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Encourage: What I pray for our churches

Let me give you an idea of my preaching schedule for the months of September and October:

Sentinel, First; Altus, First; Seminole, Indian Nations; Boise City, First; Guymon, First; Ramona, First; Ada, Morris Memorial; Skiatook, First; Red Oak, First; and Hinton, First. I have or will also preach for several associational meetings: Muskogee, Cimarron, Panhandle, Atoka-Coal, Pottawatomie-Lincoln, Enon, Northwestern, Central and Cherokee Strip.

Each week, I use my preaching schedule as a prayer guide. I pray over the churches for which I am preparing to preach. Lately, the Lord has put a verse from Psalm 74 on my heart. I use this verse to pray for our churches: “Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause…” (Ps 74:22).

Psalm 74 is a song of Asaph, used by the people of God during and after the destruction of the temple. They had been devastated by the enemy, yet the psalmist insisted with stubborn faith that they were God’s covenant people—remember Your congregation, the sheep of Your pasture, whom You have purchased of old, whom You have redeemed.

The enemy was arrogant, ruthless and powerful, but the psalmist claimed that the Lord is the Almighty King, Creator and Redeemer who is able and all sufficient.

So, the psalmist cries, “Lord, remember us and defend Your own reputation. For Your Name’s sake, arise!”

“Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause…”

The church belongs to the Lord. He purchased us with His blood, redeemed us for Himself. He is the Head, the Groomsman, the Chief Shepherd. We bear His Name. O Lord, for Your Name’s sake, arise; move with power to purify, restore, strengthen and lead Your people.

“Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause…”

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

O Lord, forgive us for trying to fight spiritual battles with weak worldly weapons. We look to You. Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed… “Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause…”

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

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