Special Times of Year
There is no more special time of year for Christians than Easter. We celebrate Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of our sins; we celebrate his triumphant victory over death.
For Muslims there is no more special time of year than Ramadan. During this month Muslims are fasting and feasting and spiritually searching. It is a great time for peaceful dialogue between Christians and Muslims. This year Ramadan runs from 13 April to 12 May.
For several years Christians have been running a Peace Tent in Lakemba during Ramadan and have had lots of great conversations. Please pray for friendly and helpful conversations in the Peace Tent this year.
Almost 30 years ago, a group of mission leaders were praying at a meeting in the Middle East. They committed to demonstrating God’s love for Muslim people. They produced a guide called 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, and a guide has been produced every year since. This year, the focus is on praying for cities – including Sydney, which has a quarter of a million Muslims. The full colour 30 Days prayer guide is available to order online here.
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son.
Yours in Christ
The next sermon series is on the Book of Job. Job can be an intimidating book. It deals with why a good God would allow an innocent man to suffer. It is long. Really long! And much of it is poetry.
In 2021 our world is wrestling with questions of suffering. The questions being asked in Job aren’t academic. I highly recommend Christopher Ash’s book ‘Out of the Storm’ as a guide to read alongside. It is short (only 111 pages), easy to read, and Ash combines a gentle pastoral tone with careful reading of the bible. He will not only help you navigate this sometimes distant feeling text, but constantly point you to Jesus – not in a flippant way, but considerate of the tension and drama of suffering Job and the questions that confront us all when we meet suffering. For those wanting to go a little deeper, his commentary in the Crossway Preaching the Word series is excellent – perhaps the best bible commentary I’ve ever used. Check Koorong for ebook and book stock. I’ve taken the title of the series from Ash’s commentary: ‘Job: the wisdom of the cross’. As we read Job together my prayer is that God will bring comfort to the afflicted as we see Job approaching suffering because he is a believer, and as a believer. Job foreshadows Jesus both in his blamelessness and in his perseverance through undeserved suffering.
- Ask that we might ‘trust in the Lord, rejoice and be glad in his salvation’. (Isaiah 25:9)
- Give thanks for those who came at Easter and ask that they will return.
- Ask that God might give us a heart for the lost and his power to witness.
- Give thanks that God is bringing the nations to Ryde.
- Ask for wisdom and guidance for the nominators looking for a senior minister, and the synod selecting an Archbishop.
- Pray for carers – that God might be sustaining and upholding them in their service.
- Pray for returned vets in lead up to Anzac Day, especially for those suffering PTSD.
- Pray for wisdom for rulers – that they might act in ways that are just.
- Pray for missionaries affected by Covid – that God might use even this pandemic for his glory.
- Pray for the parish as we read Job next term – that God’s word might be a comfort for the afflicted.
Prayer for those in need:
Ask God to comfort, strengthen and deepen the trust of those who are sick, grieving, or in special need at this time, especially Diane.
SOAP Bible Readings
Read Scripture daily, write a few thoughts, an application and then pray.
Week beginning 12th April
2 Kings 6-7
2 Kings 8
2 Kings 9
2 Kings 10
* Luke 6:1-10
* Sermon Reading
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. (Psalm 119:30)
This month’s diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, can be downloaded here.