his people will be visible and received in our Army, in our families, in our communities.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: “Here am I.”

Then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Then you will find your joy in the LORD.

Then you will find your joy in the LORD, and [he] will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.

For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 58:8-14)


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