The “Preface to the Letter to the Romans” by Martin Luther is one of the most significant documents ever written about this important part of the Bible.  The re-discovery by Luther and the other Protestant Reformers in the 16thCentury, of biblical doctrines like justification resulted in no small part from their study of this letter from the Apostle Paul to believers in Rome in the first century AD.
 
In the Preface, Luther not only  gives an outline of the flow and argument of the letter (which would be helpful enough in itself!), but he also explains key aspects of the vocabulary that the Apostle Paul employs as he makes his arguments.  This is, I think, especially useful for us, separated from the original recipients of the letter and from Paul, by 2000 years and half a world.  “Justice,” “Faith,” “Sin,” and “Law” are important words to understand and understand within their context if the letter is to be most profitable for us.
 
So we’ve made copies of this valuable document available, as we prepare to spend the next eight weeks in Romans, in order that we might glean all we can from what the Holy Spirit says to us through this part of God’s Word.  You will notice that it was written long ago! But with a little perseverance, I trust that you’ll find it useful and will stand you in good stead to learn, understand and profit from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
 
I’d love to hear how you find the teaching series as we go along.  Please let me know what God is teaching you, and how we can grow together.
 
In Christ
 
Clayton

{phocadownload view=file|id=11|text=Luther's Preface to Romans|target=s}

 

For those of you who weren't able to join us for the Hour of Prayer this month, these are some of the prayer points we prayed about during our time together. Our focus for this month is on our apologetic series during May 'If you could ask God'. The prayer meeting focused on each question that will be explored in the Sunday talks during May. 

Read more: HOP May Prayer Points

8th August, 2014

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MPnasrani Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600
 
Dear Prime Minister,
 

 

I write with a heavy heart as I read of and watch the systematic and gruesomely violent persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State.  Media reports and eye-witness accounts detail methodical and organised persecution, massacres, the raping of woman, and the beheading of children. 
 
I note that the BBC is reporting today that up to a quarter of Iraq's Christians have been forced to flee their homes, and even what they carry is being confiscated as they pass through checkpoints.  The Institute for the Study of War observes that the Islamic State claims to have levied the "jizya" tax on non-Muslims, although recent reports indicate that their ultimatum has now narrowed; convert to Islam, leave, or die.  I believe that in excess of 200,000 Christians have now fled towards the Kurdistan region of Iraq.  As you have said, Prime Minister, these men, women and children are facing "a truly horrific future should they fall into the hands of this terrorist movement.”  A humanitarian crisis is unfolding.
 
This violence directed at Christians is creating an intolerable burden on neighbouring countries and regions, which will linger for years to come.  But perhaps even more significantly, it seems to me that we who enjoy such wonderful freedoms in Australia cannot sit idly by while Christians are systematically targeted, attacked and murdered.
 
Prime Minister, will Australia use its position on the UN Security Council, a position used so effectively in the aftermath of the MH17 disaster, to gain recognition that a genocide is taking place before our eyes?
 
I understand that France is willing to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee.  Please, Prime Minister, will our country, with "boundless plains to share," also increase our intake of refugees to welcome many of those who have fled for their lives empty-handed?
 
As temperatures in the region soar, and people fall in the heat from exhaustion, hunger, and thirst, I respectfully ask, what additional humanitarian aid is our nation able to give, out of our abundance?
 
Finally Prime Minister, I wonder if you can tell me what you think the average Australian, the men and women of our great and blessed country, can do in the face of such a crisis as this.  Please tell me, so that my friends, my community, my church, and I can play our part.  May it never be said, that we were content to stand silently while our brothers and sisters were slaughtered for their faith in Jesus.
 
Prime Minister, please be assured of my prayers for you and for our government, as you lead our nation in the midst of this challenge.  I will pray especially for wisdom, for courage, and for compassion.  Perhaps most of all for compassion, that in God's kindness, this might become a defining characteristic of our great nation
 
Yours faithfully,
 
 
 
Clayton Fopp
Senior Pastor
Trinity Mount Barker

You can download a PDF file of this letter here: {phocadownload view=file|id=101|text=Letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott|target=b}

Please feel free to use this letter to write your own letter to the Prime Minister and your local Member of Parliament.
 

TMB Children & Youth

  • Give thanks for the great gift from God that young people are amongst the community of Trinity Mount Barker
  • Give thanks to God for the joyful reminders our children are of His character and love
  • Praise God for bringing them to be a part of His church and sitting them under the sound of the gospel as they grow
  • Praise God for the important place children take as part of our church and for the privilege we all have in setting examples and caring for them
  • Praise God for the many people who serve and teach our children especially through our children’s and youth programs
  • Pray for protection and covering over our children & youth, particularly for those most vulnerable & a risk
  • Pray for the children who are suffering and battling illnesses within our church family. Ask for healing, strength & God’s peace in sickness
  • Pray for wisdom and energy for those preparing and teaching the materials that teach our young people how to learn and wrestle with what the Bible says
  • Pray that God might call our children to Himself, for the glory of his name and the rapid spread of the gospel in generations to come
  • Pray that we might be ever vigilant in our guidance and nurturing as we set examples in life and faith for these young people who are so precious to God.

 
Mount Barker Region Children & Youth

  • Give thanks for the community of Mount Barker with its many services and provisions for children & youth
  • Give thanks for all those in our community that serve young people, teachers, CPSW’s, coaches, carers, counsellors & doctors
  • Give thanks for our schools and for all the opportunities afforded to our children as they learn and grow
  • Praise God for the many opportunities we have to connect and build relationships with families in the wider community through our children
  • Thank God for our current social and political system that seeks to protect and value children and young people
  • Pray for the children & youth in our community that have experienced or are experiencing trauma and abuse. Pray that God might provide refuge and hope in their lives through the power of the gospel
  • Pray for the young people at risk of disengaging with their education or struggling with family breakdown, ask that God might provide a way forward for them according to His will.
  • Pray for all the children in our community that are sick, pray that God might use this suffering to reveal more of Himself
  • Pray for students in their senior years of study, that their hearts & minds would still have room for God
  • Pray that God might provide us with ongoing opportunities to speak and act in the lives of young people in the Mt Barker region according to His love and purpose

 
TMB Families

  • Give thanks for God’s gift of family and the part they play at Trinity Mount Barker
  • Give thanks to God for the support, love and care He provides for us through our families
  • Praise God for the provision of living in relationship, and the blessings & challenges having a family bring
  • Praise God for Mothers & Fathers, brothers and sisters and their roles in guiding and caring for one another
  • Praise God for the way He uses family to demonstrate His character and reveal himself to us in new ways
  • Pray for protection and covering over TMB marriages and families
  • Pray for the families who are suffering and battling illnesses within our church family. Ask for healing, strength & courage as these families face much hardship
  • Pray for those supporting and caring for other families within TMB. Ask that we might all accept and cherish our roles in caring for one another, regardless of the sacrifice or discomfort to our own lives
  • Pray that God might guide our families in truth, for the glory of his name and the rapid spread of the gospel
  • Pray that we might work hard in the preservation and support of our family units according to God’s word

 
Families in the Mount Barker Region

  • Give thanks for the wider community of Mount Barker with its many services and provisions for families
  • Give thanks for all those in our community that serve families, schools, community centres, carers, counsellors & churches
  • Give thanks for the valued role of families in our Australian culture and social framework.
  • Praise God for the many opportunities we have to connect and build relationships with families in the wider community
  • Thank God for his ongoing work in the hearts and lives of parents and families across this region
  • Pray for the families in our region that are disjointed, estranged or in turmoil. Ask that the gospel might break through & bring peace
  • Pray for those supporting families through counselling and mediation, particularly for those doing so as Christians
  • Pray that we might be diligent in our seeking to reach out and care for the families we come in contact with, for God’s glory
  • Pray for those whose families or family history hinders them from hearing or understanding the gospel. Ask that God might move powerfully in their lives and break down barriers of pain
  • Pray for our leaders and politicians as our society wrestles with the definition of a ‘family’. Pray for wisdom and for courageous leaders willing to stand for Biblical ethics and truth.

 

manWith this past week designated as National Anti-Poverty Week, our Hour of Prayer focus on Monday night was those who are weakest and most marginalised in our society.

The prayer points we used to guide us at the Hour of Prayer are below. Please join us in prayer.

PRAYERS FOR GODLY LOVE…

Dear children, let us not love with words or speechbut with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:17

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12: 30-31

·         Pray, asking God that he might reveal His heart for people to us. That we might better understand what it means to love and care for the lost, weak & vulnerable.
·         Praise God for the great and flawless example of love he demonstrates for us all. Pray that all our imperfect acts of love would be used for His glory.  
·         Thank God for His mercy and pray that we might be the voices of mercy and genuine love in our community and beyond.
·         Ask that God would give us wisdom and discernment as we seek to put action to Jesus’ command that we love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
·         Pray that we would love those around us through the eyes of the gospel and according to the scriptures, in truth and in response to God’s saving grace.
·         Thank God for His sovereign power and perfect will that sees all and knows all. Ask that we would grow in our trust and submission to His plan, even in the face of great injustice, sorrow and hurt.
 

PRAYERS FOR THE HOMELESS…

Over 100,000 Australian’s will be homeless tonight…  
Half are under 24 years old and 10,000 are children.*

·         Pray for all women and men, boys and girls who are homeless in our region tonight; for those sleeping under bridges, on park benches, in doorways or bus stations. For families broken because they could not afford to pay the rent. For those struggling with mental illness. For those who have no relatives or friends who can take them in. For those who are afraid and hopeless.
·         Pray especially for the children living without a stable home. Ask that these little ones would be seen by God and brought into marvellous relationship with Him through the work of His people and churches.
·         Pray that the Christians endeavouring to bring God’s love and compassion to homeless people might feel His hand upon their work. Ask that God’s will might be done in their lives as they serve Him in this way.
·         Pray for the organisations that deal with the issue of homelessness at a ground level. Pray for wisdom and clarity to fight the right battles and to be emboldened to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
·         Pray for the governing bodies that manage funding and have real power to create change at systemic levels. Pray that God might place His people among them, and that Biblical love and compassion might become the catalyst for change.
·         Pray that each Christian person might see homeless people as precious creations, made in the image of God for His glory. Pray that we never shy away from reaching out whenever we are given the opportunity to do so.

*Department of Family, Housing, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs
 
 
PRAYERS FOR THE REFUGEE…

45.2 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide in 2012. The number of refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict alone has grown by more than 1.9 million in just 12 months. UNHCR fears that the number of Syrians displaced could reach 3 million within 2013.*
 
Sadly, Australia is probably now the highest profile example of a wealthy country turning its back on people seeking refuge, with the reintroduction of policies to prevent asylum seekers from remaining in Australian territory.*
 
 ·         Thank God for His almighty mercy in sending His own Son who became a refugee and had no place to call his own. Ask that God might look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, those who are homeless and hungry.
·         Ask that God might bless those who work to bring relief to refugees all over the world; that he might give strength to the hands that feed them, wisdom to the voices that speak for them and courage to the arms that are open to them.
·         Pray specifically for the non-Christian refugees re-settling in the Adelaide region.  Ask God that he might provide them not only with employment & social support but also with opportunities to hear the gospel and respond to it.
·         Pray for the Australian Government as it deals with the complex issues surrounding asylum seekers, particularly those coming by boat. Ask God to raise up Godly leaders who will advocate a Biblical viewpoint on these issues.
·         Pray for those who are prejudiced or hateful towards refugees. Ask that God would soften hearts through the power of His word, for His glory.
·         Pray that God would inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in His Kingdom of justice and of peace.

*Refugee Council of Australia website

PRAYERS FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS…

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live substantially shorter lives than other Australians – up to 20 years less in some cases.

Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illness such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

·         Praise God for the diversity and differences of the human race. Thank Him that although we are different, we are all made in his image to be used for the praise of His glory.
·         Pray for our healthcare system in Australia, particularly those working towards improving Indigenous health.
·         Pray for those advocating for the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.  Pray for wisdom & clarity as they work through complex generational issues.
·         Pray for those working to make the gospel message readily available to Indigenous Australian’s in ways they understand. Pray for those translating the Bible and those training and mentoring Aboriginal pastors.
·         Pray for all Indigenous Australian who have faced hatred and racism, that they might receive a full measure of God’s grace through the hearing of the gospel message. 
·         Ask God to forgive us and those that have gone before us who have been deceived and disobeyed Jesus’ commandment to love others as we love ourselves. Pray that God would restore and reconcile all Australian’s to Himself and one another.

Praying for those being persecuted in Iraq

Canon Andrew White, an Anglican Vicar in Baghdad has asked the following:

 

"I have three ‘P’s that I always mention which is for Protection, Provision and Perseverance. We need protection, we need to provide for those people and we need to keep going.”


Protection

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High,to God, who vindicates me.

Psalm 57:1-2

Pray:

  • For God to work miraculously in the hearts of the ISIS militants, to convict them of their sin and turn towards God in repentance
  • For Governments around the world to open their borders and provide a safe haven for refugees
  • For women and children left unable to defend themselves against slavery – that no one would provide the means to carry it out
  • For increased awareness and accurate reporting in the media
  • For courage for ordinary Iraqi’s to open their homes to refugees despite the cost
  • For God to give peace and assurance in the hearts and minds of those being persecuted – that He has not abandoned them

Provision

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:15-16

Pray:

  • For generosity from Christians around the world
  • For aid agencies like Barnabas Fund, Open Doors and the Bible Society – that their people in Iraq can supply material needs to those without food clothing or shelter
  • For those trapped in the mountains without food or water
  • For the food aid dropped by American, Australian and other International forces, that it would reach those in need

Perseverance

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Pray:

  • For strength and trust in God and certain assurance of the future hope of eternal life
  • For determination to stand firm in their faith and hold on to God’s promises
  • For those fleeing to be able to keep going, for those left behind, to protect and support each other
  • For us all not to forget them, but continue to uphold them in prayer

On March 17 we gathered to pray for our new church plant, Trinity South Coast. Please find the prayer points below and continue to pray with us.


Trinity South Coast


Give thanks for the way God went before us in 2014, preparing the way for the initial South Coast Studies Bible study groups, and now the launch of a new church.


Pray that God will give those in the South Coast starter group many opportunities to talk to friends, family and neighbours about Jesus. Ask God to create many “divine intersections” for conversations to occur.


Pray that the existing churches in the region will be encouraged and spurred on in their gospel ministry by the launch of the new church.


Ask God that many people who have never understood the gospel of Jesus will be invited along to TSC by friends.  Pray they will hear the gospel faithfully explained, see it lived out, and come to faith in Jesus. Ask God to draw many people to himself.


Pray that many people who have been part of a church previously, but who have allowed other things in life to crowd out their faith and their trust in Jesus, will hear of TSC and will connect into church and be encouraged and built up.


Pray that the countless tasks, large and small, necessary to the life of a new church will be taken care of easily, and that they won’t present a distraction to the ministry of the church.


Ask God to be at work in the people of the South Coast even now, preparing them to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus as it’s proclaimed in the new church.


Give thanks for the provision of a Sunday venue at Investigator College, and for the good relationships enjoyed with the school.


The Trinity South Coast Team


Give thanks for the faithfulness of those on the South Coast who have been praying for a new church for many years.


Give thanks for these weeks of “Soft Launch” church services leading up to the public launch at Easter.  Pray that this time will be a great encouragement to the TSC Starter Group as they see the shape of things to come.


Pray that the South Coast starter group who have gone out from TMB will persevere well in the ministry tasks and opportunities ahead of them, convinced of the value of the ministry they are involved in for the kingdom of God.


Pray that we at TMB will be committed to praying regularly and faithfully for the ministry on the South Coast. Ask that we will grasp the fellowship in gospel partnership that we enjoy.


Pray that the TMB re-launch at Mount Barker, and consolidating to one Sunday morning gathering, will enable us to plant more and more churches so that people can come into a relationship with Jesus.


Give thanks for holidays that TSC pastor Duncan Andrews and his family had recently.  Pray that the time of refreshment will serve them well for the busy launch period ahead.


Give thanks for those in the Starter Group who have already committed to serving in a variety of ministry areas such as kids’ ministry and welcoming.

The following prayer points center around our youth and childrens ministry. You can use them to help guide your prayers.

Crèche Ministry

  • Thank God for the gift of babies, both to their parents & to the church.
  • Pray for protection and Godly covering as TMB babies grow.
  • Praise God for the many people that give up their time to care for the youngest TMBers during various Church services and Bible Study Groups.
  • Pray for crèche volunteers, that they might be faithful and purposeful in their care.
  • Pray for the leaders recruiting and rostering for TMB crèche ministry, ask for wisdom and ongoing energy for the task.
  • Pray that crèche might continue to be a tool that encourages and enables young families to come under the sound of the gospel for the sake of Jesus’ name.

CIA Kids Club Ministry

  • Ask God to call on and provide a new leader for the Friday afternoon program so that CIA can resume ministry as soon as possible.
  • Pray that those children who were attending CIA, particularly those with no other connection to a church, would be built up under God in other ways and through other programs.

Sunday Kid’s Church Ministry (Minis, Midis & Maxis)

  • Thank God for the space and resources to run Kid’s Church programs every Sunday.
  • Praise God for the faithful service of the various teachers & volunteers through whom TMB is able to offer vital ministry to children.
  • Thank God for Naomi Harris and her continued deliberate and faithful work in preparing materials, teaching, recruiting and rostering for Kid’s Church every Sunday. Pray for strength & encouragement. Pray for her own family as she works hard to serve God through Children’s ministry at TMB.
  • Pray that the school holidays bring rest and refreshment to all those serving at Kid’s Church, giving renewed energy for another term.
  • Pray for those that have been asked to serve as teachers for Kid’s Church. Ask that they might take the offer seriously and prayerfully consider how they might be able to serve the children at TMB.
  • Ask that God might provide many more volunteers for Kid’s Church to relieve pressure on the few who are currently serving.
  • Pray that Kid’s church might continue to be a tool that encourages and enables young families to come under the sound of the gospel for the sake of Jesus’ name.
  • Thank God for children and the many blessings He lavishes on us through them.
  • Praise God for His work in the lives and hearts of our youngest followers of Christ.
  • Pray that we might always provide for and never hinder the growth, in faith and service, of our children at TMB.
  • Pray that we might continue to prioritise and hold high the ministry of the gospel to our children, both during and beyond church every Sunday.
  • Ask that God might draw the attention of young families until He is their whole focus and the reason for ‘doing life’ in a way that brings glory to Him.
  • Pray for children connected to TMB who are not yet followers of Jesus. Ask that the Holy Spirit might work in their lives through the various children’s ministries at TMB.
  • Pray for children in Mt Barker not connected with TMB or any other church. Pray that God might see and hear them, draw them to himself and allow Mt Barker to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
  • Ask for God’s protection over the lives of children. Pray that they might be spared of the sin of those who have come before them and that they might be set apart for God’s glory.
  • Pray that those children who were attending CIA, particularly those with no other connection to a church, would be built up under God in other ways and through other programs.

GiG Youth Ministry

  • Praise God for the Friday night youth group ‘GiG - Growing in God’.
  • Thank God for engaging and valued small group Bible study times across the first term.
  • Thank God for the students who attend, for their willingness and desire to study the Bible and know Jesus. 
  • Thank God for the leaders who give up their Friday nights to serve and teach young people at GiG – Katy, Tim, David, Anthea & Daniel.
  • Pray for renewed energy and fervour over the school holiday period as leaders rest and prepare for another term of the GiG program. 
  • Pray for Katy as she writes study guides and continues in planning and preparation for the rest of the year.
  • Pray that the leaders would continue to be challenged to build relationships with the GiG students especially assigned to them with the desire to disciple them towards maturity in Jesus. 
  • Praise God for bringing several new students in contact with GiG who are yet to follow Christ. Ask that He might enable the faithful teaching of the gospel to these young people. 
  • Pray that the gospel would spread rapidly from GiG and that the students would be equipped to share the gospel with their friends.

YA – Young Adults Ministry

  • Thank God for Andrew Harris and his leadership of this ministry. Ask for continued wisdom and energy as he leads a challenging demographic within TMB.
  • Pray that Andrew might be able to effectively and naturally engage with the young adults for the purpose of teaching and building them up.
  • Thank God for the provision of God-honouring and Biblical study guides for YA to use. 
  • Praise God for the encouragement many of our young adults are in word and service to others within the TMB community. 
  • Ask that God would continue to uphold our young adults and spur them on in their spiritual growth and ministry.
  • Pray for more consistent and committed attendance at YA Bible Study on Tuesday nights.
  • Pray that other, older members of the TMB community would take particular interest in the lives of our young adults and come alongside of them in mentoring roles. 
  • Pray that there would be consistent and tangible growth in knowledge through Bible Study for the YA group. 
  • Pray that Tuesday night Bible Study would grow in numbers, both Christian and non-Christian, for the sake of gospel and the praise of Jesus. 

Our Youth & Young Adults

  • Praise God for the gift of young people among us at TMB and in the wider community. Thank God for all the ways they teach and encourage us all.
  • Thank God for the lives of those young people who are constantly seeking His will for their lives. Pray that God might hear their desire and be faithful in His promises. 
  • Pray for TMB’s year 12 and Uni students. Ask that they might be able to honour God in their priorities and choices as they balance study with the rest of their lives.
  • Pray that our youth and young adults might be challenged and discipled towards setting an example for all believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. 
  • Pray for protection from evil over the lives of our young people as their Biblical worldview competes with that of many of their friends. 
  • Pray for the young people that are connected with TMB in one way or another but are yet to be followers of Jesus. Ask that they might come to know the saving grace of God through his Son, and that TMB would be faithful in the discipleship of young believers. 
  • Pray for the many youth and young adults who are yet to come under the sound of the gospel here in the Mt Barker region. Pray that God might use TMB to reach and teach them as the Holy Spirit works in their lives.

IDOPThe Prayer Points prepared for this evening's Hour of Prayer for the persecuted church are copied below for you to use in your own prayers:

NIGERIA 
In Borno state, the authorities plan to demolish 25 churches and Christian schools. Anti-Christian violence continues to be a horrific reality in some Northern and Middle Belt areas. For example, Christians in Kafanchan in Kaduna State have been the target of an ongoing, violent campaign that began in March. Around 100 people have been killed, over 500 homes have been destroyed and more than 10,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Let us pray for Nigeria
·         Pray for persecuted Nigerian Christians, who have suffered and continue to suffer terribly.
·         Pray that all those who live in areas where sharia law is being imposed will know that in Christ they have true freedom, despite the earthly oppression they are enduring.
·         Pray that the mental and physical wounds inflicted on Christian victims of violence will be healed in Jesus name.
·         Pray for the victims of a violent machete attacks in Kaduna State this September, ask that God would strengthen their faith and enable it to stand even firmer so that the gospel might spread rapidly in that area.
·         Ask the Lord to protect our brothers and sisters in Nigeria from further attack.
·         Pray for those speaking the gospel regardless of the cost to their lives or the lives of their families, ask that their actions would impact the hearts of those who are persecuting them.
 
SYRIA
Believers from two Christian villages in Syria were invaded by Islamist rebels on 21 October. Estimates of the number of Christians killed during the siege of Saddad and Haffar range from 45 to 70, and thousands of people were used as human shields. Many of our brothers and sisters were forced to flee to neighbouring villages or to the cities of Homs and Damascus. Let us pray for Syria
·         Give thanks that residents of these two villages have been able to return to their homes since government forces liberated the villages on 28 October.
·         Pray for those who are grieving for lost relatives and for those traumatised by the violent takeover.
·         Pray that the residents of Saddad and Haffar will know the peace of the Lord as they return home and try to resume their daily lives.
·         Pray also for Christians throughout Syria, who are both caught up in the civil conflict and specifically targeted by Islamist rebels.
·         Ask the Lord to meet the needs of those who are displaced and destitute as the temperature drops over winter.
·         Pray that the Sovereign Lord will be the refuge of every Syrian Christian as their ordeal continues to drag on.
 
EYGPYT
 An Egyptian Christian Church family has lost four of its members after a Cairo church was targeted in a drive-by shooting. Two young girls, Mariam (8) and Mariam (12), were among the four Christians shot dead as they left the church after a wedding. A number of other people were injured during the attack on 20 October, during which masked gunmen fired indiscriminately at people leaving the building. Immediately after the attack two sisters, Mariam (10) and Ireni (6), were found to be missing. At the time of writing, there has been no news of their whereabouts. Let us pray for Eygpt.  
·         Thank God that family members of the victims have turned to the Lord in their grief, and praise him for their boldness in saying that the attack has only strengthened their faith.
·         Ask that we would be emboldened in our own faith and encouraged by our Eygptian Christian brothers and sisters.
·         Praise God for their faith and courage in the face of grief and trauma, and ask Him to heal them in their suffering and provide them with reassurance of the truth that He is with them always.
·         Ask the Lord to keep Mariam and Ireni safe and that they will soon be returned to their families.  
·         Pray that the authorities will provide more effective protection for vulnerable churches. (A local church leader said that the targeted church had not had a police guard since the end of June)
·         Pray for the five men who were arrested over the shooting, one of whom was said to be a member of a terrorist organisation. The other four were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Pray that they might come under the sound of the gospel and be transformed for the glory of God’s Kingdom.
 
 
Bless the Lord, O my soul,and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.- Psalm 103:1-5
·         Praise God for his sovereign grace in the provision of his Son and the hope we have as a result.
·         Thank God for the promises he gives us through his word, for his faithful love that never ends, for his peace that passes understanding, for his victory over sin & death, for an end to pain and suffering and an eternal life with him for all who trust in Jesus. 
·         Praise God for his glory, power & might. For his justice, for his name renowned in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
·         Thank God that one day every knee shall bow, and every tongue will swear allegiance to the LORD and that those who actively fight against the gospel now will be among those who will tremble at his presence on that day.
·         Pray that Christians all over the world would not worry, fret, or fear in the face of adversary, pain, hatred or loss of freedom, ask instead that we would all trust in God’s holy name and mighty power no matter the cost to ourselves or our brothers and sisters in Christ.
·         Pray that armed with the mighty promises of God, Christians would stand firm all across the world and even amidst great suffering, never shrinking back from sharing the full counsel of God. 

 
It is often said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee, and that a bus designed by a committee would have 10 steering wheels and no accelerator pedal!  Apparently there are people out there who don’t like committees!  But as I try and visualise these strange inventions, I can’t help but think about the possible similarities with church; How do we make sure we’re all on the same page? How can a diverse group of a few hundred people possibly work together, and even more – share life and fellowship together?
 

God, Church & Me

God, Church & Me is an opportunity to make sure we’re all working towards the same goal, to find out how things work (or how we hope they do!) and a chance for each of us to find out place in the community of Trinity Mount Barker.  In God, Church & Me, we examine our life together in the light of the Scriptures and see how the grace of God revealed to us in the Bible shapes our church life and our own individual part within the community.  GCM consists of four sessions; The first part of each is spent reading and discussing the Bible, and then the second part of each session is spent discussing how the truths we’ve seen in the Scriptures are worked out in practice at TMB in the various things we do as a church.
 
The four GCM sessions are:
1. God & Us
2. Scripture & Prayer
3. Growing & Giving
4. Church & Leadership
 
In these, you'll have a chance to hear about and ask questions about our church leadership structure, our relationship to the wider Trinity Network, how our teaching program is planned, who our key leaders are, how we handle money, how prayer shapes our community life, why we want to plant churches, how you can find your place in our community, why our church exists in the first place and lots more!
 
If you consider Trinity your church home, please join us on the four Wednesday nights in February; 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th, from 7:30 – 9:30 PM in the church offices.  GCM is one of the very best ways to get connected in to our church and to feel at home here. I really hope you can join us.
 
Clayton
 


If you were unable to join us last night for our Hour of Prayer, please read below for how you can be praying for us as a church.
 

Our Family

  • Give thanks for the vibrant network of people that make up the family at TMB and praise God that he has gifted us with genuine relationships and community.
  • Pray for young Saskia Krol. Pray that God would rid her body of the Neuroblastoma, both in her neck and in her vertebrae. Ask that Saskia’s cancer would be starved through the chemotherapy and that it would be incapable of growth or spread. 
  • Ask that a miraculous healing of Saskia’s body in Jesus name might give great glory to God and cause many people to be humbled before the God of the universe who can do all things. 
  • Praise and thank God for Saskia’s family, their faith and trust in their Father God and their willingness to share this journey with their TMB family.
  • Ask for continued unity and strength within the Krol family in the months ahead. Ask that God might give them wisdom as they navigate what family life looks like during such a long period of treatment for Saskia.  
  • Pray for Doug Bower. Ask that we at TMB might continue in love and support of both he and Roma as they continue in the journey of Doug’s brain tumour treatment.  
  • Ask that God’s healing hand might be upon Doug and that He might make a full recovery, and that through this many people might come to know Jesus and choose to follow him. 
  • Pray for Roma as she tirelessly cares for Doug and spends many hours on the road travelling to do so. Pray for stamina and renewed strength. Ask that God might help us know how to best care for them both at this time. 
  • Pray that both of these families might keep their eyes fixed on God in the long months ahead and hold fast to God’s promises that he will never leave them or forsake them, that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and that nothing can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus. 
  • Pray for the doctors involved in both Saskia’s and Doug’s cases. Ask that God might provide them with particular understanding and wisdom, that He might protect them from doing any harm and use them for His plans and purposes in the lives of Saskia & Doug. 

Our Ministry

  • Give thanks that we all have the privilege of playing a part in God’s work within TMB. Ask that we might each play our part with fervour and as a response to God’s great love for us. 
  • Thank God for all the ministry areas that we are able to run within TMB. 
  • Praise God for all the people that have come forward to lead the ministry areas and ask that He might use them and guide them. 
  • Ask that as TMB continues to grow and new ministry opportunities become apparent that God would raise up the people to lead them. 
  • Pray in particular for leadership gaps appearing in ministry areas for 2014 as previous leaders step down or move on to different ministry opportunities. Ask that God might fill these gaps with people ready and able to be used to continue His good work at TMB. 
  • Praise God for the people who have already come forward to fill some of those gaps. 
  • Ask that God might continue to challenge and move us out of our comfort zones and remind us constantly that the ministry of TMB belongs to Him and is not dependant on any one leader or ministry area. 
  • Pray that God might be near those who are leading ministry areas, and that they might continue in their personal discipleship and commitment to reading God’s word and prayer. 
  • Ask that God might protect those serving in multiple and time consuming ministry areas from burn out or exhaustion. Ask that the TMB family might be wise in supporting one another as we all seek to serve in the areas where we are gifted. 
  • Ask that more and more Sunday morning attendees might be challenged to find out where they can serve within the family at TMB, and that they might then be well supported and equipped as they contribute to the ministry. 

Our Leaders

  • Give praise and great thanks for the leaders God has placed among us at TMB.
  • Give thanks for the gift that the Fopp family are to TMB. Ask that God might surround and protect them as they serve us. 
  • Ask that Clayton might be given renewed strength and energy to finish a hard year well. Ask that God might especially encourage him as he looks forward to partnering with an Associate Pastor next year. 
  • Praise God for the gift of the new Associate Pastor, pray that He might prepare us, and the new pastor as we look to share life and ministry beginning in 2014. 
  • Pray for a smooth transition to the Adelaide Hills for the new associate and their family. 
  • Pray for the Leadership Team and they move into a season of transition and change as TMB looks to continue to grow and eventually plant a new Sunday gathering in coming years.
  • Pray for Paul Harrington & the wider leadership of the Trinity network, asking that God might have His in their lives and their ministry.  
  • Ask for wisdom and clarity for all the leaders as they seek to honour God and serve the family at TMB
  • Ask that God might continue to teach us how we can support and care for our leaders, that we might hold them highly and be thankful for them. 
  • Pray that God might protect our leaders from sin and temptation, keeping their feet firmly planted in the truth of God’s word so that the Holy Spirit might be the loudest voice in their lives as they teach and guide us. 

Our Community

  • Give thanks for all the great things that come with living in the Adelaide Hills and being part of the Mount Barker community. 
  • Praise God for school communities, Mum’s groups, sport teams and the like and thank Him that through these we have the opportunity to build relationships with those outside of the TMB family.
  • Ask that God would challenge us all the more to continue to share our faith when the opportunity presents itself and that we would not be ashamed of the gospel. 
  • Ask that God would continue to provide us with ways to be involved and serve the wider community, so that we might ultimately be part of the rapid spread of the gospel among the people here. 
  • Pray for the local Politians and leaders, asking that they might act with integrity and be worthy of the power entrusted to them. 
  • Pray for the community service groups that are working with people on the fringe of our society. Ask that God might reveal himself in those places and that the people doing this often thankless work might be encouraged and supported by the wider community. 
  • Pray for the other church families spread out over the Adelaide Hills, asking that God might invigorate and grow their gatherings through the consistent teaching of His word.
  • Pray for Christian Pastoral Support Workers in our schools, giving thanks for their work among students, staff and parents and asking that God might water and grow the seeds planted by CPSW’s for the growth of His Kingdom. 
  • Pray for those living within the Mount Barker community that do not have stable lifestyles or support, those homeless or without adequate food or finance. Ask that the gospel message might reach them in word and deed, that they might come to know Jesus as their saviour. 
  • Ask that we might be witness to the rapid spread of the gospel out from TMB, and that we might all take seriously the part we have to play. 

Looking for some clarity and hope amidst the busyness and chaos of Christmas?christmas

Please join us at one of our two services.

On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we'll be hearing from one of the eye-witnesses of Jesus' life, and trying to get to the heart of Christmas;
What did Jesus come to do?
What hope does he offer for the world?
How can we have a meaningful Christmas?

Please join us:
Christmas Eve
10 PM:  Tea, coffee & mince pies
10:30 PM: Communion Service

Christmas Day
9 AM: Family-Friendly Service.


Littlehampton Primary School gymnasium,
Baker St, Littlehampton