|Intercessors for Canada|
Mid-Month Notes - April 2003
RESURRECTION SUNDAY IS GOOD NEWS
Millions of Christians all across Canada celebrated today that Christ is risen from the dead, is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High as the perfect Intercessor, and will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. He has asked the Father for the Nations, including the Middle East! This has got to be the best news ever!
IRAQ ETC - THE CHALLENGE FOR THE INTERCESSOR!
As a patriot there is a natural tendency to support our own nation and it's allies in a time of conflict especially where young North American lives are at risk. But for the intercessor, demanding results from the Almighty, there has to be another natural tendency - to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church and to the Nations. It is easy to react with a snapshot opinion of a situation but a time of listening prayer and careful Bible study are essential to find out what is really happening. In a fallen world we cannot assume that our political leaders are automatically serving the interests of the Kingdom of God. To discern the unshakeable Kingdom we must know that we are part of a new holy nation that has a higher calling on our lives: see 1 Peter 2:9
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (ethnos), His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ..."
So how do we pray? First of all we pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4 :- for all in authority in the Nations, for wisdom and mercy on national leaders in their decision making, but supremely for the spread of the Gospel. To pray for the Body of Christ in these Muslim countries, for their preservation and multiplication. Pray through Isaiah 19:16-25 where Assyria (Iraq and Syria) are described as the 'work of God's hands', with the promise of Israel, Egypt and Assyria worshiping together. But above all pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the conversion of the Jewish people! For me the Holy Spirit is highlighting the book of Zechariah. In the day of the Lord (Zech 14:1-2), Jerusalem is the last days' focus of the Nations. I pray for mercy on any leader, (or Quartet), who decides to plan the future of Jerusalem without reference to the Almighty (Zech 12:2-3). This is the Biblical challenge for the Nations and calls us higher above politics and posturing to seek God for mercy on Canada and America.
DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE
The critical issue of the definition of marriage continues to make its way through the parliamentary process and across the country. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has recently been in Vancouver, Edmonton, Moose Jaw, Steinbach, Halifax, Sussex, Sudbury and Toronto. They resume soon in Rimouski and Montreal in Quebec, April 28-29, and conclude in Iqaluit, Nunavut, on April 30th. They are researching the views of Canadians regarding changes to the definition of marriage including the recognition of same-sex couples. An excellent defense of the traditional view of marriage was presented in Vancouver by the Rev Ed Hird of St. Simon's Anglican. Ed can be contacted at Ed_Hird@telus.net for a copy of his presentation. It seems incredible that we should even have to think about praying for the definition of marriage, but pray we must! Pray for the Standing Committee in Quebec and Nunavut and for those who will make godly representation.
S.A.R.S. - SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME
This has become very serious as the 14th person in Canada died yesterday as a result of SARS. Toronto is especially hard hit with distress, precautions and significant economic effects. St. Michael's Cathedral even announced that "Until the SARS outbreak is over, confessions will not be held in the confessionals". Here is a breakdown across the nation: Ontario: 128 probable and 123 suspect cases. British Columbia: 4 probable and 39 suspect. Alberta: 5 suspect. Prince Edward Island: 4 suspect. New Brunswick: 2 suspect. Saskatchewan: 1 suspect
David Demian summed up our necessary response very clearly in the Watchmen Update for March 31st:
"I also feel an urgency in my spirit that we as the church of Canada must come in humility to the Lord at this time about the crisis in Ontario. According to the current news reports, Ontario has the highest number of SARS cases of anywhere in the world outside of Asia. Let us cry out for mercy for Ontario even as we are crying out with Hong Kong. Let us ask the Lord to give wisdom to the Ontario health officials, to comfort those who have have lost loved ones and to give His peace to the anxious hearts of the thousands of men, women and children that are now in self-imposed quarantine. And let us pray that in this time of need our nation may come to a deeper realization than ever that our only hope and our only safety lie in Him"
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