OCC Daily Connect: PrayerCoronavirus Edition, March 23, 2020
INTRODUCTION: Please read entire email
Hope you all are staying connected and healthy in this current “Shelter in Place” phase in helping flatten the curve of the Coronavirus outbreak. In this edition we have included:
1. A new devotion: Sermon recap & prayer
2. Women’s Bible Study starts this week
3. Some amazing FREE resources
4. A simple life hack
1. Encouragement from the Word: Sermon Recap & Prayer
by Pastor Todd
In God’s uncanny providence, our series in Romans led us to the next passage with is a helpful understanding of the Christian’s relationship with the governing authorities. The recording of the live service is still available on Facebook at our OCC Facebook page here. The audio of the sermon “The Christian & The Government” is available to listen on our website here.
In yesterday’s benediction to the sermon, I quoted 1 Timothy 2:1–3, which says,
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…” (ESV)
One of the great opportunities in our current Shelter in Place lockdown is the opportunity to pray. Paul offers 4 types of prayers:
Supplications: “heart-felt petition, arising out of deep personal need (sense of lack, want)” [Strongs definition]
Prayers: simply talking to God about any and all things
Intercessions: “intervention led by God, marking intersection between heaven and earth as it reflects the Lord’s specific will.” (Strong’s definition) This involves praying on behalf of others to God according to God’s will.
Thanksgivings: This one may be most obvious but quite simply being thankful to God. In fact, this one may be hardest in that we simply forget to thank God for He has already done.
Truthfully, these 4 distinctions shouldn’t be made out to be TOO distinct but, rather, as 4 basic angles to the same thing – and that “thing” is simply to pray. Recently, in my sermon on “The Dynamic Christian Life” one of the 18 points (!) of that sermon comes from 12:12 which simply says, “…be constant in prayer.” This echoes one of the shortest verses in the Bible, also from Paul to the church at Thessalonica, where we are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). This command to pray is sandwiched between “Rejoice always” (vs. 16) and “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (vs. 18). The point is simple: let your life be marked by constant prayer rather than no prayer or even just occasional prayer.
Going back to 1 Timothy 2, Paul also gets specific to who we should pray for, “…for kings and all those in high places” (vs. 2). Paul’s specific example is that we should pray for our governing leaders. Thus, we are called to pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence, Governor Newsom, Senators Feinstein and Harris, Mayor ____ (depending on which city you live), etc. Also for our police, our military…and why not throw in all first-responders and medical professionals, too, since they are on the frontline of our current crisis.
Lastly, Paul tells us what we should pray for in regard to our governing leaders – that we should be allowed to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” In other words, that we should have the freedom to be Christians who live out the Christian life.
In summary, as we are in lockdown, take the advantage to obey what God commands in regard to prayer:
1. Pray in every way.
2. Pray constantly/continually.
3. Pray for our leaders and all involved in this crisis.
4. Pray that we might continue to have the same freedoms to be Christians that we have enjoyed for 243 years as Americans despite some of the physical limitations we currently face.
5. Did I mention that we should pray?
2. WOMEN’S ANNOUNCEMENT: Virtual Bible Study Starts This WeekAll OCC Ladies: Because our previous Women’s Bible Study just wrapped up, Lisa is in process of putting together an online study that you can do from home, involving a zoom meeting where you can fellowship with the other ladies. She will be sending out the details in a SEPARATE email list, so if you are interested in finding our more details as the details unfold, email Lisa ASAP: email@example.com
Here are some helpful links as you navigate being home:
9 Ways Christians Can Respond Differently to Coronavirusby George Lawson:
Here is a great article that challenges Christians to respond differently than the world may respond to this crisis.
The Gospel, The Church and This Present Crisis: Ligonier ministries interview with John MacArthur
I found this short 17 minute video encouraging.
SIMPLE LIFE-HACK: Pray
Did I mention we should pray? (see above)
Contact Any of Us with Prayer Requests or questions:
Todd Burgett: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Wong: email@example.com
John Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org
John String: email@example.com
Lisa Burgett: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Ertis: email@example.com