Psalm 119:73-80- please read the whole portion

Your hands made meand formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. 74 May those who fear you rejoicewhen they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. 75 I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulnessyou have afflicted me. 76 May your unfailing lovebe my comfort, according to your promiseto your servant.  77 Let your compassioncome to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.

Prayer is an appeal to our maker.    It is a cry for wisdom and understanding.  It is a call for joy and vindication for those who place their hope in God’s word.    It is acknowledgement of the justice and righteousness of God’s laws.  It is an expression of a deep trust which recognises that even when God afflicts us (or permits us to be afflicted), he is faithful.  It is a reliance of Gods unfailing love and compassion.  Prayer pleads the promises and the character of God.  Let us pray…

 “The antichristian state makes a market of religion; truth is made to yield to interest and profit.”  (Thomas Manton)  

Petition: Please join with us in praying for:

1.The World   – There have been 265,847,554 cases (up 4.417,133 – up 10%).  And 5,255,544 deaths of those with Covid (+56,419 – up 15%).   Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Austria, Denmark and South Africa are all significantly increasing.  India, Brazil, Iran, Romania, Chile and Singapore are all decreasing.    The signs so far are that the Omicron variant is less harmful and indeed it may be a good thing if it takes over from Delta as the predominant variant.

2. AustraliaThere have been 217,839 cases in total. (Up 9,857 – a 5% increase)

StateTotal CasesWeekly Change TW/LWTotal DeathsChange in Deaths TW/LW
ACT2,156+39 (+75)14+0 (+0)
NSW83,188+1,763 (+1,534)630+5 (+7)
NT294+10 (+20)1+1 (+0)
QLD2,152+32 (+8)70
SA968+37 (+9)40
TAS240+ 2 (+ 1)130
VIC127,789     +8,604 (+7,259)1,372 +50 (+45)
WA1,122+1 (+1)90

There are 541 people in hospital (+29) with 69 in ICU (+4).  There are 18,722 cases.   Now it appears to be South Australia’s turn with a small but growing number of cases.  

3. Vaccine and Cures – 4.32 billion people have received a dose of vaccine. 56.3 % of the world’s population.  Australia now has 79% one dose, 75% full dose and 2.1% extra dose.    We are still waiting to see whether the Omicron variant is affected by the vaccine. 

4. Church – Australia’s reputation in the wider world is being trashed by the perception of the harsh and authoritarian treatments being handed out by governments.   Whilst some of this is exaggerated there are worrying signs of an increasing authoritarianism.  This video from UnHerd is an alarming example – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGFdWcJU7-0

This has potential to impact the churches – authoritarians tend not to like freedom of worship and free churches.

5.  Personal and Family – Healthy marriages are essential for children, church and society.  Pray that the Lord would protect, guide and build up Christian marriages….and enable us to help others.

A Prayer of Repentance:   Lord, we confess our lack of discipline, trust and love.  We acknowledge that we have forgotten your word, love and compassion.  Teach us to keep our eyes fixed on you, and not on ourselves or others, the Jesus Name.  Amen.      

Song: As we head towards Christmas it’s carol time!   Many churches will be holding carol services although I suspect that few will attempt this version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel – one of my favourite renditions of a carol from Theocracy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E953eZgPMA

A Prayer of Thanksgiving:   O Lord, as we come towards Christmas, the time we remember your wonderful incarnation, enable us to sing of your coming, and to point others to you.  WE praise you that you are God with us.  In all the busyness of this season, may we take time to reflect, praise and pray, in your name.  Amen.