Friday, 15 February 2019

Prayer4UKToday 16th February 2019

Our Father in heaven Hallowed be Your Name Y@HOVAH TSIDKENU LORD our Righteousness Jer. 23:6 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in Heaven.

A Word for 2019 Part 2 by Clifford Hill

3. God Holds the Church Responsible

God holds his Church responsible for the state of the nation. This is what we learn from the biblical account of God’s dealings with his covenant people Israel and Judah. A keyword to the institutional churches in Britain for 2019 is Ezekiel 13:4, “You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it.” 

The wall around the city was there to protect all its citizens. The safety of everyone was in peril when there were breaks in the wall that were left unattended. Every walled city in ancient Israel had its engineers charged with the responsibility of constant surveillance. Hence the illustration in Amos 7, where he saw the Lord standing beside a wall with a plumb-line in his hand checking to see if there was a bulge, which would indicate corruption inside the wall that could lead to a sudden collapse such as that foreseen in Isaiah 30:12-14.

It was because Jeremiah had seen the inevitable consequences of the corruption in the nation that gave such an urgent cutting edge to his message: “Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart! Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent. For I have heard the sound of the trumpet, I have heard the battle cry. Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins…” This had not yet happened but prophetically Jeremiah could already see the disaster and because he loved his nation and he loved the city of Jerusalem, he could not keep quiet.

This is the kind of urgent prophetic compulsion that is needed in the faithful remnant of Bible-believing Christians in Britain today, if there is to be any chance of saving the nation from utter disaster. It is not too late to save the nation! But the task is urgent. The faithful remnant in the older generation has to be mobilised and stirred into action to ensure that the truth of the Gospel reaches the younger generation. Grandparents are in a unique position in Britain today and they are valued by their grandchildren.

It is not too late to save the nation! But the task is urgent.
These young people understand social media and the multitude of apps on their mobile phones. Their spiritual antennae enables them to detect fake news in a way that is beyond the capacity of the older generation. It is God’s intention to blend the old and the new in a unique way to advance the kingdom.

The message the faithful remnant (old and young) have to declare will not win them many friends but it will have such a ring of truth that it will penetrate the darkness that is enveloping all generations. The word of the Lord in Jeremiah 5:21 needs to be declared and it will be heard through the mouths of the faithful remnant, “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear. Should you not fear me? declares the Lord. Should you not tremble in my presence?”

The old and the new generations of believers are both needed in 2019 if the nation is to survive the period of intense turmoil that lies ahead. The battle facing us in Britain is a direct clash between the powers of darkness and those of the light. It is essential to understand the nature of this battle and much can be discerned from the life and ministry of Jeremiah.

In Jeremiah 5:3 he recognised that God had sent many warning signs to the nation: “You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them but they refused correction”. He saw that they were only the ordinary people, so he went to the leaders, religious and political, “but with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds” that connected them with the Lord God of Israel.

Jeremiah recognised that it was primarily the religious leaders of Judah who were responsible for the godless state of the nation: “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness, declares the Lord” (Jer 23:11). He describes this in some detail: 

Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: they prophesy by Baal and lead my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: they commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me, the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah... (Jer 23:13-14)

In understanding the spiritual battle erupting in Britain, much can be discerned from the life and ministry of Jeremiah.
This is what is happening in Britain among some of its church leaders who have embraced secular humanist values and are teaching lies to the people: devising celebrations for transgender people in the name of God instead of teaching them the truth and calling for repentance and change. They even pollute the minds of little children by encouraging them to cross-dress and to question their God-given gender created in the image of the God of Creation. God will hold to account the wickedness of these church leaders.

But even in the midst of judgment, the faithful remnant must proclaim a message of hope. Psalm 81 is a key to understanding this blend of judgment and hope. It begins with singing joyfully to God and moves into its message of warning and hope with the keywords “If only!” 

Hear, O my people, and I will warn you – if you would but listen to me O Israel! You shall have no foreign God among you; you shall not bow down to an alien God. I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it…If My People would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!…You would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you (Ps 81:8-16)

This is the message that needs to be proclaimed by the faithful remnant – the message of warning and of hope – if my people. It is the same message that Solomon received at the dedication of the First Temple (2 Chron 7:14). If those who are faithful in declaring the word of the Lord put their trust in him and are prepared to embody the message in their lifestyles as well as to fearlessly declare it through every media at their disposal, it will make an impact in the nation in the turbulent post-Brexit days ahead. We may yet see the promises of blessings given through the prophets coming into our nation.

Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing… (Joel 2:2-14)

Let’s pray for our Nation

O LORD our God, we have sinned against You, provoking most justly Your wrath and indignation against us, our country and our denominations. We have sinned in thought and word and deed, in what we have done and in what we have left undone, and there is no health in us, But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us. In judgement remember mercy.
Restore us again that we may praise Your Name and live as we ought. 
Restore us, heal our land, not for us but so that the nations will see Your mighty works and give glory to Your holy Name, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen [Submitted by Geoffrey Hilton-Turvey]
Restore, O Lord,
The honour of Your name,
In works of sovereign power
Come shake the earth again;
That all may see
And come with reverent fear
To the living God,
Whose kingdom shall outlast the years.
Restore, O Lord,
In all the earth Your fame,
And in our time revive
The church that bears Your name.
And in Your anger,
Lord, remember mercy,
O living God,
Whose mercy shall outlast the years.
Bend us, O Lord,
Where we are hard and cold,
In Your refiner's fire
Come purify the gold.
Though suffering comes
And evil crouches near,
Still our living God
Is reigning, He is reigning here.
Restore, O Lord,
The honour of Your name,
In works of sovereign power
Come shake the earth again;
That all may see
And come with reverent fear
To the living God,
Whose kingdom shall outlast the years.
Graham Kendrick & Chris Rolinson
Copyright © 1981 Thankyou Music
Psalm 23, Psalm 80:3, Psalm 80:14, Psalm 80:19, Psalm 85:4, Psalm 102:27, Psalm 136:1, Habakkuk 3:2, 3:6, Haggai 2:6, 2:7
[Submitted by Geoffrey Hilton-Turvey]

Please pray and share with your intercessors, Bible Study Groups, Prayer Groups, Church Prayers, Men & Women’s Groups. Thank you.

Las & Arlene Ratnayake

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