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The Journal

Zacchaeus’ new priority

Dear Friends,
We have just finished our series on the book of Ephesians and next week we commence a new series on Genesis 12-25. However there will be an interlude of 6 sermons (while I am away) from Rev Hugh Isaacs (the Executive Assistant to the Bishop) on the parables of the Kingdom . I will also do a one off sermon on Christians and work as this wasn’t covered in our last series on Ephesians. Please be praying for these various series that the Lord will bless both the reading and preaching of His Word. The passage today is also a one off sermon from Daniel 9:1-19 looking at the prayer of Daniel. I have been very encouraged that people within our church have supported the monthly prayer meeting as well as the occasional prayer and fasting days we have held. People are also using the weekly prayer points on the back of the pastor’s blog. Our prayer ministry during our weekly services and at our monthly healing service has seen a growing commitment to prayer. Praying for our personal needs builds love and support across the church but today the prayer of Daniel puts our focus on praying for God’s big purposes. Daniel is in exile in Babylon and in response to His searching of the Scriptures He sees that God has promised that God’s people would be in exile for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-14) and then return. In Dan 9:1 the first year of the reign of Darius as ruler over Babylon is a marker that these 70 years of exile have been completed. Notice how the word of God leads Daniel to pray for God’s purposes. As we grow in our understanding and knowledge of God’s Word we will start to see God’s big plan and this will impact the content and focus of our prayer. In fact for Daniel the great priority for his prayers which is even greater than returning from exile is that God’s name will be honoured 9:19. Daniel’s prayer life is driven by a concern that the Lord will be honoured. How should that Biblical concern affect our prayers ? Accordingly we focus our prayers so that the Lord’s name is honoured within the community of Leichhardt and the way that will happen is as we live godly lives and people who don’t know Christ repent and stop ignoring God and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Pray for this and for people to share Christ. At the 5pm service we meet Zaccheaus in Luke 19:1-10. Jesus found him and this changed his life radically. God not money became Zacchaeus’ new priority ! Jesus desire to share a meal with Zacchaeus is also a picture of acceptance and Jesus is willing to have his name associated with sinners. That is why we honour Jesus’ name because He loves the unlikely and the unlovely ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara