- Pray for leaders that they may have courage and integrity to stand for what is right. Pray that they would be willing to ask God for wisdom in the decisions that they will make and that it will benefit the Canadian people and uphold a standard of righteous values for our nation.
- Pray our nation’s leaders will not be swayed from our Charter of Rights, which begins Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. Pray also for the freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, and freedom of opinion and expression.
- Pray that they Bill C-14, physician assisted dying, would not become the norm in Canada, but rather that good palliative care would be recognized for those who are approaching the end of life.
- Pray for wise and Godly counsellors to help our leaders reach their full potential. Pray for a generation of Josephs, Esthers, and Daniels who can advocate through wise counsel. Without wise leadership, a nation falls. There is safety in having many advisors. (Proverbs 11:14)
- Pray for the Supreme Court as they interpret laws relating to the Charter of Rights. Pray that these 9 judges will uphold foundational values protecting what God deems as just or unjust in our nation.
- Pray that our political leaders would be encouraged to live a lifestyle that promotes good health and endurance. (1 Corinthians 9:14)
- Pray for an awakening among Canadian Christians. That they would have a greater understanding of the times we live in and to seize the day to shine for Jesus. May we be strategic in how we equip the next generation, give a good defense for what they believe. Let’s press toward the goal that God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us.
- Pray that God would give you ideas and strategies to serve your communities and pray for your MLA and your MP.
Today is dedicated as Government Prayer Sunday. We have been requested to join together with other churches and pray for the government of our land. Scripture makes it clear that we should pray for those in positions of leadership in government. When there is a moral rot within a nation, its government topples easy. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. (Proverbs 28:2 NLP) Here are the prayer points
This is Father’s Day. It is our wish to celebrate each and every one of you that are fathers. Jesus was hugely honouring of His father. This verse and many other verses like it make it clear that Jesus believed that everything He had was given to Him by his Father. In honour and respect for His father He himself uses a word that is very much a part of a father’s character. He says, “I protected them.” We should realize that what we have as fathers is given to us. It is on loan. Our children are from God and ultimately they belong to Him.
Jesus was alert and aware of the dangers that faced His disciples. It is important for us to care and protect our families against the stresses, lies, wrong judgements, and diminishments that can come. We need to stand in the way of some of these things that come our children’s way. It is not that we over shelter them, but that we are there to share our wisdom and understanding. This then gives to them perspective and when unreasonable pressures come to them, they remember our words and they are like a protection to them. Fathers are also providers. It is much more than just money. Fathers provide friendship, a place of counsel; they are friends with their children, bringing insight and understanding for a fuller and richer understanding of life. Fathers are also promoters. We help move our children forward into life. I have always wanted my children to do well. It makes me happy and blesses me to see them flourish. In Mark 9:7 the heavens break open and Father God says to His son and to those who are around him, “This is my beloved Son.”
There are individuals who would love to take advantage of your investment into your children. When we closely identify with them, affirming them, and blessing them; we leave no room for doubt in their hearts and build a hedge of protection around them. Fathers should be those who pray for their children. One of the greatest gifts that I could possibly pass down to my children would be the gift of knowing the importance of prayer. When I pray as a father, I acknowledge that God is in control. I cast my cares on Him and as my family turns to me, I turn them to the Lord.
Finally, a father is a prophet in his house. I find myself telling my children from time to time what they are and what they can be. I like to speak to their destiny. I tell them often that they are better than this and you can go further than you have gone. Your life is not over. Get back in it and go for it. Deuteronomy 8:17 says you are above and not below. You are the head and not the tail. Those words are God speaking to His family. He is telling them not only what they are, but what they will continue to be. This is a great day and we celebrate our fathers and all they have brought into our lives. I want you to stand strong and be the men that God has called you to be. Without compromise love your children. Nurture and care for them and give them the love that they will never forget.
Philippians 3:13,14 NIV
The book of Philippians is said to be a happy book. Paul wrote this book when he was in Rome and in prison. In chapter 3 Paul begins with some very interesting words. In verse one it says to write the same things to you again. In other words there is a good possibility that there was a reoccurring problem in the church and Philippi. We need to look closely at what Paul is saying. He is warning against those who would trust and believe that they could make it on their own righteousness. In other words they felt that their acceptance with God would be by their right doing. Paul’s language is very strong. It sounds like he is saying some terrible things. He calls these people those who do evil, manipulators, and dogs. This is not the kind of tender words that Paul uses to those in the church. He is warning of those who infiltrate and bring concepts that are contrary to the message of grace. It takes a real connection with truth to empower you to let go of your past and step up into your future.
Paul then unpacks a list of his attainments and achievements. He says he is of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; and a Pharisee as for zeal. He says of himself as for legalistic righteousness he was faultless. Yet in all of that it was not enough. I truly think he thought it was an amazing pedigree. He says in the twelfth verse I am letting it go whatever I have done in the past whether good or bad, whether I was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew, a persecutor or a legalist. In verse 8 he says I consider it all lost.
Then in verse 14 he says I have a greater goal. I press toward that goal. The word press means to strain. It is the future that Christ had for him. Paul is saying I am not there yet, but I know there is more. This man, Paul, had planted many churches, two-thirds of the New Testament is written by him, and he has been on a number of extended missionary journeys. Yet he says I am moving forward. Paul makes it clear that he will not slip into complacency or apathy in regards to his life in Christ. I believe that the cross has come to get us beyond the past that we cannot change. That huge undertaking of the redemptive work of the cross is what sets us free to move beyond the past and into God’s purpose for our lives.
I am a strong believer that the past does not define your future. It is the cross of Jesus Christ and my conformity to his life that defines my future. The other day I filled in a paper for Statistics Canada. They wanted all sorts of information. Apparently it helps our government in future planning. After I did it, I realized that documents do not define our lives. Often we are told we do not have enough education, we are not smart enough, we are not gifted enough, we are not talented enough, and we are put within the limits of how others define us. Medical professionals say it is terminal, the problem you have is incurable, and it is over for you. It may be the facts, but it is not the truth. I ask you a question. Is God supernatural? Then put no limits on him. Nothing is impossible with Him and all things are possible at the same time. I want to dream God’s dreams. I want my future to be defined by what He has said therefore I press toward the mark; the high calling in Christ Jesus. I need to displace the lies of the enemy. I need to step into what God says and live it the way God would empower me to live.
In conclusion this is very much predicated upon our dealing with the past and all that went with it to realize that in this moment all of God’s opportunities are with us. It is time for us to engage with God for our healing; for our recovery; for our future, for our conformity to his son Jesus Christ.
Philipians 2:2 AMP
Stephen Partington related a story to me about his early youth. I believe it was the first time he suffered cardiac arrest. Stephen ended up recovering in the hospital with his dad by his side. His father cupped his face in his hands and said, “Son you are going to be okay.” The experience of his father reassuring him gave to him a resilience to survive many heart incidences since that time. Recently, upon examination of his heart, a specialist looking at his charts said, “You should be dead.” Things happen to us that we do not expect. Resilience gives to us the ability to recover. It infuses us with the buoyancy that we need in adversity and the toughness that is necessary to succeed.
The Latin root word for resilience is to leap back. Philippians is referred to as the happiest book that Paul ever wrote. If you understand the history of Paul’s life you will know that he had many encounters with persecution, abuse, and rejection. In all of this they were not the defining things that formed his person. Paul is joyous and is soundly established in his relationships. He talks about what happens in harmony with other believers. As you read Philippians, you see this marvelous resilience in the Apostle Paul. I want to remind you that scars may remind us of where we have been, but they do not have the power to dictate where we are going. Paul makes it clear in the book of Philippians that resilient Christians keep their focus on Christ. He also makes it clear that resilient Christians trust in the Lord, and finally that resilient Christians remember what God has said.
All of this leads to emotional health, the ability to be responsible for our feelings. Resilience strengthens the desire to let the past mistakes go. Forsaking perfectionism is another quality of a resilient Christian. Laugh at yourself; give yourself permission to enjoy life. Someone once said developing an attitude of gratitude. Healthy relationships that come from resilience make close connections. People who are in healthy relationship develop networks. They realize they are not doing it alone. Healthy relationships also give us the ability to communicate in healthy ways. Often people will cut relationships off and I realize sometimes that is necessary, but there is also something to be said for repairing damaged relationships. Healthy relationships develop mutual values. Within the development of healthy relationships we learn to give and receive. We are flexible, tolerate, and open and always have a heart to learn to love.
The need of this hour has always been for resilience to be a real part of our lives. As a church we have to bounce back from many circumstances. As individuals within this church we also are people who have come back. May the heart of resilience and the desire to celebrate resilience through Jesus Christ always be with you.
Senior Pastor Bill
Senior Pastor at Restoration Community Church.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.(www.Lockman.org)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2011