Psalm 97     Please read the whole Psalm:

 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. (v.1)

It is good for us to remember that there is only one ultimate ruler.  The Lord reigns!  All over the world.  Whether people acknowledge or accept his rule – he reigns.  The heavens proclaim his righteousness and all peoples see his glory! Let us remember who we are praying to – the Sovereign King!

“But if suffering is good, ought it not to be pursued rather than avoided?  I answer that suffering is not good in itself.  What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and for the spectators, the compassion aroused, and the acts of mercy to which it leads.”   (C S Lewis – The Problem of Pain).

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – The number of confirmed cases is 135,761,557 (+ 4,618,564 – a 12% increase).   The number of deaths of people with Covid is 2,932,239 (up 81,790 – a 20% increase).  Brazil is seeing 4,000 deaths per day.   India is now over 150,000 new cases per day.  France has also seen a substantial rise. Both the UK and the US are reducing considerably as the vaccination programme takes effect.

2. AustraliaThere have been 29,405 cases in total (up 57 compared with 88 the week before, with 0 being community transmission (-14 last week). 

State Total Cases Weekly Change TW/LW Total Deaths Change in Deaths TW/LW
ACT 123 +0 (0) 3 0
NSW 5,330 + 30 (19) 54 0
NT 112 +0 (+4) 0 0
QLD 1,502 +13 (43) 6 0
SA 666 +7 (9) 4 0
TAS 234 + 0 (0) 13 0
VIC 20,485       +1 (1) 820 0
WA 953 +6 (+12) 9 0

In contrast with the rest of the world we are in a really blessed position.     There are 65 people in hospital (-13) with 1 in ICU (-0).  There were 248,170 tests with 0.2% positive. There are 132 active cases (-13). 

3. Vaccine and Cures – There have been 773 million doses administered worldwide (+125 million).  Australia has had over 1,136,000.  A considerable fuss has been made in the media about the relatively slow pace of the vaccine roll out in Australia – but there is little to complain about.  The Astra Zeneca vaccine is now not advised for under 50’s because of a tiny chance of blood clotting – to set in in perspective in the UK there have been over 20 million doses and 33 cases of blood clotting.   Australia has ordered another 20 million of the Pfizer vaccine.   Meanwhile lower income countries have only received 0.1% of the vaccines so far administered.

4. Church – Many churches remembered the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh this Sunday.  We give thanks for his life – and remember the Queen and all who mourn.  

5.  Personal and Family –  Remember those who have elderly relatives who need to be cared for and honoured.  May it be that there last years on this earth would be even greater and more fruitful than their former! 

A Prayer of Repentance:   

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Lord, we confess that we do not love you as we ought, instead we seem to love evil.  Deliver us from evil, especially the evil that resides in our own hearts.  Purify, cleanse and renew us,  In Jesus Name – Amen.

Song:  This is a beautiful version of City Alight’s Yet Not I but Christ in Me – by Selah

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:

Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the LORD you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

Lord, we rejoice in you, because you have made us righteous.  By your blood we are cleansed.  By your Spirit we are renewed.  By your cross we are forgiven.  So light shines on us and joy comes to our heart.  We bless your holy Name.  Amen.