Prayer & Praise
We give thanks for the gift of Easter that runs beyond our explanations, beyond our categories of reason, even more, beyond the sinking sense of our own lives.
We know about the powers of death, powers that persist among us, powers that drive us from you, and from our neighbor, and from our best selves.
We know about the powers of fear and greed and anxiety, and brutality and certitude. powers before which we are helpless.
And then you … you at dawn, unquenched, you in the darkness, you on Saturday, you who breaks the world to joy.
Yours is the kingdom … not the kingdom of death,
Yours is the power … not the power of death,
Yours is the glory … not the glory of death.
Yours … You … and we give thanks for the newness beyond our achieving.
Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 161). Kindle Edition.
Praying for you big brother.
Amen. The LORD is risen. He is risen, indeed. Happy Easter all!
Blessed Easter to everyone here.
Dude and I could use a little prayer, I know its kind of just a pet, but we lost one of our girls today, and since we don’t have kids, we are “those” pet people…. anyway. it was not unanticipated, but still, not easy. thanks
Praying for you and Dude, gg.
Please pray for my 20 month old grandson, who was born with a severe heart defect. He is having a “minor’ surgery tomorrow, but for a CHD baby, any surgery is life threatening. His baby sister was born, 3 weeks early, this past Friday, but they have decided to go on with the surgery, as it will improve his quality of life. Please pray for my son and his wife and their babies as they look unto the Lord for His protection, grace, strength, and healing.
He is risen!!! And our hope is in Him.
Happy Easter, thankful for the Hope we have because of Him.
Gomergirl and Nonnie, praying!
I am borrowing that Jim.
He is Risen!
“Aren’t two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father’s will,..”
Lord please be with Gomergirl and Nonnie this day. We would ask that You answer prayers and bring Your comfort to them in great measure.
We put our hope and trust in You! You have conquered death and have risen from the grave. There is no one like You, no one.
We also would like to lift up Michael and son to You that you would show yourself kind and merciful by providing and watching over them always.
May this always be a place known for glorifying Your son Jesus Christ and a refuge for those who are wounded and seeking peace and safety.
Please continue to bring them in and may the voices of those who truly serve You minister to their needs and address their issues by Your Holy Spirit.
We give you all our praise for You are worthy.
In Jesus name we pray.
If any be a devout lover of God,
let him partake with gladness from this fair and radiant feast.
If any be a faithful servant,
let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.
If any have wearied himself with fasting,
let him now enjoy his reward.
If any have laboured from the first hour,
let him receive today his rightful due.
If any have come after the third,
let him celebrate the feast with thankfulness.
If any have come after the sixth,
let him not be in doubt, for he will suffer no loss.
If any have delayed until the ninth,
let him not hesitate but draw near.
If any have arrived only at the eleventh,
let him not be afraid because he comes so late.
For the Master is generous and accepts the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him who comes at the eleventh hour
in the same was as him who has laboured from the first.
He accepts the deed, and commends the intention.
Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord.
First and last, receive alike your reward.
Rich and poor, dance together.
You who fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice together.
The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.
The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.
Let none lament his poverty;
for the universal Kingdom is revealed.
Let none bewail his transgressions;
for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death;
for death of the Saviour has set us free.
He has destroyed death by undergoing death.
He has despoiled hell by descending into hell.
He vexed it even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he cried:
Hell was filled with bitterness when it met Thee face to face below;
filled with bitterness, for it was brought to nothing;
filled with bitterness, for it was mocked;
filled with bitterness, for it was overthrown;
filled with bitterness, for it was put in chains.
Hell received a body, and encountered God. It received earth, and confronted heaven.
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen! And you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is risen! And the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is risen! And the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen! And life is liberated!
Christ is risen! And the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power, now and forever, and from all ages to all ages.
The Paschal homily of St John Chrysostomos
Xenia that was wonderful
Beautiful service this morning at Church. The children, really young up to about 14 years old, led the whole worship service, narrating the gospel message throughout. Powerful presentation of the gospel by the pastor, followed by corporate communion. It is so good to be back into a local congregation!
“Christ is Risen” all across the globe. (The Resurrection Icon shows a victorious Christ yanking Adam and Eve out of Hades by their wrists.)
And oldie but goodie from Beirut, Lebanon (2011) “Christ is Risen” flashmob.
Whoops, cut and paste mistake.
Here’s the Arab flashmob:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
We had a wonderful time at Church last night. The Pascha service began at 11:30pm and the church was packed. Lots of peeps I never saw before, may they be blessed! We had a procession with banners, icons and the cross outside around the Church culminating with the Paschal Troparion (“Easter Hymn”), examples of which you can see the the videos I posted. We sang that song over and over. Then came the reading of the Paschal Homily (“Easter Sermon”) by St. John Chrysostom that I posted. This is read in every EO church for Pascha, usually read with considerable enthusiasm. Then came the reading of the first part of John 1 (“In the beginning was the Word….”) in 7 languages, with my dear husband reading the Spanish version. We had Chinese, Danish, German, Greek, English, Slavonic, etc. Then came the rest of the Liturgy, same as always but greatly extended by the wonderful Pascha hymns. Finally Communion and then we had the breaking of the fast in the Church Hall (I brought macaroni and cheese; someone brought a leg of lamb!). We ate entirely too much, drove a young friend home across town, and finally got back to our house at 5 AM. Later on today there’s a parish meal at Fr. G’s house.
Bells, incense, flowers, glorious singing, the love of our brothers and sisters and above all the GOOD NEWS to ALL that CHRIST IS RISEN, death is defeated and we are made free!
“Christ is Risen” around the globe, part 2.
Prayer Requests: April 21-27
Nonnie “Please pray for my 20 month old grandson, who was born with a severe heart defect. He is having a “minor’ surgery tomorrow, but for a CHD baby, any surgery is life threatening. His baby sister was born, 3 weeks early, this past Friday, but they have decided to go on with the surgery, as it will improve his quality of life. Please pray for my son and his wife and their babies as they look unto the Lord for His protection, grace, strength, and healing.”
Gomergirl & Dude They lost one of their pets over the weekend…we have so many pet lovers in this blog family, pray for mercy for them as they grieve losing a beloved pet.
CCFTL, Coy Family Pray for all involved in this situation.
Paigemom’s Daughter and Son-in-law Eric and Sarah S. “My son in law has been out of work for months. He is a sweet, faith filled, hard worker with many skills and education. He is also struggling with depression and severe self doubt. My daughter works part time. Both are ‘hanging in there’ by faith, but both are weary and wonder if they have been ‘cut off’ from God’s care. Eric and Sarah S.”
Derek Car trouble! Pray for a solution to his wife’s car issues, with the least amount of expense.
Gary He has been let go from one of his jobs, which provided the most finances, and has also found out he has to move. Please pray for a solid job opportunity and something to come quickly for housing. Also, just for some encouragement during this frustrating time.
Scott Praise for all that God has done and prayer during this time of transition.
Erunner’s Cousin John Continue praying for his salvation, and for him to accept E’s ideas and ways of practical help for his needs.
Erunner’s Mom She is beginning to show more signs of her dementia. Continue to pray for Erunner and his family as they deal with her progression in this (her mother and aunt both died in advanced stages of dementia). Pray for wisdom and grace and mercy, and pray for his mother as she is at this terribly difficult stage of knowing that she is slipping into this loss of her mental abilities.
Erunner’s Wife Belinda She is having elbow replacement surgery, most likely in May.
Michael Needs a job and income. Now.
J2thePerson In the process of filing their disability application online and hoping to have it expedited…if it is not, there is a 5-6 month wait. They have a great case worker, so praying she is able to help them and have this done quickly.
Chile Continue praying for their family member who was given just two years to live.
Ryan Prayers for him as he is dealing with loneliness and a desire for true friendship.
Derek Be praying for his friend Dennis who served two tours with Derek and is possibly PTSD, continued prayers for mercy for this man.
London Continue praying for her eyes.
Sarah’s Nephew-in-Law Blake Serving 9 months in Afghanistan. Pray for safety.
Pastor Saeed FREEDOM
Great videos, Xenia! Those were wonderful!
We had a wonderful service as well. We have a couple who are part of the church who are “modern” hymn writers. The Gettys…you probably know their “In Christ Alone” hymn. Anyway, they led the worship along with a small orchestra, which is very unusual for us.
The whole service I was thinking how much my mom would have loved the service and the music. It was exactly what she would enjoy. So I called Dad immediately after the first service and was able to talk him through bringing up the livestream and he was able to watch the second service live.
Mom has no ability to concentrate anymore. She cannot read anymore, and she cannot follow any type of story, so she has no patience level for television. She basically is non-stop questions. When I called Dad he sounded worn out already, and it was only 8:30 his time…it had been a rough morning.
Mom, however, was drawn into watching the service on his computer and Dad said she watched the whole thing! Huge praise for that. Dad cannot go to services anymore because she just is tough to handle for lengths of time. So, he hasn’t been to church in ages. I was so happy he was able to watch this and it blessed him.
The Gettys are wonderful folks…Keith hangs out in the 2 yr old room with us with his daughter Eliza. Any man willing to do that is golden 😉 Here’s a link for them if you are interested…they’re great: http://www.gettymusic.com/
Thank you, Sarah…and may God bless your dad in every way.
Thanks, Michael…it made me so incredibly happy he was able to enjoy the service. Plus he has the link now and can watch whenever he wants.
Praying you have good news today.
I love those modern hymns. Move over Bryan Jeffery Leech! (Short of stature; high of speech.)
Yesterday in my small group, (about 30 of us) we prayed for 2 ladies who both had a stroke this last week. A few minutes after we finished one of those ladies walked in the room. She told of how God miraculously healed her in the hospital. I don’t know the extent of her stroke but the one thing she told about was that she was told she would not walk again. When the nurses saw her walking around praising God they were shocked. She was telling everyone it was Good Friday and God was good! She led one lady to the Lord.
Last night I got an e mail from one of my pastors. He said the other lady died.
Make your own application. Am I allowed to say that? I hope so.
It’s been ages since I have typed a prayer out on here. I know some are uncomfortable with “praying” in type, and I do not want to offend or make anyone feel like we are parading our prayers. We used to do this more regularly, and today it just feels right.
Dear Father…Holy God.
What a celebration yesterday. Status updates and pictures all kept coming through the day. Families together, friends together. Music and worship and sermons. So many different styles and dress and looks…but all proclaiming
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!!
Today, though, Father…Monday morning. Father, help us to carry that sense of delight and worship and wonder from Easter with us through this week. May You Holy Spirit quicken our hearts to the reality of a Risen Saviour. It still is hard for me to really grasp, and I wonder if I ever will.
Still..I know that I need You, and I know that I need a God who has conquered all. A God who can rescue and redeem, and change.
Father, be with all these in need on our list. Be with baby Bennet. Guide those doctors and nurses and all who will have a hand in his care. Give them wisdom and alertness. Give them great compassion for this wee image bearer. Be with his mom and dad and new baby sister…give them strength and patience and grace as they walk through this surgery. Give them wisdom in caring for him as he recovers…and we pray for great strength in the coming months for baby Bennet.
Ahh, Sweet Jesus…be the comforter for Gomergirl and Dude. Give them peace and space to grieve even the passing of a pet. Thank You, Lord, for creating these creatures who have so much love and fill our lives so full. Their departure is so hard.
Father…continue to be at CCFTL. You know the truth in the midst of the confusion and deceit and remorse and sin. You know the way to healing for that community and for the Coy family. Make the path clear. Silence the voices that spout spitefully or stir up dissension. May your grace be abundant in their midst. And Lord, raise up men who are strong leaders in their midst. Men who are unafraid of man, who are strong and willing to confront when needed…men who love Your Body well. Raise them up, give them strength and wisdom to lead in the midst of all the mess.
Father, be with Eric and Sarah this morning. Clear away the depression and the doubt and embrace them this morning. Give them hope and sustain them. May your presence be with them, and I pray as well for Paigemom for wisdom and strength as she encourages them. Be gracious to them, Father.
Father, be with Derek’s family…provide for their needs. Thank you that the car has been running better, but we pray that finances will come together for any work that needs to be done. Just bless their family, Father, as they continue to seek you. Provide for their needs. Be with Derek’s friend Dennis as well and continue to minister to him through his friends. Again, I just keep asking for you to be gracious…to gather these who are so hurting into your presence and to heal.
Father, be with Gary. Provide his needs as far as housing and employment. I pray that you will make a way for one job that would provide his needs so he is not having to work so many hours. Praying as well for his emotional and spiritual strength. Grant him hope and patience and even joy. May the glory of resurrection and the reality a Risen Savior bring him great joy and peace.
Lord, I pray for E’s family. For his cousin John I pray that You will continue to draw him to Yourself. I pray that you will also allow him the humility to take the help E has offered him, the practical and physical help. Lord…be with E and his siblings as they care for his mom. Dementia is so incredibly difficult. Give them wisdom and unity, and I pray especially for the sister living with his mom. Give them wisdom in how to care for their mother. To know the timing of when she cannot drive, for when freedoms have to be restricted. Lord, be kind in their midst and with his mom. Calm her fears as she knows the reality of dementia from her sister, and she knows she is beginning to lose the control of her mind. Be gracious, again, Lord, to all in this family. Be with Belinda as well as she prepares for surgery. I pray that the doctors will perform well and she will have great relief.
Lord, be the Provider for Michael. I pray that he will quickly hear news of his interviews…thank you for this opportunity. Seal it, Lord. Be gracious to him and bring him the work he is eager to accomplish to provide for his needs.
Father, be with J2 and her husband. I pray again for great grace for them. I pray that all the paperwork will go through quickly and there will be no issues. Give them favor and provide for their needs. Ease her husband’s pain. Bring them continued great joy through their little girl.
Father, be with Chile’s family member. I pray for wisdom for all the family in dealing with such a difficult diagnosis. Give them…again…grace. May the reality of Easter be even stronger for them in this season. The reality of eternity and the One who has conquered death.
Lord, be with Ryan. Ease his loneliness and bring people into his life who can truly be friends. Gather up those who are true to him and those he can rely on and know. Bless him today and provide for him in this very needed area of life.
Father, be with London and continue to heal her eyes. Give her and her drs insights into what the issue is and a way to solve it. Bless her as she continues to seek ways to help those who are in need, and continues as well to carry Ukraine close in her heart. Give her grace to carry those burdens and not be crushed.
Lord, be with Blake. Keep safe. Bless him and use him to encourage those around him. Continue to strengthen his faith and mature him.
Father, thank you for Saeed’s letter that is making its way around the internet. Thank you for words from this man so many of us have been praying for. Be with him today and remind him that he is not forgotten. Ease his pain and heal his body. Continue to minister to him and encourage his heart, and continue to use him to share Your Gospel with those in his midst. Still, Father…free Saeed. Free your servant. May your gaze rest on him today.
Father…so many needs. So many struggling. Be in our midst and strengthen and give grace. Bind up those who are wounded and comfort them. Give us wisdom in our words today and compassion even in confrontation. Fill our hearts with true love for Your Body and for the world. Increase our love. Constantly. Forgive us for our arrogance and our selfishness and our impatience with those around us. Mark this day, Father, as yours and grasp our thoughts. Help us to truly think on You, to walk in the reality of Resurrection and to be used by you to bring light and life.
Wow, Gary. That would be a bit of an emotional ride…from the one woman to the email about the other. That is our walk in this world, though, isn’t it…and I’m sure that’s incredibly tough to have one healed and one not from your own congregation and in such a dramatic timing. Hard to praise and grieve in the same moment, but I think that is what we have to learn in this wounded world, isn’t it?
Thank you Sarah!!!
I still haven’t found a place. I’ve answered about 25 ads. Many were frauds. I answered more this morning. Last week a friend at church offered my wife and I a room at her house for May. Yesterday she changed her mind and made a lame excuse. (Actually I wasn’t surprised.) I sense the Lord is saying not to worry. He always comes through. So I’m looking and waiting on the Lord.
That was wondrous.
Michael…you’re welcome. Felt good to ‘pray’ here again.
Gary…how crazy that people advertise false housing. Goofy. Praying something comes through quickly, or a solid offer from someone.
Thank you for praying for Bennet. He came through the surgery very well. Because he is a heart patient, they kept him overnight. Hopefully, he and Daddy will be going home later today.
So what do you do when a lot of people, both believers and unbelievers, both with authority and without authority, from different places with different spheres of influence, ALL want the same longterm results, but they all have different motives, desires, and reasons for those results. Such is the situation in my town, literally in our church’s backyard
That’s what I am faced with right now. To what extent does God want me to be a leader in this madness, since most of the folks involved don’t seem to really desire my input – only what we can provide for their personal (selfish?) wants and goals.
Yet, almost nobody I have met can see beyond their own vested interests, recognize their own inexperiences, and grasp the big picture and the multifaceted nature of this issue.
Lots of prayer needed. Lots. Waiting on the Lord, feeling like Esther a little…wondering when (or if) to speak up.
Will pray…and I think your input would be invaluable in that situation.
No words of wisdom…wouldn’t even have an idea how to give input. Praying for wisdom for you, though, Steve. Praying for insight and wisdom, patience and boldness…all in the right measure and timing.
Thank you Michael and Sarah.
praying here too Steve. you can do it.
Praying for wisdom Steve.
Hey everyone. The world’s foremost GI doctor specifically recommend a particular surgeon to work on my bowels. Well, the insurance company denied this multiple times so I’m forced to head in network. The surgery will be soon. However, this is a time for me to rest in the fact that God’s ways are higher than mine and just because I can’t see a good reason for something does not mean a good reason does not exist. It always does.
Thanks for your prayers.
Praying for you, Neo…that just the right dr will be provided. Sorry that the recommendation of one so respected couldn’t sway the insurance company. That stinks. Praying it all goes well, and that you soon are healing.
Praying for you Neo. God’s peace be with you