House and Health

A prayer request from Marie Grace:

I had posted the below prayer last week. And, I had hoped that the plumber who is to inspect under this house would have made an appointment with me by now, but so far have not heard from him. I am concerned that time is going to slip away from us. We urgently need a small digger to come to this property and rebore the drainage next to Dean’s bedroom where the water is turning the soil to mud. The whole house is incredibly damp right now.

Last week a person came to the house and inspected the tiles on the roof, and the water under the house. He found that the soil under the insulation mat was so wet you could pick it up and water come out of it. I have said this for at least a year. And the water under the house was everywhere.

The person also told me, that there is a firm here, that is certified to look after tile roofs, and that the tiles on this roof were made by a Levin company. So, that ends the nonsense I have lived under, (for 3 years) that the only firm New Zealand wide to do this work, is in Wellington. There is a perfectly good person here, who could safely do all of the inspections we have had, and write a report that has to be noted in the tenancy courts because of his qualifications in tile and tin roofs. He is to come and give a quote and a note for the report to be handed in.

I am really not impressed with all of this, and the severe impact on my health. I am now on 3 medications for my health. I have also had 4 emergency visits to the hospital. The last was yesterday, where my blood pressure was high, but not as high as it has been, hence the 3rd medication. All medications have come about due to the stress of the situation.

There already seems to be a hold-up. Please pray that the work goes ahead without delay. This is our 3rd winter with the exact issues which have caused my health to slide away. Please pray for a miracle intervention or better accommodation.

For tonight please pray Psalm 118:17 and Psalm 27:5-6 for me.

God bless everyone and thank you.

Marie Grace

COVID-19, D-Day and Dunkirk

An opinion piece by Myers Cooper

D-Day Prayer

Soldiers wading ashore from landing craft

I have recently enjoyed listening to archive recordings of the 24 hours’ continuous broadcasts by CBS following the first reports of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. CBS relayed a speech by King George VI, broadcast on the BBC, in which he said:

That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I
desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not
unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not
that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of
God: and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as
an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose.

I note firstly that the Sovereign called his people to prayer, secondly that he hinted at national sin (‘not unmindful of our own shortcomings’) and thirdly that he emphasised the need to do God’s will, not ask God’s blessing on human efforts.

President Franklin D Roosevelt composed a prayer on D-Day, which he broadcast to the people of USA. After praying for the ‘sons’ who were going into battle, he continued:

And for us at home—fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and
brothers of brave men overseas—whose thoughts and prayers are ever
with them—help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed
faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of
special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great,
I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As
we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words
of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

As I listened to the reporters and commentators speaking about the invasion, I also found it notable how often they mentioned prayer and dependence upon the Lord for the success of the invasion and the defeat of an evil regime.

Another War in 2020 but No Call to Prayer

Back in March, the British Prime Minister told his cabinet ‘we are engaged in a war against the disease which we must win,’ a simile that has been used often since then. But calls to prayer and an acknowledgement of our dependence on God’s mercy have been sadly absent.

In her address to the UK and the Commonwealth on 5 April, all that Her Majesty the Queen, the Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, could manage was, ‘many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that [self-isolation] presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.’

How sad that the leaders of our nation have not followed the example of their predecessors in past generations, have failed to respond to a national threat by calling for repentance and prayer and have instead made ‘the science’ their idol.

“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.”
Jeremiah 2:13

A Miracle of Deliverance

British soldiers on Dunkirk beach awaiting embarkation

Four years prior to D-Day, when our nation was facing the loss of thousands of British soldiers on the beach at Dunkirk with the threat of a Nazi invasion to follow, King George VI called the nation to pray. The King and members of the Cabinet, together with millions in all parts of the nation, Commonwealth and Empire gathered in cathedrals and churches to join in prayer.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated at the time that perhaps 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers might escape back to England. In the event, over 300,000 were saved. Churchill described the evacuation as a ‘miracle of deliverance’.

At the time of writing, nearly 400,000 people may have died as a direct result of COVID-19. The full effects on physical and mental health have yet to be assessed and the astronomical cost to the world economy has yet to be calculated. Second, third or more waves of COVID-19 or its mutations may come upon us. Politicians and scientists have not provided us with a ‘miracle of deliverance’.

A Gideon’s Army

If we wait for a queen, president or prime minister to call us to prayer, we may still be waiting and have done nothing when the next crisis comes. Nowadays, grass-roots, bottom-up movements seem more effective in mobilising public opinion and action than rallying cries from those in power. Revivals have started in response to the fervent, sustained prayers of a remnant. Gideon, an insignificant, inexperienced youth, led to victory an army reduced in size from 32,000 to 300.

Perhaps I should have written this article two months ago, but it is not too late for you and me to get on our knees and beseech the Lord for His deliverance, even if the leaders of our nation are looking elsewhere for a solution.

Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honour Me.
Psalms 50:15

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Isaac Watts

Christian Couple Under Death Sentence for Six Years to Face New Hearing

Pakistani husband and wife Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Masih, both Christians, were sentenced to death on 4 April 2014 on a charge of blasphemy. They had been convicted of sending blasphemous text messages to an imam from a phone number registered in Shagufta Kausar’s name.

Now, on 3 June, a final hearing of their appeal will take place at Lahore High Court. The couple are to be represented by Saif ul Malook, who successfully argued for Aasia Bibi to be acquitted of a blasphemy charge in January 2019. Justice Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, who upheld Aasia Bibi’s conviction before it was overturned by the Supreme Court, will preside over the division bench hearing the case.

Please pray for justice to be done and for Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Masih to be freed.

For further background, see articles from the Express Tribune and the BBC.

Update

3 June 2020: The appeal hearing has been delayed, with a new date yet to be announced.

Pastor calls for prayer as terrifying 100,000-acre swarm of locusts enters Uganda

Barnabas Fund reports:

A local pastor called for prayer as he reported, on 6 April, the arrival of a vast swarm of young desert locusts, estimated to cover an area of 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares), in north-eastern Uganda.

The upsurge that was predicted to arrive late April or May has already become a reality in early April. The immature locusts migrated in a dense swarm from Kenya, crossing the border at Karita sub-county, spreading to settle in the Karamoja region, Nakapiripirit district.

“Please continue in prayer for the Christians in Karamoja,” asked a pastor in the region as he told Barnabas that the fresh invasion comes at the “worst possible time”, when farmers in the region are planting new crops in the hope of a much-needed harvest in a few months’ time. The ravenous insects are already destroying recently planted staple crops including maize, beans, millet and sorghum.

Locust swarm

Read the full article.

Prime Minister of the UK in Intensive Care

You may or may not have heard the devastating news that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been taken into intensive care. Whatever your political views are, he is still our Prime Minister and the apostle Paul told us we must pray for those who are in authority. Let us all lift our Prime Minister and pray that he will recover quickly and be back at the head of government to take us out of this serious situation that we are in. Our prayers go to his family and those in government. Please share this with as many as possible and let us get a wall of prayer around this man.

God bless you all and may Jesus have all the victory.

Rev Ross Rennie

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