Psalm 119:65- 72

Do good to your servant according to your word, LORD.  66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.  67 Before I was afflicted,I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good. Teach me your decrees.69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.  70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.  71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. 72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

This is such a beautiful prayer.    It reminds us that God is good, that our afflictions can even work for our good, and that we have something far more precious than the riches of this world – which fade and disappear.  We have the precious word of God. 

 “When we have been in some perplexities, and begin to find out a truth…. Now when we understand truth satisfyingly, it breeds an incredible delight” (Thomas Manton)  

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – There have been 261,430,421 cases (up 3,909,456- a slight decrease from last week).  And 5,199,125 deaths of those with Covid (+48,625 – a 2% decrease).   The whole world seems to be getting into a panic about the new Omnicron strain, discovered in South Africa.  We can understand ordinary people feeling a sense of dread as the media hype and the politician’s spin. ‘Oh no, here we go again’.  But we need to realise that again we know so little.  Tom Holland, who is not a Christian, tweeted the real Christian perspective – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and staff, they comfort me’ – History’s most powerful vaccine of the mind….” 

2. AustraliaThere have been 207,982cases in total. (Up 9,537– a 5% increase)

StateTotal CasesWeekly Change TW/LWTotal DeathsChange in Deaths TW/LW
ACT2,117+75 (+189)14+0 (+0)
NSW81,355+1,534 (+488)625+7 (+27)
NT284+20 (+33)00
QLD2,120+8 (+8)70
SA931+9 (+2)40
TAS238+ 1 (+ 0)130
VIC119,185     +7,259 (+7,280)1,322 +45 (+51)
WA1,121+1 (+8)90

There are 512 people in hospital (-35) with 73 in ICU (-17).  There are 14,266 active cases.

3. Vaccine and Cures – 4.26 billion people have received a dose of vaccine. 55.5 % of the world’s population.  Australia now has 79% one dose, 74% full dose and 1.6% extra dose.   Concern has been expressed about whether the new Omnicron variant can be dealt with by the vaccine – although there is no evidence yet that it cannot.   

4. Church – Further to last week’s comments on some churches in Australia experiencing a decline in attendance – a report from Evangelical Alliance in the UK says that many churches are experiencing a decline in both attendances and giving.  Pray that the Lord’s people would be renewed and revived, rather than discouraged.

5.  Personal and Family – Many of us have relatives, or are ourselves, suffering from long term illnesses.  Pray for those who are going through this.  Pray for healing, peace and the knowledge of the Lord’s presence.

A Prayer of Repentance:   Lord, we confess that we give up far too easily.  That we do not take our encouragement from your word and promises.  That we too easily listen to the whispers of the Accuser.   Forgive and renew us.  In Jesus Name – Amen.    

Song: As Tom Holland reminded us – we need fear no evil if the Lord is our shepherd.  Here is the Townend version of Psalm 23 –

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:   O Lord, you are good, and you do what is good.   The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold, Praise your Name, Amen.