Hospital

I was in hospital having a gynae op and some tests- went well and Im recovering in time for our family holiday to France . Its times like this I realise our lucky we are in the UK having the NHS, it comes under fire alot but when it works its brilliant – the Nursing staff where lovely and I have no complaints about hygiene it was spotless .

Open Doors:Belarus

Belarusian authorities hand out huge fines to street evangelists

“I [Darius King of Persia] issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

– Daniel 6:26-27 [NIV]
Belarus

A Belarusian Baptist has been fined more than two months wages for “organised choir singing and conducting conversations on religious topics”, outside a Ushachi public market. A plain clothes policeman told the group of evangelists to stop, but leader of the group, Vladimir Burshtyn, replied that they were not disturbing public order and cited religious freedom guarantees in Belarus’ Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The evangelical group is a member of the Baptist Council of Churches which in 1961 broke away from the Soviet government-recognised Baptist Union in protest at regulations preventing missionary activity and religious instruction to children. Churches are now forced to register with the authorities or they face regular prosecution, a breach of international human rights standards. The dictatorship is one of the most repressive regimes in Europe. While the Eastern Orthodox Church has a privileged position; other denominations are viewed with suspicion and there are numerous attacks on religious buildings and cemeteries but the government makes little response.

In another recent case in the town of Osipovichi three police officers interrupted Sunday worship at the house of Mikhail Sotnichenko. Following the service, Sotnichenko, the congregation’s deacon, was charged with leading an unregistered religious community and subsequently fined two weeks wages.

Source: Forum 18

Prayer Points:

* Pray for Vladimir Burshtyn and Mikhail Sotnichenko that would find the money to pay their fines and would be encouraged to continue reaching out to fellow countrymen
* That God would use signs and wonders to appear to Belarusian people
* That the authorities in Belarus would faithfully uphold their constitutional international human rights and religious freedom commitments.

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

As some know I have been struggling with the lithurgy and tradition of my church – this as left me feeling confused ,, should I change churches – I even had someone tell me “ you get out what you put in” as if it was my fault that I didnt “feel” anything repeating prayers etc written ( not scripture) by men a couple hundred years ago . Well no more – I was listening to a Joyce Myer Cd on prayer , lent by a friend and the word Vain repetition popped on – I replayed it over and took a mental note to look into it futher – did Matthew 6:6-8 fit my situation – so easy to try and make things fit – a bit like make a square peg fit a round hole .

Matthew 6:6-8(New King James Version)

6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.


What is Vain Repetition?

Vain can mean unsuccessful or selfish so maybe this means not only selfish prayers but those that focus not on God but look how good I am at saying my prayers- going through the motions and to be honest that is what it means for me – I feel its going through the motions and missing the point , the connection with God.


I dont think repetition is a problem , I think its the vainness of our prayers which are the problem. If we pray ‘Lord, have mercy’ every day or every Sunday , whether its 10 times or 100 but it means little in our hearts, its pointless , if we are just reciting words, we are better off not praying at all! God wants my prayers, he wants them to genuine and heartfelt so Im going to go with what this tells me, this is not the type of prayers for me , it doesnt mean they are wrong or that mine are less than those traditional prayers – Gods looks into our hearts and sees the truth . Some are blessed by them and that is wonderful just as I feel blessed by a more modern church service and spontanous prayer .

But in the back of my mind , in the deepest part of me is this feeling that we tie ourselves too much to the traditions of man and if we dont let go of it , its a barrier to how we are with God.

Mark 7:6-9(NIV)

6He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
” ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

9And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

Open doors: Eritrea

EFFORTS OF CHINESE CHRISTIANS TO HELP QUAKE VICTIMS HAMPERED BY ARRESTS

“Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”

– Luke 18:7 [NIV]

Eritrea

More than 50 Christians were arrested by security police in May, adding to the 2,000 Christians already languishing in Eritrea’s prisons, some held in windowless shipping containers.

In a raid on 28 May, Eritrean security police arrested 34 Christians attending a prayer meeting. The group, members of the Light of Life Church in Keren, Eritrea’s third largest city, had gathered for prayer and fellowship in a local home. All 24 men and 10 women present were taken to prison, with their children left behind.

The raid was the second in the space of a week. On 24 May, 25 Christians were arrested while they were praying for the nation in a local home. They were detained and subsequently transferred to Eritrea’s notorious Wi’a Military Training Centre, where they are being subjected to harsh punishment.

The oppressive regime in Eritrea has outlawed all independent Protestant churches since 2002, closing their buildings and banning gatherings in private homes. Believers caught disobeying these restrictions are arrested and detained in appalling conditions, some in windowless shipping containers. They can be tortured for weeks, months or even years. Most of those imprisoned are not formally charged and do not receive any legal support.

Source: Compass Direct

Please pray…

  • Pray for the health of those imprisoned; pray that the Lord would help them to stand strong in their suffering and enable them to be His witnesses in these circumstances
  • Pray for their families, that they will know God’s peace and comfort in their distress
  • Pray that God will move powerfully in Eritrea, that those held without charge will see justice.

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family.
Because it is your prayer cover which supports and strengthens our work!

Prayer :I cannot do this alone

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Joni Eareckson Tada : A step further

Finally finished reading  Joni Eareckson Tada`s  A step further  which I borrowed from our church library .  Joni became paralized  after a diving accident and it is about her personal experience of  how God  uses  difficult periods in our lives to grab our attention to  reveal himself in a much more personal and  powerful way.  Joni`s life  is an example of how God does not promise us a life without problems – however he does promise that he will walk with us and give us the strength and determination to get through lifes trials and tribulations.  Well worth reading .