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Prayer Blog

February 27 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Have you ever been approached outside the grocery store and asked to sign a petition for a ballot initiative? If 365,880 California voters sign such a petition, the state is required to place the proposed statute on the ballot. Obviously, this is not the kind of petition Paul is referring to in Philippians 4:6! We know that, but we Christians can slip into the error of thinking that the more people who pray for a particular outcome, the more likely God is to answer favorably. If enough people pray, He is somehow obligated to say YES.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because Lenore, a friend of my mother’s in Ohio, claims she has all the Catholics in Columbus (and, lately, all the Catholics in the state) praying for baby A.J.  It is deeply comforting to know that people in many places, who may never meet A.J., care enough about a sick baby to say a prayer for him. It is surely an expression of the love of God. But I don’t believe that adding names to the petition – to the list of people praying for A.J. – made successful surgery and smooth recovery more certain. That outcome was firmly in the hand of our sovereign God, who is not bound by opinion polls or ballot petitions. 
Here are some suggested prayer topics for this week:
1.  I read last week that Jews call the ten days between the Feast of Trumpets (modern Rosh  Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) the Days of Awe. It is a time for examining the sin in your life against Yahweh’s holy standard. Lent, which begins on Wednesday, could be considered the Days of Awe for Christians. Ask the Lord how He wants to use this preparation time before Easter to deepen your appreciation for Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice for your sins.
2.  Missions Month kicks off next Sunday. Pray that the events and resources planned by our Missions Council will accomplish the purpose of refocusing our attention on spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ near and far.
3.  Please continue to pray for the provision of just the right house for Paul and Diane Bautts to purchase in the Santa Margarita / Atascadero area. 
4.  A man seeking God submitted a prayer request card yesterday asking us to pray that he will have the strength to continue on the path God has provided for him. He also desires a relationship with his son. Encourage this man by praying for him.
5.  For several years, the work of Jim and Lynette Hatcher and the Greater Europe Team in Austria has been threatened by the Austrian government’s edict that they pay into the Austrian version of Social Security and Medicare even though they already pay into the American system. Several GEM team members have received bills in the tens of thousands of euros. Jim reports with praise and thanksgiving that the government recently canceled past tax claims against GEM missionaries in Austria. He asks that we continue to pray for full resolution of this double-taxation issue, as confusion remains going forward. Jim’s recent letter will be posted here this week for you to read in full.
6.  Lift up the men of our TLC program. Pray for hearts wholly surrendered to Christ, for victory over addiction, for progress in independent living skills.
7.  Stepped-up detention and deportation of illegal immigrants is causing real consternation among Latinos in Orange County and across the nation. Pray that our government and its representatives will do what is right with fairness and compassion. 

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert
Calvary Community Church of Brea