Sunday, November 7, 2010

Echoes of Intercession

Echoes of Intercession

No 1, October 2010

This is the first “Echoes of Intercession” bulletin, Intercession France’s monthly update in its new version, which aims to increase awareness of French initiatives concerning intercessory prayer.  We wish to share with you the intercessory experiences affecting our country on a larger scale: its regions, its
cities, its villages, and its part in the European continent, but also the Church and society. Of course there is a special strength of unified prayer but, in our vision to foster the development of a spirit of intercession in our country, we also want to lift up the echoes of local and specific initiatives so that they may be an encouragement for all. We therefore call upon you to share information concerning intercessory initiatives in which you have participated or of which you are knowledgeable.

Today we present to you the prayerful actions taking place in the villages of Southeastern France.

Bruno Berthon and Bernard Leycuras,
For the Comité Intercession France


Pray for authorities – and for your neighbors? YES!

A survey conducted during the 2007 presidential election revealed that the political figure that French citizens respect the most is their local mayor. Furthermore, in the areas surrounding Nimes, we discovered two other
encouraging facts: elected officials and other city leaders who claim a Christian faith are already praying together in several villages; some churches, once a month, host the weekly prayer group in their parishioners’ villages.

For the joy of living together, for the peace of every village, we believe that it is essential that authorities conduct their term of office with justice and are protected from malice. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we know that it is our responsibility as believers to protect and support our neighbors who, for a moment of their life, carry authority in their village. But, “to pray for” a governmental leader is not “to agree with” their political choices. Vote for those who seem the best for such and such a reason, naturally, but pray for all without judgment, neither of their political program nor of their personal life. As citizens we choose to pray, just as we bless others as believers, even if we did not vote for  he or she who is called into the role of authority.

For these reasons Georgina Dufoix wrote a letter, encouraging the formation of groups ready to intercede for their local authorities by praying for them regularly. Knowing that every village has its own personality, its own
specificities and its own style, we proposed some guidelines to facilitate such prayer: pray regularly, pray for all authority figures, naming each one individually, and, in the case of interfaith groups, pray in the name of Jesus Christ who, alone, gathers us together.

We know that several groups in several villages have seized this opportunity this year. At the end of the school year, we invited representatives of these groups to share their experiences that we might know more about them.  Among those present were elected officials including a deputy mayor and municipal councilors. What joy to meet and to hear their testimony as servants of Jesus Christ and of their neighbors! They told us how much they need our prayers,  and how much they appreciate them!

So let us live our lives in prayer for our villages, and for our cities!
Elizabeth Shaffer
Nimes, October 8th 2010

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