Archives For Prayer

Dear Family and Friends,

Surely you have watched with me through the night and into the day the violent and evil act committed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last night. And, I’m sure that your heart is rent for the families – and church family – of the victims. For some of you this will be one more disconnected and sad event played out on your television screens and internet. For many others it will be personal as it is your friends who are personally affected.

It is right that you feel sickened and angry. It is right that you struggle to know what to do. We all do. Scripture tells us that in the diminishment or suffering of one, the whole church suffers. We are enjoined to weep with those who weep and to mourn with those who mourn. Today, we mourn and we weep with our brothers and sisters at Mother Emanuel and all of Charleston.

I had the opportunity to speak with a number of African American church leaders and individuals and in particular Bishops Al Gadsden and William White, fellow ACNA bishops in the Reformed Episcopal Church. Their pain was palpable and multiplied as they must also to minister to an REC priest whose wife was killed in the shooting. In a separate heart-rending conversation, one elderly African American man told me he felt like the clock had been turned back 50 years. It is difficult for me to process the pain and sadness of those who have lost loved ones in such a violent manner.

Many priests, lay persons and friends from across the area and the country have contacted me wondering how to respond in a meaningful way. Some will have gathered at Morris Brown AME Church for the prayer vigil this afternoon. Others will be gathering at The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul for prayer. We, St. Andrew’s and the Diocese of the Carolinas, will seek God’s face for wisdom and discernment as we seek to respond and act as agents of hope and reconciliation.

In these times one may ask, where is God? And the reply is, on the cross. For there he demonstrated once and for all his love for this sinful and broken world and he has promised us that he has not – nor will he – abandon His world.

Please join me in prayer as we remember

  • The families of those killed
  • The members of Mother Emanuel AME
  • The members of our law enforcement and first responders community
  • The members of the Charleston community

And pray that

  • That there would be no further acts of violence
  • There would be peace in our city
  • That unity may overcome estrangement
  • That joy might conquer despair

Lastly, I commend the following prayer to you and to our congregations across the Diocese of the Carolinas. Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina has sent the same prayer to the Diocese of South Carolina. Let us, in brotherly affection join our voices as we pray:

“O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples and races of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near: Grant to those who have lost love ones your hope, comfort and peace; grant to those members of Emmanuel AME Church a sense of your presence; look with compassion on the whole human family here in Charleston and across our nation; show us how to respond to one another’s hurt and suffering; shed abroad your Spirit on those who have lost faith, hope and trust in You and one another; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that in your good time all peoples and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Yours in Christ,

+Steve

St. Andrew's Mt PleasantOn Saturday, June 7 we will offer a Day of Healing Prayer. God’s heart is a heart of healing. Our focus for the morning will be responding to the heart of God and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit so that we will see the kingdom of God come in power to heal people in body, mind, and spirit.

Todd Simonis and John Burley will be sharing the teaching duties. The morning will include singing and praise, teaching, and prayer ministry with the laying on of hands. We will meet in the Ministry Center from 9.00 am until 12:30 pm. There is no fee for the event but please RSVP to Drew Miller (DMiller@WeAreStAndrews.com) so that we can plan for all who attend.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

A Prayer:

2012PuritanNamesO My God,Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves Thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before Thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with Thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless Thee for the soul Thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body Thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do Thy bidding;

for Thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness, for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing Thee clearly.

I love Thee above the powers of language to express, for what Thou art to Thy creatures.  Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Amen.

A friend forwarded the bulletin insert prepared by Cardinal Dolan for his parishes.  It summarizes the questions before the SCOTUS regarding the definition of marriage.  It is a helpful handout.  You may find it here.

Canyon Road: A Book of Prayer, an exquisitely designed treasury of over 300 spirit-provoking prayers, encourages you to attend to God’s presence, helping you exercise your voice in prayer and grow in your ability to hear God’s voice. The prayers, which are spoken in diverse genres, styles and languages, demonstrate how to deal with universal struggles such as healing, forgiveness, temptation, and betrayal. Written by Kari Kristina Reeves, a member of St. Andrew’s, Canyon Road recently won first place at the New York Book Show in the General Trade-Poetry category.

St. Andrew’s Rector Steve Wood notes, “Kari’s insight, reflections, and prayers give shape to the contours of our soul and words for the longings of our heart.” As the founder and principal of ATLAS Spiritual Design, Inc., Kari leads an international team that creates intuitive materials and interactive spaces to help people experience God through the power of Beauty.

Visit www.exploreatlas.org/canyonroad to learn more about ATLAS, read excerpts and endorsements, or to purchase Canyon Road: A Book of Prayer.

Chuck from St. Andrew’s Church on Vimeo.

Heart Corruptions

August 25, 2011

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man’s-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

~ The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan prayers and devotions

Join us for “Revive”

August 23, 2011

alpha south carolinaJoin us for “Revive – a Prayer Event for Charleston, SC” sponsored by Alpha USA/Alpha South Carolina

We’ll gather at First Scots Presbyterian Church, 53 Meeting Street, Charleston,  on Thursday evening, August 25th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm as we come together as one body in Christ and ask the Lord to revive us for the work of outreach and discipleship in the greater Charleston area.

Rev. Christian Zebley from Montreat, NC and several pastoral leaders from Charleston area churches will come together to lead us in prayer as we pray for the world, our nation and the people and communities of the greater Charleston region.  The evening will begin with worship followed by prayer for specific people, churches and organizations.  Participants will be invited to pray for each of these important areas of intercession.  The evening will end with an opportunity for personal prayer ministry and uplifting worship.  Come join us as we ask the Lord to revive Charleston for Kingdom unity and work.  Join us for a special evening of prayer, Christian unity and fellowship.

Here is the detailed agenda:

7:00 pm  – Welcome and Opening Remarks – Margaret Cotton, Regional Director of Alpha South Carolina

7:05 pm  – Worship

7:20 pm  – Prayer for the Unity of the Church, The Rev’d Christian Zebley, Alpha USA

7:30 pm – Prayer for the World – The Rev’d Dr. Anthony Kowbeidu, St Andrew’s

7:40 pm – Prayer for the Nation – The Rev’d Marshall Blalock, First Baptist

7:50 pm – Prayer for the Greater Charleston Area (leaders, churches, schools, individuals, families, children) – James Rogers, Youth Pastor, First Scots

8:00 pm – Prayer for Evangelistic Outreach (Alpha and other ministries)  – The Rev’d Al Zadig, St Michael’s

8:10 pm – Individual Prayer Ministry (prayer stations with prayer ministers from participating churches)

8:25 pm – Closing Worship song and prayer

cs lewis prayer“The practical problem about charity (in one’s prayer) is very hard work, isn’t it? When you pray for Hitler and Stalin how do you actually teach yourself to make the prayer real? The two things that help me are (a) A continual grasp of the idea that one is only joining one’s feeble little voice to the perpetual intercession of Christ who died for these very men. (b) A recollection, as firm as I can make it, of all one’s own cruelty; which might have blossomed under different conditions into something terrible. You and I are not at bottom so different from these ghastly creatures.”

Letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, 16 April 1940

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010

O source of all good,
What shall I render to you for the gift of gifts,
your own dear Son?

Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart,
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreate and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me!

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind!

Let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father!

Place me with ox, donkey, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin!

Let me with Simeon clasp the newborn child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his!

In him you have given me so much that heaven can give no more.