Psalm 118    Please read the whole Psalm:

Let those who fear the LORDsay: “His love endures forever.” 5 When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

This is a great song about going up to the gates of righteousness, and then entering into the presence of the Lord.  It is a song rooted in Old Testament ritual but ultimately only fulfilled in Christ – the one who is the real cornerstone!  I love the image in v.5 of the Lord bringing us into a spacious place.  Just think how confined so many of us are in lockdown – but the Lord will bring us into a spacious place.  Pray that we would use our freedoms wisely and for his glory.  

“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” ― C.S. Lewis

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – There have been 231,808,663 cases (+3,315,640– a 15% decline from last week).    There are now 4,747,726 deaths of people with covid (+ 56,645 a 10% decrease). The US, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cuba, South Korea, and Israel have all seen significant increases.  Japan, India and Indonesia have all seen significant decreases in cases. 

2. AustraliaThere have been 97,540 cases in total. (Up 11,911 – similar to last week)

StateTotal CasesWeekly Change TW/LWTotal DeathsChange in Deaths TW/LW
ACT874+132 (+125)30
NSW58,931+ 6,945 (+8,850)351+56 (+64)
NT209+5 (+1)00
QLD2,022+7 (+12)70
SA901+3 (+4)40
TAS235+ 0 (+ 0)130
VIC33,273     +4,817 (+3,328)844 +13 (+7)
WA1,095+2 (+4)90

The good news is that in NSW the expected surge in cases has not happened and for the past couple of days the numbers have been below 1,000.  The number of people in hospital and ICU remains roughly the same.    The government have announced October 11th as the date when restrictions will be eased.   There have been 1,421,869 tests in the past week.  There are 1,493 people in hospital (+27) with 299 in ICU (+7).  There are 19,944 active cases (+349).   

3. Vaccine and Cures – There have been 6.11 billion vaccine doses (+190 million). 80 doses for every 100 people. Australia now has 26.5 million (104 per 100 people).  NSW will now reach the 70% fully vaccinated rate early next week, and the 80% by mid-October. 

4. Church – Give thanks that the NSW government announced today that once the 80% fully vaccinated mark is reached then there will be no need for vaccine passports in churches and vaccinated and unvaccinated will be able to worship together.  This is a significant concession negotiated by the main leaders of the churches.     It is to be hoped that the other States will follow.

5.  Personal and Family – Around ten people have been dying with covid every day for the past week.  May the Lord’s people be able to minister comfort and assistance for those who grieve.   Every day more than 450 people die in Australia. 

A Prayer of Repentance:  Lord Jesus, forgive us when our fears overwhelm our faith, when our sins overwhelm our graces, when our selfishness overcomes our compassion.  And grant that in all things we would look to you when we are hard pressed and confined, for your glory, Amen.     

Song:   Christ is our cornerstone…as this great song reminds us –

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:   

Open for me the gatesof the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes.  24 The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. 25 LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success!  (Ps 118)