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Alert and Always Praying

Something that's been impressed upon me from the beginning of this endeavor to go to Ireland is the importance of prayer, and the awareness of Spiritual Warfare.

Right on the front page of the packet of info we got from World Harvest they spoke of spiritual warfare, and to be aware of it. Last weekend the team was prayed for by Pastor Dean (and Betsy!), and he mentioned it also. When we go to do God's work, and when we go to pray for a people and a nation being restored to God, the enemy doesn't like that!

I've been long indoctrinated about the presence of spiritual warfare. When I was younger, it was those Frank Peretti books, "The Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness." More recently, it's been the writing of John Eldredge, especially in his book, "Waking the Dead." Except WtD is not fiction. It's about being aware of what is really going on around you. He talks about the reality of warfare, and says he knows it comes across as rather drastic. I know how he feels--I always get a mixed reaction when I mention spiritual warfare.

It doesn't matter. I don't need people to agree with me to make it true. It's Biblical!! Jesus cast out many demons during his earthly ministry. Are we supposed to believe that there are no more? Paul writes this in Ephesians:

11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:11-20, emphasis mine)

In this spirit, I would like to ask once again for prayer--not just for myself, but for the rest of my team as well. Below is a prayer calendar I put together for the church bulletin (edited by Susan U.!)

Please add that one of our members is very sick! Several other members are going through very stressful times with jobs and finances. Please pray that those things would fade away as we leave, that we would not let the cares of this life choke us but that we would be awake and open to hearing what God is saying to us.
  • Saturday, July 12: Please pray for the team as we travel from Pittsburgh to Boston and then on to Dublin.
  • Sunday, July 13: Pray for us as we adjust to the time difference and losing 5 hours. Please pray for World Harvest Mission, the interns serving with them this summer, and Carrig Eden Theological School, who will be hosting us as well as all the other attendees.
  • Monday, July 14: As the conference begins, pray that our hearts would be open to hearing what God is doing in Ireland and what He would have us do there as well. Please pray for all the speakers who will be relating to us what God is doing in Ireland.
  • Tuesday, July 15: As we continue to learn more about Irish culture and history, pray that we understand the culture so that we can relate to and engage with the people that we come in contact with.
  • Wednesday, July 16: Pray for us as we continue learning and as we serve and observe at ministry sites throughout Ireland. We will interact with both believers and non-believers, from Ireland and America – pray that we would be good witnesses and servants.
  • Thursday, July 17: We will take a prayer walk through Dublin. Please pray with us for the people of Ireland, for those who minister to them, and for all God is doing there.
  • Friday, July 18: Pray for us as we serve at ministry sites, and for our small group times. Pray that our times of fellowship would create bonds with our brothers and sisters in Ireland, for bonds that will continue even after we return home.
  • Saturday, July 19: We’ve been hearing from speakers who are involved with various ministries and churches in Ireland, and we’ve been able to visit some of these sites. Some of us are considering returning and serving in Ireland in the very near future; please pray that God’s will and leading would be made very clear for us as the conference comes to a close.
  • Sunday, July 20–Tuesday, July 22: As we take a few days to reflect on our time at the conference and visit a few other parts of Ireland and Northern Ireland, pray for us as we prepare to bring back what we've learned and share it.
  • Wednesday, July 23: Pray for our travels home to Pittsburgh and as we adjust to being back. Pray that we would not come home unchanged by our time in Ireland and the people we encountered there.
The Ireland Team members are:
Jen Curry, James Dames, Lynne George (Leader), Chris Miller and Jessica Richards.

Thank you for praying!!!

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