Concord Chronicle

Church Family Newsletter | September 10, 2021

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Known unknowns

The Apostle Paul writing to the church at Rome, makes an intriguing assertion:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” [Romans 8:26-27 NIV Emphasis mine]

This leads to a bit of a conundrum.

The same Paul urges believers to “…pray continuously…” [1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV], but how can we when we don’t know what we ought to pray for?!

What’s a disciple to do?

The original Greek helps us in this passage from Romans. The word translated as “know” is another example of one of those cases where there are two different words in Greek which are translated by only one in English. There is a word for knowing which means the kind of knowledge that comes from experience, learning or training — if you know how to fix a flat tire it’s only because you were shown or taught or learned by trial and error how to do so. The other word for know is for knowledge which is instinctual and doesn’t have to be taught or explained. I don’t believe anyone ever had to explain to you how to drink, even as a baby you just “knew”. Similarly, breathing is an essential piece of knowledge that Is essential for survival - happily that knowledge is instinctual and is “built-in” to all of us.

It’s this second, instinctual kind of knowledge that Paul is referring to in our prayer lives. We don’t have a built-in instinct for what we “ought” to be praying for. What we do know is that God very often accomplishes His purposes through the prayers of His saints and therefore we should be trying to ascertain what God’s purposes in any situation are, so that we can pray appropriately.

Seems like a “Catch-22”!

If you will allow me to switch from Greek to Latin for a moment, our English word “intercede” comes from two Latin words, “inter” which means “between” and “cedere”, “to cut”. So when you “intercede” you literally are cutting in between the entities which are communicating.

Over time in English, intercede has come to have the sense of “advocate” - “to speak on behalf of” but it is the original meaning of cutting in between which is expressed in the Greek word. In everyday Greek it is usually used of someone who is in trouble and the intercessor cuts in to help on their behalf.

Quite literally the Holy Spirit cuts in line during our prayers and does a two-way interpretation of the conversation. He translates our utterances into a form which is acceptable and conforming to the Father’s will, and translates the Father’s will and purposes into a form that we can understand. So over time and with continual experience we come to “know”, in both senses in Greek, what it is we should be ceaselessly praying for.

So if we want to ensure that our prayers are not useless recitations that go no further than the ceiling, we need to make sure that the Holy Spirit is present in all our conversations. Jesus has made that easy for us by giving us His spirit which lives in us all the time - so long as we are prepared to surrender our wills to His. That way He can intercede the moment you are moved to prayer.

If you want to know what God’s will is, do as Paul suggests and pray continuously and you will be delighted to learn (“wordlessly” as Paul asserts) what it is you ought to be praying for! May you delight in the law of the Lord this week.

Blessings on you and yours,

Jim Black


What's Happening Sept 12-18?


9:30 am - Praise Team Rehearsal

10:00 am - Corps Cadets & Sunday School - Classrooms 2 & 3

11:00 am - Worship Service - In-Person and Facebook

12:13 pm - Fellowship Luncheon & Games - Fireside Room


1:00 pm - TSAMM Angel Tree Training - Library & Zoom (Hybrid)

6:00 pm - Men's Bible Study - In Fireside Room

6:00 pm - Women's Bible Study - Library & Zoom (Hybrid)

7:00 pm - Songsters Rehearsal - Chapel (Masks required)

8:00 pm - Senior Band Rehearsal - In Chapel


10:00 am - El Sobrante Home League: Making Treats for the High Tea


10:00 am - CAMEO: Chunky Knit Craft* - Fireside Room & Zoom (Hybrid)

*Will be easier to do craft in-person. However, if you want to remain home, you will need to supply your own chunky knit material.


10:00 am - Officers' Councils Praise Team Rehearsal - Chapel


9:30 am - 1:00 pm - De Oro Brass & Chorus Rehearsals - Suisun Kroc Center

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Mark Lowry - Old People (Live) ft. The Martins

Youth Music Programs Resume Sunday, September 19

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Register Youth for Sunday's Classes

Please complete this online form so that we can be prepared for the number of kids signed-up.

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Tuesday Night: Women's Bible Study

What time: 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Where: Library & Zoom

Topic: What the Women Saw

Major Ann is excited to start a new series using a study in RightNow Media. We will be viewing a short video clip each week before our discussions. She encourages you to purchase the accompanying study bible.

Upcoming Events

Men's Camp

Yes! God-willing, the men will have an opportunity to go to camp this year. Save this date:

Date: October 29-31, 2021

Theme: The Race to Victory, Hebrews 12:1-3

Cost: $75 per person

The activities will include the 19th Annual Del Oro Games: Basketball Tournament, Go-Cart Racing, Cardboard Boat Race and more. There will be an EDS (Emergency Disaster Services) Training, Canteen Cook-Off, Bible teaching, and fellowship. Don't miss out! See Major Gwyn to register. Registration is due October 15th.

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Prayer Requests

Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.

International Prayer Focus

From Commissioner Colleen Riley, Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development: Attached you will find prayer requests from Territories around the world for the Month of September. It is a privilege for us to pray for these areas of focus for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are grateful to International Headquarters, for their focus each month on different Territories around our Army World. I would be remiss if we did not lift the people of Afghanistan and Haiti to the Lord at this time as well.

We serve a Sovereign God. He is a good of strength and of clarity, not of confusion. As you lift your prayers to Him, be reminded that He hears and answers!


Territorial Leaders: Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson

Prayer Requests:

  • We give thanks to God for the emerging models and expressions of frontline mission across the territory and pray for success in discipling new people who have connected through these new expressions. God is indeed doing is indeed doing a new thing. Hallelujah!

  • The territory is part way through a 22-day prayer initiative which commenced on 22 August. Our territorial leaders have called us to a season of prayer focusing specifically on unity and oneness across the whole Movement. One of the key aspects of this initiative is a daily on-line prayer meeting. Please pray that people will embrace, support, and commit to this prayer focus. We believe great things are in store and that God is going to do far more than we could evert ask or imagine.

  • 9 September is our general change notification day. We are praying particularly for all Officer’s – and their families – involved in this and that it will create as little disruption as possible.

  • COVID continues to impact the way we do mission. Please pray for the ongoing resilience of all officers and staff who are worn down by the ongoing impact of COVID lockdowns and closure of interstate borders

Fundraisers & Financial Contributions

CAMEO T-Shirts

If you would like to order a t-shirt, it is $7. You can wear this at corps or divisional events or when you are out running errands. It is a great way to advertise our women's ministry during the week. The color is "sangria" with a "cameo" logo and the words "Come And Meet Each Other" (which spells CAMEO).

Place your order here:

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