Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6- World Day of Prayer

March 6-
World Day of Prayer- The Holy Spirit and Prayer
“In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but eh Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26,27)
Calvin: how dangerous it is to seek from the Lord what our greed dictates; at the same time he discloses our unhappiness, in that we cannot even open our mouths before God without danger unless the Spirit instructs us in the right pattern for prayer (III.20.34)

World Day of Prayer was a day originally instituted by women to pray for women and children around the world that they would know Christ, and be helped in their lives. The first Friday in March is World Day of Prayer.
Prayer must come from the heart, but it is always inspired by the Spirit. Calvin saw the dangers of the Anabaptists who separated the Spirit from the Word. The Spirit inspired the Word and illuminates the Word. The Spirit helps us to pray according to the Word as well, inspiring us to use the words of scripture, and consoling us as we pray and read through scripture.
The danger for Calvin is to use mindless words, babbling. Jesus forbade such ramblings as show and meaningless (Matthew 6:5-7). Instead, the Spirit uses our minds and the scriptures to help our prayers be meaningful and purposeful. The Lord’s Prayer (that we shall look at soon) is an example of a prayer in scripture that we can use. But even in this great prayer, we should not just run through it like it was a magic charm or amulet. Rather we should think as we pray, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Today at my church (Lake Murray Presbyterian) there will be a prayer meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the church to pray for our world, for missions, and for the church (our presbytery meets the next day to talk about General Assembly). We will take prayer requests and pray through some scriptures.

Prayer: Lord, we pray for our world- especially for women and children on this World Day of Prayer. We pray for your church that it will remain true to your will and not waver nor falter. Lord, you looked at people with compassion and saw they were like sheep without a shepherd. You asked us to pray that you would raise up workers for your harvest field. We ask that you would give us that same heart of compassion. We ask that you would indeed draw people to yourself- the Great Sherpherd of the sheep. We ask that you would raise up new leaders who would be faithful to your Spirit and Word. We pray that the love, grace, and peace you offer will be known to all people. Amen.

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