Psalm 116    Please read the whole Psalm:

What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. 14 I will fulfil my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.

This is a beautiful psalm.  So appropriate in a time of crisis when we are faced with death.  As Christians we need to remember that Christ came to free those who for all their lives are held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:15).  When we remember that our death is precious in the sight of the Lord.  And that death is the last enemy which is defeated by Christ – then our attitude changes.  Our society lives in fear of death.  We live in hope. 

“What a sad condition the world would be in without gospel light!  All places would be dens of robbery, and mountains of prey.  Certainly we own much of civil liberty, and outward tranquillity to gospel-light.”   John Flavel

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – There have been 224,608, 627 cases (+3,969,949 – an 8% decline).   There are now 4,629,995  (+ 63,269 – a slight decrease) deaths of people with covid. The US, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam continue to see substantial rises. No one is sure why but the former epicenter of Covid, South America, is now seeing a steady decline.  Perhaps Covid just normally goes in waves – whatever governments do?

2. AustraliaThere have been 73,605 cases in total. (Up 11,996 – a 20% increase on the previous week).  

State Total Cases Weekly Change TW/LW Total Deaths Change in Deaths TW/LW
ACT 617 +119 (+124) 3 0
NSW 43,436 + 9,454 (+9,197) 231 +51  (+37)
NT 203 +1 (+1) 0 0
QLD 2,003 +25 (+6) 7 0
SA 894 +14 (+9) 4 0
TAS 235 + 0 (+ 0) 13 0
VIC 25,128      +2,186 (+1,497) 824  +1 (+3)
WA 1,089 +3 (+0) 9 0

NSW has dropped to around 1250 cases per day – the peak is expected this week.   Victoria is seeing increasing numbers every day.    There have been 1,412,110 tests in the past week.  There are 1,378 people in hospital (+140) with 257 in ICU (+60).  There are 17,909 active cases ( a drop of 7,681).   It is notable that all the vast majority of those who have died in NSW have been elderly, unvaccinated and/or with underlying health conditions.

3. Vaccine and Cures – There have been 5.66 billion vaccine doses (+250 million). 74 doses for every 100 people. Australia now has 22.17 million (87 per 100 people) .  The Moderna vaccine has now been approved for use in Australia.  In the UK it was decided not to vaccinate under 16’s as the risk for children was considered greater than the benefits.

4. Church – Pray for those who are suffering from Zoom fatigue!  To produce online services is a difficult task for those involved in the production.  But there are also those who are worn out having meetings on a screen all day! 

5.  Personal and Family –   Pray for healthy, growing and loving marriages.  May this time of crisis and trial be a time of growing in grace for those who are married. 

A Prayer of Repentance:  Lord, forgive us when we look to our own fears and not to your grace.  Forgive us when we forget that you are stronger than death and have already defeated death.  Enable us to live confident that your victory guarantees ours, in Christ’s name. Amen.

Song:    It is the biggest praise conference in the world this week – the Getty’s Sing.  Here is their version of He Will Hold Me Fast –

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:   

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cryfor mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. (Ps 115)