Ps 80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. KJV
It is not so much said, “turn our captivity,” but “turn us.”
All will come right if we are right.
The best turn is not that of circumstances but of character.
When the Lord turns his people he will soon turn their condition.
It needs the Lord himself to do this, for conversion is as divine a work as creation; and those who have been once turned unto God, if they at any time backslide, as much need the Lord to turn them again as to turn them at the first. The word may be read, “restore us;” verily, it is a choice mercy that “he restoreth my soul.”
from The Treasury of David by Spurgeon
This request is made at least two more times in this Psalm (v7, v19) and then a plea for God to turn as well.
Ps 80:14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; KJV
The whole Psalm, be it 2700+ years old, still makes for an appropriate prayer in our day. Such is the value of God’s Word over man’s word.
Return, we beseech the, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine.
“Prayer is born out of a comprehension of the standards and the plans and the principles and the precepts of God as revealed in His Word.” An excellent introduction to how to pray from a study of Dan 9:1-3. Daniel “observed in the books” and this lead to an awesome prayer. I. Prayer is Generated by God’s Word II. Prayer is Grounded in God’s Will III. Prayer is Characterized by Fervency
These are very trying times. We tend to forget all the battles that are on all the fronts that we are fighting these days. Grace church is constantly under attack. I am constantly under attack from unbelievable sources that you would be surprised to even know about. This is just part and parcel of life. We struggle in the spiritual areas with the families in our church. We struggle financially trying to meet needs. We have many battles and I really believe that it’s easy for people to sit in this church with all that we have around us and figure it’s all going so well, who needs my prayers.
And we say, Jesus is going to come anyway, and it’s all going to be well in the end. And we get very spiritual, but it’s really fatalism. And we never get on our knees with the fervency, and we never really identify with the will and the Word of God and the way that this beloved Daniel did. And consequently we miss that intimate communion.
You know, when you pray, you don’t always have to come to God for an answer. Sometimes, you can just come to God to carry the weight of the plan of God in your own heart. So that you can be identified with his great and eternal purposes. And I suggest to you beloved that the Lord isn’t telling us this all the time just so we can sit and walk out of here and forget it. The Lord is telling us this because he wants us to react to it.
I don’t believe we have ever seen in this church what God could do, if we became totally committed to prayer. If your theology messes up your prayer life, then you have got a bad theology, bad one. If you are studying the Word of God, then the natural response is that you commune with the God of the Word.
You know, I find in my own life that as I prepare a message, the whole experience of preparation is a combination of prayer and the ministry of the Word. I could never separate the two. For example, I come to a verse and I read it and I say Lord, what a truth and I usually get up and walk around because I have to move. Because, I get excited about it. Or I’ll come to a verse that I don’t understand and I say, Lord, I need your help on this, illuminate my mind, draw me to a scripture that will explain this. And the whole process of the Word is prayer.
Eight converts to Christianity, including five members of one family, were arrested in the southwestern city of Bushehr on Monday, 1 July.
The arresting officers introduced themselves as agents from the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).
They stormed the Christians’ homes in a coordinated operation at around 9am, confiscating Bibles, Christian literature, wooden crosses and pictures carrying Christian symbols, along with laptops, phones, all forms of identity cards, bank cards and other personal belongings.
Arresting agents also searched the work offices of at least two Christians and confiscated computer hard drives and security-camera recordings.
The officers are reported to have treated the Christians harshly, even though small children were present during the arrests.
Article18’s sources confirmed the names of the arrested Christians as Sam Khosravi, 36, and his wife Maryam Falahi, 35; Sam’s brother Sasan, 35, and his wife Marjan Falahi, 33; Sam and Sasan’s mother, Khatoon Fatolahzadeh, 61; Pooriya Peyma, 27, and his wife Fatemeh Talebi, 27; and Habib Heydari, 38.
Khatoon Fatolahzadeh, whose arrest came after six cars carrying security officials turned up outside her home, was released the same day due to her age.
Article18 understands that the rest of the Christians remain detained, with no access to lawyers, and are being held in solitary confinement in the MOIS office in Bushehr.
These latest arrests bring the number of Christians arrested in Iran this year to at least 34: eight in Bushehr, nine in Rasht, 12 in Amol, two in Ahvaz, and one each in Hamedan, Shiraz and Isfahan. For security reasons, it has not yet been possible for Article18 to report fully on each incident.
In May, Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi, openly admitted to summoning Christian converts for questioning, saying mass conversions were “happening right before our eyes”.
Speaking in London yesterday, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javaid Rahman, branded the treatment of Christian converts in Iran as “very disturbing”, saying it was something he was “personally concerned about”, and pledging that in the coming years he will “look into the issue very seriously”.
This isn’t the first incident to have affected Christians in Bushehr. In April, Article18 reported that 16 other converts from Bushehr lost their appeals against prison sentences for “propaganda activities against the regime through the formation of house churches”.
I lift up to You Lord all elected leaders from the school boards on up to the President, for Federal, State, Country, District, City, and Town levels, for all servants of the public welfare, that You would help them understand the nature of American government, that it is to serve the people, that they are merely representatives of the people for the good of the people. That they would be a force of resistance to those that would do evil and an encouragement to those that would do good. That their decisions would be based on the values stated in the Declaration of Independence, the principles of liberty, and in accord with their virtues, not their vices. That they would have wisdom and apply that wisdom that we may live a quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
A Pattern of Prayer
Neh 1:1-4 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol, that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
We are bombarded almost daily with news of barbaric acts of terrorism.
But if all we know about Islam is what we see on the news, we are missing an incredible story:
The greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history is happening NOW.
Everywhere Islam exists people are being drawn to Jesus Christ.
This is happening in direct correlation to increased movements of prayer.
Join Prayercast on a journey across the Muslim world during the month of Ramadan*. Each week we will focus on a different region, loving and lifting up representative nations in prayer.
* Ramadan: One of the months of the Muslim calendar, coinciding with 27 May-25 June this year. During this month Muslims around the world intentionally seek Allah through prayer and fasting, both among Islam’s five pillars, the most important requirements of their faith. Abstaining from earthly pleasures, Muslims seek the cleansing of their souls from sin.
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