2020 by Amber Congregational Church

Praying the Psalms for the One Another
Using the pamphlet "Praying the Psalms Daily" and combining it with our "2020 Amber Church Prayer Reminder" which lists all the members of the church family, we encourage you to pray for each other every day.  Below is the list of daily Psalms and the office or mission and the individual for each day.  During this time of restricted assembly why not call, text or email the individual and let them know you prayed for them.

March

 1         Psalm 60:1-12                       Minister – Jack and Janet Seymour

 2         Psalm 61:1-8                        Elders – Mel Simmons, Jenn Simmons

 3         Psalm 62:1-12                       Trustees – David and Roxann Bailer

 4         Psalm 63:1-11                       Clerk – Arlette Sherwood – Jared Locke

 5         Psalm 64:1-10                      Treasurer – Andy and Linda Henderson, Alex

 6         Psalm 65:1-13                      Financial Secretary – Duane Wright – Jason Wright

 7         Psalm 66:1-20                     Ministerial Relations Chair – Jenny Wright, Alex Wright

 8         Psalm 67:1-7                       Worship Director – Jim Seymour – Andrew Henderson

 9         Psalm 68:1-35                     Worship Services – David Angelo

10        Psalm 69:1-36                      Sunday School JAM – Chuck and Sue Ellen Harris

11         Psalm 70:1-5                        Bible Studies – Teal Trendowski – Karen Swierk

12        Psalm 71:1-24                        Youth Group – Mike and Cheryl Curtis

13        Psalm 72:1-20                       Christian Education Director – Kim Vile

14        Psalm 73:1-28                       One-to-One Meetings – Mark and Brenda Henderson

15        Psalm 74:1-23                       Women’s and Men’s Groups – Rick and Lois Chaffee

16        Psalm 75:1-10                       Supper Club – Garrett Crysler – Larry Wheeler

17        Psalm 76:1-12                       Outreach Director – Rich and Lisa McVicar

18        Psalm 77:1-20                      CCCC – Bob Post

19        Psalm 78:1-16                      CNY Congregational Churches – Adele Reagan

20       Psalm 78:17-55                     Neighboring Churches – Barbara D’Aiutolo

21        Psalm 78:56-72                    WMHR (Wayne Taylor) – Terry Wheeler

22        Psalm 79:1-13                      RBC Ministries – Jim and Gail Frary

23        Psalm 80:1-19                     His Mansion – Matthew Henderson

24       Psalm 81:1-16                      Teams for Medical Missions (John Heater) – Marilyn Fish

25        Psalm 82:1-8                      New Hope (Kathy Jerman) – Dave and Kristin Heath

26       Psalm 83:1-18                      Men’s and Women’s Conferences – Emma Crysler

27        Psalm 84:1-12                     Young Life Syracuse West – Carl and Nancy Barber

28       Psalm 85:1-13                      Schools for Haiti (Carla Flesch) – Faith Stopyro

29       Psalm 86:1-17                      Teen Challenge (Dave Pilch) – Carole Ianuzi

30       Psalm 87:1-7                       The ShoreLight – Mike Wheeler, Scott Trendowski

31        Psalm 88:1-18                     Samaritan Committee – Sherry Persad

Prayers for the Day - March 28, 2020

 

Psalm 85:1-13

 

    The repeated element in this prayer-song is the thought of God blessing the land.  “You showed favor to your land, O LORD” (85:1).  “Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land” (85:9).  “The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest” (85:12).  Land is a significant concept in the covenants that God made with his people.  He promised Abraham a land (Genesis 12:1), and he repeated this promise to his descendants.  And yet, it is clear from the outset that ownership of the land is not what God intended but rather that his people would be given stewardship over his land. Indeed, we are told that Abraham understood this when it is written about him that he never owned the land he lived in but believed that as an “alien and stranger…he was longing for a better country – a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:13-16).  

 

   So our psalm today prays that God would “restore us…and revive us” (85:4,6) so that we are able to have our sins forgiven and learn to live in the peace that God provides.  It is then that “faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven” (85:11).  

 

   We are to pray today for the mission Schools for Haiti and for Faith Stopyro.  The latest report from Haiti noted increased opportunities as they seek to provide both education and living essentials to several schools and orphanages.  Faith’s recent prayer concern was for her great-granddaughter, Lily, who just had successful eye surgery.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

   Covenant God, the one who gives to us far more than we can deserve and who never breaks his promises to us, we thank you for your grace.  We appreciate the gifts of home and land and all the essentials of life, for food and clothing, for health and education.  Make us more aware of these gifts and more grateful for them.

 

   We are reminded today of those who have so little, for the children of Haiti who live in poverty.  Thank you for the ministry of Schools for Haiti and for their concern to provide for these kids in the name of Jesus.  And we are also grateful for the gift of life, and specifically for little Lily Kittelson, Faith’s great-granddaughter.  Thank you for the skill of her doctors and for the success of her recent surgery.  Bless her parents, her grandparents and her great-grandparents as they surround her with your love.  What a treasure life is.  Thank you for this young one.  We bring this prayer in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day - March 27, 2020

 

Psalm 84:1-12

   

    What a pleasant prayer-song this is.  It starts “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty.”  It is the picture of contentment and safety as one finds God to be his/her sanctuary.  I often think of this psalm when I look at the outside of our church building and see the bird nests on top of the parking lot lights located along the roof line on either side.  “Even the sparrow has found a home…where she may have her young – a place near your altar” (84:3).  This is a picture not simply of birds but of the raising of our children in the teachings of the church.  What better place to bring them?  Who else but the community of faith can provide them with such loving examples and proxy-parents and grandparents?

 

   It is the church and what we have learned here that enables us to withstand the times of difficulty when we “pass through the Valley of Baca,” or the place of weeping (84:6).  Troubles do come to us all and the support and compassion shared among God’s people sustains us in the truth of Jesus.  We learn here that there is no comparison between the lifestyle of God’s people and the empty pursuit of the ways of the wicked.  

 

   For all of these reasons we are all no doubt missing our regular times of public worship when we gathered on a Sunday morning.  “My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD” (84:2).  As the church in Amber we have certainly been blessed.

 

   Our prayers today are for Syracuse West Young Life and for Carl and Nancy Barber.  With the public schools all on shutdown Young Life is having to try and connect with students online.  Our local group is also looking for a new leader with the moving of Pat Flint to Binghamton.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

   O Lord, we are so grateful for all the wonderful experiences we have had in your house and with your people.  This has been truly family for us, a community that loves one another because of Jesus.  Thank you for making your home our home.  

 

   We thank you for Carl and Nancy Barber and the addition they have brought to our church.  Both of them are involved in so many ways that their lives have touched us all.  Grant them you grace and blessing.  And we are also grateful for the impact Young Life has had on several of the youth in our church over the years.  So with them we ask that you will provide the new leadership that they are seeking.  And bless Pat, Emma and Forest as they settle into their new home in Endicott.  

 

   Thank you for yourself and the blessings of the past.  We pray that we will soon be able to meet again in your house and say and sing these prayers publicly.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day - March 26, 2020

 

Psalm 83:1-18

   

    This psalm is another one that is identified as “a song” in the superscription.  It is certainly not a joyful song.  It sings in the midst of trouble with no evidence of deliverance.  The enemy is all around and is seeking to destroy God’s people.  In that day the enemies were the armies of the surrounding nations.  In our day it is the enemy of disease.

 

   The enemies of God are united in their opposition, a motley group who gang up on God’s people.  The psalm lists those from Edom, Moab, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre and Assyria.  These nations surrounded Israel and were never all that friendly or interested in any kind of respectful religious pluralism.  It is interesting how often those spouting tolerance are not tolerant of those who disagree with them.

 

   In this psalm the prayer remembers the stories of the past even as it asks God to do today what he did then.  A host of names are mentioned, Midian, Sisera and Jabin, Oreb and Zeeb, Zebah and Zalmunna.  These names seem foreign to us, but their stories are told in the Bible in Judges 4-8.  In other words, if we are to learn to pray correctly, we will need to gain an awareness of how God works, and this information has been revealed to us in the pages of the Bible.  

 

   The desired result is “that men will seek your name, O LORD…Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD – that you alone are the Most High over all the earth” (83:16,18).  

 

   We are to pray today for the men’s and women’s conferences that folk from church attend each year.  These can be times of great spiritual encouragement, refreshment and learning.  Our prayers are also for Emma Crysler who is living now at Northbrook Heights Assisted Living Home in Auburn.  

 

Let's pray together.

   “O God do not keep silent…be not still” (83:1).  We come to you today asking that you act on behalf of your people.  Save us, protect us, keep us from both disease and wickedness.  We pray in the words Jesus taught us, “give us this day our daily bread…and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” You are our only true source of comfort and strength. Give us a hunger, an interest in learning the lessons of the Bible so that we might know you better.

 

   Today all opportunities for gathering together are restricted.  But we remember those conferences of the past and how they taught and encouraged us.  We pray that we will once again be free to assemble and to attend meetings that have brought us such benefit in past years.  We also ask your grace upon Emma.  Keep her and those at Northbrook safe from the spread of this awful virus.  And give to her an increased desire to know you better and to live her faith joyfully in these trying times.  This we ask in the strong name of Jesus.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day - March 25, 2020

 

Psalm 82:1-8

   

    This is a psalm of social justice.  It sounds like a legal proceeding with God the presiding judge.  Those that come in before him must give an account for why they have acted in the way they have.  He calls them "gods," and although they certainly are no equal to the Lord God Almighty they do have authority over others and are not using that leadership in a protective way for those under their control.  The real issue is the treatment of the poor.  

 

   "How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked" (82:2)?  That is the charge.  It is a familiar one that plays out in every government in the world in all times and places.  Do people with power use it only to enrich themselves or do they concern themselves with the most vulnerable in society?  In our present situation today this is the discussion with regard to the provision of protective medical equipment to those most in need of it.  It is the discussion in the Senate over how much of the financial bailout will actually go to those who are the poorest in the country who live paycheck to paycheck. These are not easy questions to determine but if the discussion is not raised then history tells us that the poor will get poorer while the rich get richer.  This is what our Psalm warns is "walking in darkness" and being "mere men" (82:5 & 7).  To all of this we as God's people are to pray, "Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance" (82:8).

  Our Prayer Reminder tells us we are to pray today for New Hope Family Services and for Dave and Kristin Heath.  New Hope is still seeking to be a voice for the voiceless as they give aid to those in crisis pregnancy with the message of life.  Let's pray that parents will choose physical life for their babies.  Dave and Kristin reminded us recently of the emotional cost for our school youth who are missing out on what for some is the end of their high school career due to the closing of our schools in this pandemic.  Let's pray for parents and families who are house bound while we await the passing of the coronavirus.

Let's pray together.

   Lord God, we come to you with fear and anger and even a sense of helplessness with regard to not only the present situation with the coronavirus pandemic but also with the plans for addressing it by those in leadership in our government. We confess to not knowing what to do beyond the simple tasks of washing our hands and staying home.  We have limited confidence in our elected officials to do what is right, and we even wonder what the right is that they should be doing.  We do pray that in all of this the poor and weak, the fatherless and the needy, the aged and sick are not overlooked or seen as somehow expendable.  We pray for wisdom and compassion for our leaders and for the knowledge that they are responsible before you for their actions.

 

   We pray that those who are trying to profit from this crisis by playing on the anxiety of people longing for some protective cure will be thwarted and judged.  There are so many things happening all at once and all seemingly outside our control that we offer this simple prayer for your protective hand.   

 

   We are also thinking today of those who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy and are pondering the decisions of life and death for their unborn babies.  We pray your guidance in the lives of those who seek out the counsel and help of New Hope Family Services.  We pray that parents will not only choose life for their babies but that they will also understand and accept the spiritual life that you offer to them.  Supply what these needy folk need physically and spiritually.  

   For the parents and children of our church we pray today.  We think especially of the Heath family.  Thank you for the love of David and Kristin and for their children, Megan and Justin.  Thank you for the joy, the security, the connection that family relationships provide.  Give to each one the grace and strength to sing your song in the midst of this worlds upheaval and sickness.  May the truth of Jesus be evident to and through this family today.  This we pray in the name of Christ.  Amen.

 

Prayers for the Day - March 24, 2020

 

Psalm 81:1-16

   This prayer-song was written for a public assembly, probably one of the Hebrew feast days (note verse 3, “on the day of our Feast”).  There were three major holidays in the Jewish year, much like the two major Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter.  These are the times when everyone turns out for public worship.  The familiar stories are told, ones that everyone knows but it is good to recount them again.  In this psalm the story was told of the nation being liberated, “when he went out against Egypt (81:5).  This is their salvation story.  Our salvation story is the story of Jesus, his death and resurrection.  

 

   When Israel came out of Egypt their first stop was at Mt. Sinai where God gave them the 10 Commandments, the first two of which are referred to here in verse 9, “You shall have no foreign god…you shall not bow down to an alien god” (see Exodus 20:3-5).  God always makes the basics of faith clear.  Any thoughtful and concerned person can easily find God’s truth.  I realize that the Bible is a big book but the simple message of what is involved in following God is revealed and celebrated in our major holidays. 

 

   But here is the tragedy, ‘my people would not listen to me” (81:11).  As a result, the Lord gives them over “to their own stubborn hearts” (81:12).  When we choose to turn away from God’s truth our own pursuits punish us.  

 

   Yet God longs to give us all we need.  “Open your mouth and I will fill it” (81:10), and “you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16).  There is no better satisfaction than that which relationship with God provides.  It is the fulfillment of our whole being.  Walking with him is what each of us was created to do.

 

   Our prayer today is for the mission agency Teams for Medical Missions.  They are the mission that provides four short-term mission trips each year to Jamaica under the leadership of John and Linda Heater.  Their most recent newsletter rejoices that a new mission couple has joined the organization and will be living and working fulltime in Jamaica (a link to the organization is on our Home page under “Mission Links”).  Within the church family we are praying today for Marilyn Fish.  She has two daughters working in healthcare jobs and as a result they are more likely to engage someone with the coronavirus.  Let’s remember these concerns as we pray for them.

 

Let's pray together.

   Heavenly Father, we thank you for the reminders that you place before us to enable us to walk simply with you.  Thank you for the word of God, the Bible, and for the easily recognized and taught gospel revealed in our holiday stories.  Thank you for those who have taught us as children the basics of faith, the 10 Commandments, the Golden Rule, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed.  Keep us, Dear Father, from wandering and when we do draw us back to yourself.  

 

   We thank you for those you have burdened to take the message of healing to those in need.  We ask for your supply for Teams for Medical Missions and for the full amount of volunteer workers for each mission trip.  Help them to supply in Jesus’ name what is needed to restore physical and spiritual health to the people of Jamaica.  And we ask your grace on Marilyn and her family.  They have known struggle and loss we pray that they will also know protection and abundance.  Thank you that you are more eager to give to us than we are to receive.  We ask this in the strong name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day - March 23, 2020

Psalm 80:1-19

   Our prayer-psalm begins by asking God to hear us, the God who cares for us enough to be our Shepherd and to lead us like a flock.  He is the one whose presence among us is symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant which has the golden cherubim perched on the lid and was kept in the temple's inner and most holy place.  It is what in our sanctuary is represented by the big throne room chair behind the table.  These visual reminders instruct us to recognize that God is always present with his people.

   This prayer calls for this God, our God, to come and restore us.  "Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved" (80:3).  This request is made three times in this psalm, and with each additional expression another name for God is given.  At verse 3 it is the most common and general word for God, the word that all the religions of the world use to refer to their gods.  The second time this request is made in verse 7 it is to "O God Almighty."  This adds the defining distinction that who we are praying to is the God who has power and authority over all other gods or angels or things worshiped.  The Almighty God we are praying to is sovereign and in control of everything.  What a reassurance in the face of today's pandemic as well every other trouble or situation that we face that we have this God to hear our prayers.  The third repetition of this plea is in verse 19 and it adds another name for God, LORD (in all capital letters),  This Hebrew word for God in some Bibles is not translated and appears with the pronunciation as either "Jehovah" or "Yahweh."  It is the most personal of all the names used for God in the Bible as it is associated with the passage in Exodus 3:13-14 where God tells Moses to call him "LORD," which means "I am who I am."  This is the God we pray to, the one who is above all others gods, who is almighty and in control, and who is personal and wants to be known and be on a first name basis with each of us. 

 

   The requests that fall between these three pleas for God to "restore us" describe how God has always been with his people from the time they were first born.  We are the "vine" he brought out of Epypt and planted.  He freed us and provided for us, even when we have been mistreated by others and endured difficulties of our own making.  He has not abandoned us, nor will he ever.  He is our Shepherd.  We pray for another deliverance and promise that this time "we will not turn away...we will call on your name" (80:18).

   Today, although this is a prayer for us all, we are focusing our corporate thoughts on Matthew Henderson as well as the ministry of His Mansion in New Hampshire.  

 

Let's pray together.

   God, thank you for being more than just a figurehead God, some religious symbol without content or meaning.  Thank you that you are our Shepherd and the one we can cry to in our need as well as the one we can walk with in our pleasant places of pasture.  We are in need.  We have strayed.  We are experiencing the results of our own sins as well as the effects of others sins.  Hear us and restore us to that close and personal relationship that speaks to each other face to face.  Thank you that you already know us completely and that you want us to know you better.

   

   We pray for those whose wanderings have put them in places of addiction and that there is a ministry like His Mansion to point them back to good health both physically and spiritually.  Provide for the needs of all those who live there and bring an end to their wandering.  We pray today also for Matthew Henderson and ask that you keep him safe and healthy in a job that has him in continual contact with the public.  We also ask that you be near to him emotionally and spiritually so that he is strong in body, mind and spirit, growing in his relationship with you and with those he loves and who love him.  We say this pray in confidence because we are calling out to you, "O LORD God Almighty.  Make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved."  Amen.