Monday, January 16, 2006

O Canada, we stand on guard...

We are one week away from the federal election. Our church usually sets aside the first week of the new year for fasting and prayer. This year, that week was switched from the first week of January to this week (January 15-21) – seeing as how our country is on the verge of making this important decision.

Yesterday out pastor spoke* on how to prepare oneself for a week like this.

He read Scriptures like Isaiah 55:6,7 and Leviticus 11:44 , Leviticus 20:7, Joshua 3:5,6 and Psalm 24 in which the people of Israel were called to consecrate themselves to seek the Lord.

He talked about the meaning of ‘consecration’ – and that it involves a devoting, a setting apart from that which is common and unclean.

He named three things which can hinder or keep us from this:
- Distraction
- Delay
- Discouragement

He suggested ways we sanctify ourselves for this type of focused intercession:
- by immersing ourselves in the Bible: John 17:17
- by guarding our relationships, especially marriage relationships: 1 Peter 3:7


Personally, I see this week, among other things, as a time of intercession – intercession for my family, my neighbors, my province, my nation, and the impending election.

When I think of intercession, I get three pictures.

The first is of Abraham, bargaining with the Lord over the fate of Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33).

The second is of Moses, holding up his arms as the Israelites battle the Amalekites. As long as his arms are raised, his people win. But when he gets tired and lowers them, the tide of battle goes against his people. Thus Aaron and Hur join him, standing alongside and holding up his arms (Exodus 16:8-16).

The third is the picture in Joel 2:17 of the ministering priests interceding for the people, weeping between the porch and altar of the temple. (The song “Holy Visitation” by Charlie Hall is based on this scripture: sung in
this clip by Rita Springer.)



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