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Monday News & Prayer Update 14/3/22

14/03/2022

News and Prayer Update. 

It’s Monday morning, 14th March 2022, and this is our new News and Prayer Update – a very brief look at the news, as it affects the church, with some suggestions for prayer. I hope to do this once a week, on Mondays as time permits, so keep an eye on your podcast app or on the social media platforms for the links to the weekly episode. 
Listen to the PODCAST HERE

Ok. Let’s begin with

The Northern Ireland Assembly.

The psalmist in Psalm 22:16 speaks of those who crucified the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as being, ‘the assembly of the wicked’  Surely there is no better illustration of an assembly of wickedness than that which sits on the hill at Stormont.  

On Wednesday 2nd March, the Stormont Assembly passed at consideration stage, a bill that will criminalise anyone who offers help and support to pregnant mothers outside abortion clinics, a burden placed upon Christians in Proverbs 24:11 where we are commanded to ‘Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.’  Even praying outside such a centre of wickedness is now outlawed.  Yet in the months leading up to the debate on this issue, the committee for health, repeatedly denied any opportunity for Christian clergy to share their experiences with the committee members.  The ‘Precious Life’ organisation tweeted, “Out of 6142 individual responses made, just 13 were in favour of criminalisation…’. Yet the NI Assembly proceeded with the bill.

One of the local parties, the Ulster Unionist Party, repeatedly ignored calls to meet with Christian leaders.  Sadly, several members of the Assembly who claim to be Christians actually voted in favour of the bill.

Please pray for this Assembly.  Pray that the rising tide of liberalism and wickedness will be stemmed, that MLA’s will understand that they will one day answer to God for the decisions they have made, and pray for Christian politicians, that they will be strengthened by God to remain faithful, to obey God, rather than men.  Pray that when the Abortion Services (Safe Spaces) Bill reaches its final reading, just before the Assembly rises for the May elections, that it will fail to be passed.

Our second news and prayer item today comes from The Christian Institute, who want us to know what is currently being plotted in 

Westminster.

The Uk Government is planning tougher regulation of the internet through its euphemistically titled “Online Safety Bill” which will be published this month.  There will be many helpful and beneficial parts of this legislation.  For example, it will force online porn sites to block access to children, and big tech companies will have to act swiftly to remove illegal content.  All well and good, but scratch the surface of the bill, and you will find in its small print some very alarming detail.  Ministers want to restrict legal content which they deem harmful, but what exactly IS harmful?  Who decides?  Well, minister of the state does, and Ofcom and the tech companies themselves.  This vague term, ‘harmful’ is so elastic that it could include almost anything that the liberal media don’t want you to read.  Biblical, mainstream beliefs of marriage, gender, medical ethics, parenting, homosexuality, may all be deemed to be ‘harmful’ in the opinion of the woke brigade in the media, or the disconnected metropolitan elites who inhabit the government benches.  

Please pray that freedom for the Gospel will continue to be protected. Pray for all those in The Christian Church who will stand up and speak out on this important issue.

Ukraine.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the Ukraine Appeal last week, for refugees fleeing out of Ukraine and into Romania.  Last Thursday, Shirley Moore of ‘Tell Romania’ wrote, “It is snowing at the borders and thousands stand freezing, forming queues of over forty kilometres this morning, watching thousands cross the border on foot.

Elderly, terminally ill, vulnerable, pregnant ladies are among those who wait.  This morning we purchased thousands of gloves, socks to keep hands and feet warm.”  What a practical way to help, and to show the love of Christ to those people who waiting in the cold at that border.

Please continue to pray for the ordinary people of Ukraine and Russia, and pray for peace.  Pray for the evangelical churches in Ukraine, who will suffer greatly under a Russian regime led by Vladimir Putin. 

Before we close I’m going to insert a plug – if you are free on this Friday evening, the 18th March, don’t just sit at home and watch mindless, pointless TV programmes.  It’s a waste of time. Come and join me at Templepatrick Reformed Church, Carnanee Road, BT36 0BZ, for our monthly special meeting, when I’ll be speaking on one of the underlying worldviews that drives policy on some of the most controversial issues of today, abortion, euthanasia, climate change, perhaps even Covid!  There’s no worship at this meeting, just an address, some questions and comments from the audience, and a good tea afterwards.  Come along and join in!  And of course, if you are free on the Lord’s Day morning come alone to Ballymacashon – where we meet for worship at 11.30 am, that’s at 78 Saintfield Road, Killinchy, Co.Down.

Finally, before we go, some Devotional Thoughts from JR Millar on Gracegems.org:

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

The power of prayer never can be fully understood on the earth. What wonders it has wrought cannot even be imagined.

What lost souls prayer has saved, leading them as by an invisible hand to the cross!

What wanderers prayer has reclaimed, turning them from paths of sin and shame into ways of holiness!

What fainting ones prayer has cheered and upborne in hours of weakness and danger, as in quiet closets voices of love have pleaded!

What tempted ones prayer has delivered from the hands of the destroyer, and made strong for victory and noble service!

Only Heaven’s great final revealing can make known all the wonders wrought in this world by prayer.

So listen, – don’t give up, don’t be discouraged, – let’s keep watching, and keep praying, and keep believing in our Sovereign Lord, who overrules everything in the universe.

Find more daily devotionals from Millar on GraceGems.org

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