Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Prayer for Church and Nation

A number of Evangelical and Reformed churches in Northern Ireland and Scotland have adopted the practice of uniting in prayer at the beginning of each quarter of the year. At Crosslanes Chapel we shall be joining with them by holding prayer meetings for the Church and Nation at 7pm on the following dates in 2012, God willing:

Friday 13th April
Friday 6th July
Friday 5th October

Rev. John J. Murray has outlined matters for our consideration in the December 2011 issue of the Free Church Witness (page 16):

The times need changing. United prayer meetings are held on the first Friday of each quarter in Glasgow. Similar groups have begun to meet in Northern Ireland, Wales and England. The meetings are open to all evangelical Christians of whatever denomination. New meetings may be organized in your area or you may join in secret prayer.

1. The raising up of Reformers, in the spirit of Martin Luther
2. The breaking in of Gospel light into our dark land
3. The reformation of the church
4. The raising up of men with deep convictions
5. The preaching of the full-orbed Gospel of the glory of the transcendent God
6. Discipline to be exercised in our churches
7. The Holy Spirit coming in convicting and converting power
8. The restoration of family religion
9. The recovery of the Lord’s Day
10. The overthrow of false religion
11. The granting of repentance to us as a nation
12. The awakening of the church to the judgments of God in our midst
13. The re-assertion of the Bible as the supreme authority
14. The Reformed publishing houses and Societies to recover their cutting edge
15. The organisations: Christian Institute, Christian Concern and CARE
16. The conversion of the Jews

For faithful ministers in all parts of the UK
For the wealth of Reformed literature that is available for us today
For the worldwide opportunities for the spread of the Gospel
For the progress of the Gospel in South America and Africa
For the work in Muslim countries, especially Iran
For the large increase in the Christian church in China
For the vital influence of the Christian Institute in the UK

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND: In May 2011 the Church of Scotland Assembly voted in favour of allowing homosexual men and lesbians who were ordained before May 2009 to serve as church ministers. A number of ministers and elders have left the Church in recent days. Other ministers and congregations are wrestling over what to do.
LEGALISING GAY MARRIAGE: Governments in Westminster and Holyrood are consulting about plans to change the legal definition of marriage. It is at the behest of a small minority of activists.
ANTI-SECTARIANISM: The Scottish Government’s antisectarianism Bill contains a religious hatred law which may restrict free speech, including evangelism.
ABORTION Thursday 27 October 2011 is the 44th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act. Since then over 7 million babies have been aborted.

PRAYER: ‘I believe there is one thing for which God is very angry with our land and the Holy Spirit is doing little among us, viz the neglect of united prayer, the appointed means of bringing down the Holy Spirit’. Brownlow North
REVIVAL: ‘Never do men more realise than in time of revival that in all their previous career they have been scarcely half awake. In such time the conviction is borne home upon them that no fitful exercise of prayer will avail to obtain blessing. And their purpose as they seek to take the kingdom by force is to do violence to the lethargy and disinclination of nature and act as the Lord’s remembrancers’. George Smeaton.
FALSE THINKING: John Newton made it a rule never to attack error, nor warn his people against it. He said ‘The best method of defeating heresy is by establishing the truth. One proposes to fill a bushel with tares, now if I can fill it first with wheat, I shall defeat his purposes’. It did not work then and it has not worked for others in more recent times.
MILITANCY: ‘It is more than time that the church be reminded that militancy is of its essence. When a church ceases to be militant it also ceases to be a church of Jesus Christ. The church on earth is glorious, not in spite of its militancy, but precisely because of it... Thus militancy becomes synonymous with glory’. R B Kuiper.
LORD’S DAY: ‘As a general rule it will always be found that where there is no Sabbath there is no public worship. Once let people begin with no Sabbath and no ministry, and it would never surprise me if they ended with no public worship, no religion, and no God’. J C Ryle.
FALSE TEACHERS: ‘Such are the people today, with sickly kindness, will tolerate teachers of errors in our pulpits because they are such smooth-mannered and amiable gentlemen. They would rather allow error to be preached and souls to be deceived than hurt the preacher’s feelings. Let Baal be worshipped rather than drought come. Let the cancer kill its victim rather that the cruel surgeon use the knife. The best thing that could happen to some so-called Christian ministers of today is that they should be denounced in God’s name by their hearers’. J Sidlow Baxter.