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Final Post: We Give Thanks! September 26, 2009

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The G20 Summit is now completed.  Leaders are beginning to depart from the Pittsburgh Region.  Now the effectiveness of their decisions together will be tested by time and execution.  There are many things to be thankful for:

  1. For the many people and churches who took time to pray for this city and for our world.
  2. For safety during the events for leaders, residents, protesters, and public safety workers.
  3. That most protests were non-violent in nature and that no one was seriously hurt.
  4. For the city of Pittsburgh to receive such attention, and for the effective hosting of a global event.
  5. That our confidence is in God who rules and reigns over all the events and nations on the earth.

We hope this prayer blog has been helpful to you in focusing your prayers for this city and for the events of G20.  Our prayer is that you will continue to pray for our national leaders, for the region of Pittsburgh, and for the Kingdom of God to come and the Will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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Welcome To All G20 Participants September 24, 2009

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The below post was written by Nick Poole, Church Planting Director of the MCM Network in Pittsburgh.

Dear G20 Participants and Protesters,

Welcome!  It is a pleasure to have you in our wonderful city!!  We as a city do not take the privilege of hosting this Summit lightly.  Hundreds, if not thousands, have been praying for these two days of decision. Here are a few items we have been praying for…

We pray…

  • …your stay is not only profitable, but full of the wisdom and favor of God.
  • …your agendas will be ones that glorify God and are for the good of His creation, most notably mankind.
  • …for the protection of all our guests this week, both those here with good motives, and not-so-good.
  • …that during your stay here,  you will see that even in the most difficult times there is hope.
  • …your return home in a few days will be one of positive reflection and excitement toward the future.
  • …for you, the protester – that wisdom will rest upon you as your voice is heard in a peaceable manner.
  • …that the watching world will see more than just a city rising from despair, but a city awakening to a loving God.
  • …for the nation you have come from – that the leaders and citizens will know the blessings of God.
  • …for you, the Pittsburgh resident – that your eyes will be opened to the true privilege it is to live in such a great city!

Through all our prayers for you our guest, know that we value you and appreciate the platform we as a city have been given.  May your stay be full of joy, achievement and the blessings of God afforded to this great nation!

Thanks To All Who Are Praying! September 24, 2009

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Let me just say a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have chosen to join in and pray for the events of these next two days here in Pittsburgh.  It’s encouraging to hear of the many churches, leaders, and individuals who have set aside time to fast and pray for our city, for our world, and for these global leaders.

This blog will remain active through the weekend, and after that it will have served its purpose.

If there are any significant happenings at the G20 Summit, we will respond with recommendations as to how to pray on this site.  At the end of the Summit, we may offer some reflections.

Focus Verse: God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble.  Therefore, I will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains be thrown into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy place where the most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall.  God will help her at the break of day…BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.  For the Lord Almighty is with us.  The God of Jacob is our fortress.  Psalm 46.

Application: We can entrust our lives to God’s care and protection, even when it seems that the foundations of the world are shaking.  The proper response is to ‘be still’ or ‘cease from striving’ and know that God is in control and able to take care of that which concerns us.

Prayer: The days for the G20 Summit have arrived.  So we declare that our trust is in You.  You are a refuge for us.  We run to You to find safety.  Even if we experience turbulent moments, we can rest in Who you are.  We choose to do that as we begin this day.  We trust you.  Amen.

Pray For President Obama September 23, 2009

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The following post was written by Jeff Leake, Lead Pastor at Allison Park Church.

Focus Verse:  Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.  1 Peter 2:17

Application: One of the the principles that the Bible teaches has to do with RESPECT for authority.  The root of this principle is found in the 10 Commandments.  The 5th Commandment tells us to HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER and when you do...’it will go well with you, and you will live a long and prosperous life.’

When we honor our leaders we honor the POSITION they hold first and foremost. We don’t have to like them as a person.  We may disagree with their policies.  But nonetheless, the command of the Scripture is to HONOR THE KING.  In fact, this is quite a solid list that Peter gives to us:

  • Show RESPECT to everyone. Disrespect is never appropriate.
  • LOVE the BROTHERHOOD OF BELIEVERS. As Christ-followers, we are to invest in the people of God (His church) because the church is so precious to the heart of God.
  • FEAR GOD – Remember that he is aware of all we do and say.  We need to live with a respect for his presence.  Don’t speak out of turn.  Be angry…but sin not.  Bless.  Don’t Curse.  Speak in faith, not in fear.
  • HONOR the KING – no matter who he/she is, or what party they represent.  Honor them for the position that they have.

This is such an important step for much of the church world today.  Because so many believers are frustrated with that is happening in our country economically, spiritually, and politically.  Fear is in the air.  Anger often rules the day.  Both sides of the political aisle rage at and slander one another.

We need to be reminded again that…

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  For the anger of man DOES NOT ACCOMPLISH the righteous life that God desires.  James 1:19-20

But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies.    Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who mistreat you.  Luke 6:27

Nothing of lasting value happens when we give in to fear, when we try to bring change through anger, or when we love only our friends and choose to respond negatively toward those with whom we disagree.  But amazing things happen when instead, WE CHOOSE TO PRAY.

For this reason, I believe one of the most important things that we can do together right now, is pray daily for President Obama. We need to pray for him that God gives him wisdom to lead.  We need to pray for him that God accomplishes His Will for our President’s life and for the life of this nation.  We need to pray that God gives him wise counsel and godly advisers.  We need to bless him and choose to speak well of him.

And as we do that, we are working with God to support and touch his life as he occupies this most challenging position.  We also build faith and compassion into our own hearts instead of fear, anger, and frustration. Praying for our president also unites the BROTHERHOOD of BELIEVERS, because the body of Christ is filled with people of very different political views. Some love the President’s policies and are thrilled with the direction of our country.  Others loath the policies and are extremely concerned about the direction of our country.  Many are in the middle and feel conflicted, proud, concerned, and hopeful all at the same time.

What can unite us all is the decision to pray.

Prayer Focus: O God, we pray that you would bless our President of these United States.  We pray that you would prosper him and give him health, and that you would make his soul to prosper. May President Obama come to understand in greater ways the love and reality of a risen Jesus.  May you grant him wisdom, salvation, strength, and clarity of thought.  May you surround him with wise and godly counsel.

We pray that you would strengthen the cause of the Kingdom of God through his leadership at the G20 Summit. We pray that you would help him to lead with a balance of justice and compassion, righteousness and mercy.  We ask that you would protect him physically and place a hedge of protection around he and his family.

We honor him as our president.  Forgive us for any words of anger, cursing, or slander. We ask that as we honor him, you would unite the body of Christ, heal our divisions, and bring about Your purpose on the earth.   In JESUS NAME, AMEN.

Day Of Fasting: Begin The Day With Praise September 23, 2009

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This morning, O God, we approach you with a recognition of WHO you are.  Read through Isaiah 40.  These statements are based on the statements of praise found in this prophetic passage.

  • You are the CREATOR.  You spoke the very worlds into existence.
  • You are the ETERNAL ONE.  All nations, and every person on earth is like the flowers of the field.  We sprout and grow, the wind blows over us and we are gone.  But we recognize that the Word of the Lord remains forever.
  • You are ALMIGHTY.  You rule from a position of absolute and undeniable ability.
  • You are ALL-KNOWING.  As Isaiah 40 declares, ‘who could be your counselor? who could enlighten you or teach you the way?’
  • You RULE over all.  Again, it says in Isaiah 40:15 – ‘surely the nations are as a drop in the bucket compared to you.  they are regarded as dust on the scales.’
  • You sit on the THRONE  as the SOVEREIGN GOD of the universe.  “you bring princes to naught, and the rulers of this world to nothing.’ (Isaiah 40:23)
  • You are the SUSTAINER of all who trust in you.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Praying Psalm 91 September 22, 2009

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the following post was written by Jeff Leake, Lead Pastor at Allison Park Church.

The next three days are very important days for the city of Pittsburgh. Maybe it hasn’t dawned on you yet, but the focus of the entire globe will be turned to our city in the next three days.  We recognize the potential dangers, hazards, and opportunities that come from hosting a G20 Summit.

I find myself prompted to pray for all of the public safety and other support workers, that I know personally, who will be locked into the city over the next few days.  The region will be filled with leaders, economists, protesters, news reporters, and a host of other support workers.

After dinner tonight, we are encouraging as many people as possible to begin a 24hr fast…through until tomorrow night (Wed) at dinner.

We need to pray for:

1.  SAFETY – We pray a hedge of protection around our entire region.  As it says in Psalm 91:11, we pray that ‘God would give his angels charge concerning us, to guard us in all our ways…’

2.  PROTECTION – We pray against any attacks spiritual or physical against our city, our nation, or any of the leaders who will gather here.  We understand that we live in a world were ‘terror’ is a tool that some use to bring change.  Let’s pray against all attack and ask for God’s.  Again, Psalm 91

(we) will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at (our) side,
ten thousand at (our) right hand,
but it will not come near (us).

(We) will only observe with (our) eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If (we) make the Most High (our) dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

then no harm will befall (us),
no disaster will come near (our) tent.

3.  CLARITY AND PROVISION – For all these leaders we pray (Psalm 91:15-16) that …(they) would call upon Him, and (God) would answer them.  (God) will honor them and deliver them.  With long life will He satisfy them and show them His salvation.

Finally, I think we need to remember to pray especially for our own President during these days of leaders.  Let’s pray a special protection over his life, and a special gift of wisdom, revelation, and courage as he represents this nation.

Three Days Till G20: If my people… September 21, 2009

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The following post was written by Chris Gibbs, Lead Pastor at Crossway Church.

Focus Verse: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and see my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Application: Today I want to challenge you to pray for our nation. Our nation is at a time of great crossroads. Morality has come under fire. Faith in God has come under fire. Righteousness has come under fire. But the Truth of God remains!

I want to encourage you today to pray for the following:

Pray for our President – It doesn’t matter whether you voted for him or not. He is OUR president, and he needs our prayers. Pray that God will speak to his heart. Pray that the decisions he makes are decisions that will honor and God. Pray that God will protect him and his family.

Pray for the G20 Summit – Some of the world’s top leaders will be in Pittsburgh THIS week. Pray that God will move the hearts of these men and women and that the decisions that are made concerning the economy, defense, and other issues will be ones that will honor God and best benefit our nation.

Pray for our Troops – It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with the wars that are being fought. Pray that God will protect our troops and give them victory.

Pray for our Leaders – Locally and nationally, there are many men and women who are responsible for making and enforcing the laws of our land. Pray that God would reveal Truth to them. Pray for those that do stand for righteousness, that God would give them the strength to stand up under the fire.

Pray AGAINST “Moral Relevance” – There are many that say that “what was wrong before, isn’t necessarily wrong now…times have changed.” Yes, times may have changed, but God’s Truth NEVER CHANGES. Abortion is still wrong. Homosexuality is still wrong. We believe in a God of forgiveness and a God of love AND we believe in a God who has the power to change hearts and lives.

Join us today as we pray for our nation!

How About An Economic Summit…For My Family? September 21, 2009

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The following post was written by Steve Tourville, the District Superintendent of the Pennsylvania-Delaware District of the AG.

All eyes interested and concerned about the current global economic issues will be directed to our own Steel City on September 24-25. Appropriately, leaders of the top twenty economic nations of our world will gather for discussion, planning, and collaboration on next steps in dealing with the financial challenges now being faced.

There are three points I would like to make on this blog.

First, prayer for our leaders is called for in Scripture and this provides an opportunity to exercise the God-given mandate around a specific issue that has very practical implications. If we as believers can’t be motivated to pray for our President and other leaders of the world during this event, I doubt much short of a threat of war or terrorist attacks will prompt us to action. Therefore, I encourage us to take some time on these two days to petition the Lord for protection, wisdom, and His favor during these gatherings. These leaders may or may not seek the Lord’s guidance, but we can pray for that for them regardless.

Second, a reminder is in order that the kingdom of God is not dependent on the economic conditions of the world. While we all realize that fact, we sometimes allow the news media’s reports to give far to much influence on the way we think of our work and service for the Kingdom of God. Nations rise and fall, but the promise of our Lord remains that He will build His Church.

Third, when was the last time your family had an economic summit?

Perhaps I could ask it this way: Is your financial house in order? Finances are tough for many in our nation and that is true for those of us in ministry as well as those in secular employment. Do all you can to eliminate debt. Credit card debt is the worst method of financing family needs. We must all take personal responsibility for our finances. If we want God’s favor on our finances, we should be Scriptural and give the Lord our best, not our left overs.

May God grant His blessing and favor as we seek first His Kingdom. He will add all these other things to us as well.

Day Twenty-Seven: Pray For Righteousness September 19, 2009

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the following post was written by Pastor Bill Ellis, of Riverside Church (Oakmont & Pittsburgh Mills location)

Focus Verse: “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke 12:48b)

Application: With great blessing comes great responsibility.   The finance ministers, central bank governors and the heads-of-state who gather for these two days represent 90% of the global gross national product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of world’s population.  I wonder if Jesus had a moment to speak at the podium what he would tell these leaders?

At the very least he would call them to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).  He would challenge them to do what is just and right (Jeremiah 22:3).  The righteous kings in the Bible were those who cared for the week and the poor.  Conversely the wicked kings used their wealth and power for personal gain, usually by oppressing the poor.  To the wicked son of the righteous King Josiah, the Lord said, “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar?  Did not your father have food and drink?  He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.  He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well.  Is that not what it means to know me?” (Jeremiah 22:15-16)

Prayer Focus: Lord, as these world leaders gather to consider how best to manage the resources with which they have been entrusted, may they do what is right and just in your eyes.  And, as we pray and fast for our world leaders, may we remember that the kind of fasting you desire is for your people to humble themselves, to loose the chains of injustice, to set the oppressed free, to share our food with the hungry, to provide the poor wanderer with shelter and to clothe the naked.  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (Isaiah 58:5-9) We pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of our leaders and to our own hearts as well.

Day Twenty-Six: Dealing With Helplessness September 18, 2009

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The following post was written by Jeff Leake, Lead Pastor at Allison Park Church.

Focus Verse: The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic.  The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars…(it) strikes with flashes of lightening…the voice of the Lord shakes the desert…the voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forest bare.  And all in his temple cry ‘Glory’…the Lord sits enthroned as King forever.  The Lord gives strength to His people.  The Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29

Application: Can I make a confession?  Sometimes, when I think of world events, global leaders, and current affairs, I FEEL HELPLESS. Often my heart is grieved by the corruption that I see.  Daily it seems that there is bad news from some sector of the earth.  Many times it feels as if they leaders who we are praying for are either unresponsive, unreachable, and self-seeking.

I am tempted, at times, to throw my hands up in the air and just give up.

What’s so amazing about prayer is that it helps bypass all of that. When I choose to pray I step into a position that is greater than politics, larger than logic, and more impacting that what I can imagine.

  1. God is doing things I can’t see – He is working behind the scenes.  He is touching and changing hearts.
  2. God is going places I can’t go – into the halls of power, whispering into the hearts and minds of leaders and their advisors.
  3. God is preparing things I don’t understand – there is more to this world than what is happening at the current moment.  God never wastes a situation and is always working toward some explosively positive end.
  4. God is speaking things into being – every part of this world exists at his WORD.   When I pray, my words agree with God’s WORD and release Him to work in my life, my family, my city, and in this world.

In all reality, since we are partners with the ALMIGHTY…we are never truly helpless. While things are beyond our understanding, our reach, and our control – they are never beyond the understanding, reach, and influence of ALMIGHTY GOD.

So let’s pray from that perspective today!

Prayer Focus:  Lord, you are so much more powerful than all 20 Global Powers combined. Isaiah 40 tells us that all these world leaders are but a DROP IN THE BUCKET compared to you.  None of them have any resource or capacity that you did not give them.  Whether they know it or not, they are dependent on you for their next breath.

We know that when you SPOKE, you created the worlds. By your WORD it all holds together.  By your WORD everything can change.

So we choose today to AGREE with you regarding the events of our current age.  MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME!  MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE.  As it is in the heavens, may it be on the earth (AND IN PITTSBURGH).  Amen.