Latest News and Updates from The Sisters
Canaan Prayer Points (and latest news) December 2023
To all our friends, You are thought so much of all throughout the year., and the nicest time to say so, is when Christmas time is here. ~~ We have a new Sister! ~~ Prayer for Israel
I fear for my people, I fear for my church.
Long after the sirens fall silent, long after the windows in Tel Aviv stop shaking from the pounding of rockets, long after the dead are buried, the war of words will continue. The genie is out of the bottle. Its name? Antisemitism. While under-ground tunnels were being dug along the Gazan/Israeli border, antisemitism travelled the airways in the media, emerged as graffiti on our walls, before exploding in hate marches. The most ancient of hatreds, it mutates in every generation. Descendants of Holocaust survivors recognize the signs. Whether raised as Jews or Christians, whether they believe in God or not, whether living in London, New York, Sydney, Munich or Breslau, they express raw fear. “It’s happening all over again. And it starts with words.”
This Hanukkah our hearts go out to you especially.
"Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, with which your enemies mock, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed." Psalm 89:50-51 With you we observe this feast of lights amid the darkness and look to the God of Israel, who calls Himself Israel's Father
May You Find Solace in Sorrow
Our dear Jewish brothers and sisters, Regarding the severe suffering, loss, and grief brought on by the Hamas attacks on the 7th October 2023, we wish to send you our love and condolences. We are unable to truly comprehend the depths of the horrific journey that Israel and the Jewish communities around the world are currently experiencing. We want you to know that you have our full support and solidarity, and to be assured of our continuing thoughts and prayers for you all.
Sharing God's Tears for a Lost World. Part 1 - A Time to Weep
Was there ever a time like ours? The world is covered, as it were, with tears—a sea of tears. He [God] longs to gather all the tears shed in this age of suffering. Every single one is precious to Him. People may forget us, even if at first they wept with us. But there is Someone who will never forget us. In this age of misery and affliction let us lift up our eyes to God in prayer. INCLUDES: A Prayer for our Nation and the World.
Hearing God's Voice
Voices. Myriads of voices. This is characteristic of modern life. We are surrounded by a medley of voices enslaving us to the things of this world and shutting out God’s voice. Why is this so significant? Obeying starts with hearing, listening. So what do we hear today?
Easter: Is True Meaning
When asked to reflect on the meaning of Easter what comes to mind? Is it the iconic image of Jesus hanging on the cross? Or has this historic event been distorted over time to a mere legend? Has its symbolism been shifted from the cross to a bunny, and its significance to the consumption of chocolate? Perhaps some of you are still confused about Easter.
Christmas 2022 - Soon the King is Coming!
Into the chaos and confusion of our times the Christmas message of hope rings out loud and clear. Jesus came, and Jesus is coming again – this time as King. Soon the King is coming. But are we ready? In the run-up to Christmas some think of business profits, shopping, gifts, decorations, and celebrations. Others think of Bethlehem asleep, the star in the sky, shepherds in the field and singing choirs of angels. The real Christmas message goes far deeper. The world is fast approaching the last greatest event: the return of Jesus. He is coming again as King of kings in glory and majesty. Every eye will see Him, the only-begotten Son of the Father and perfect image of God.
Perfect Perspective for Christmas
"What are you doing for Christmas?" — "Dunno. Not sure if we can even afford it." — "What will you say to your kids?" — "Sorry, kids. Santa won't be coming this year. And forget the turkey and trimmings." — "That's tough. The third year in a row with a not-so-merry Christmas." — "Yeah, Covid, the war, the economy. What next?" "What next?" was the same reaction of friends facing a difficult and financially tight Christmas season. They had borrowed heavily to purchase land to build a number of houses. While they had managed to build the houses, they were unable to sell them at a price that would clear the related debts. Now, every month they were only just managing to make their mortgage payments. As they thought about Christmas for their family and friends, their hearts sank. How would they be able to make it special?
Wishing you every blessing for Hanukkah,
As you and your loved ones come together to celebrate Hanukkah, we pray that the peace of the Most High will surround you in these troubled times. With the passing of years, the essential message of Hanukkah grows in significance: the few against the many. We can only imagine the implications for you personally. With deep concern we have witnessed anti-Jewish sentiment, the oldest hatred in the world, return again and again with a vengeance after any setback. In our prayers of blessing for your people, we find ourselves echoing the words of the psalmist and prophets as we appeal to the Most High to intervene on your behalf. The louder the voices of strife maligning you, the more we want to proclaim the promises of the Almighty to you, His dearly beloved and chosen people.
Canaan Prayer Points December 2022 - February 2023
We live in an age such as the world has never seen. From day to day the news continues to grow worse, with one disaster swiftly following the next. Sometimes we don’t just see tragedy unfold-ing on our screens, it happens around us. It is easy to give in to sadness and despair. But Jesus knows all about our pain, and the challenges we face in our personal journey. This is why He wants to meet with us afresh – where we are. We need only pray: All-merciful Lord Jesus, I know You really care and in Your amazing love You can and will help us in our troubles.
Greetings for Rosh Hashanah
If we had a wish at the beginning of the Jewish New Year and the new reign of Charles III, it would be this. Firstly, for a renewed commitment in praying for our monarch, who has publicly appealed to Almighty G-d for guidance and help in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon him. Secondly, for Christians everywhere to include in their services a prayer of blessing, honouring our elder brother Israel. Of all the peoples of the world, it is to them that the Ruler of the nations entrusted the Ten Commandments, the basis of our Judeo-Christian society.
God's Holy Remnant - A Prayer of Dedication
God does not leave His people without hope. As part of His kingdom we are to diffuse light in the darkness. Let us pray: Lord, while all around the old order is crumbling, You are giving us a foretaste of a new world You are creating. Before our very eyes we see the holy remnant blossoming. In every nation souls are being drawn to You, who saved us on the cross with Your life-blood. What glorious privilege to belong to Your holy remnant. Nothing more fulfilling, nothing more rewarding. What inexpressible grace. Upon us Your royal gaze has fallen.
Canaan Prayer Points September - November 2022
Every time Israel was threatened with a major judgement, which would wipe out the greater part of the people, a remnant was to be left – a company of holy, sanctified souls. The holy remnant is the special object of God’s love. It is therefore of utmost importance that the Lord can achieve His objective with us so that we might belong to the holy remnant. Therefore, may the Lord place a great burden on our hearts, that the Lord will awaken in each one of us the fervent plea, “Lord, let me belong to the holy remnant. They are the ones who love You. “
Canaan Prayer Points June - August 2022
In this past week we have been celebrating the 75th Jubilee of the beginning of our Sisterhood, that started in 1947. We have spent time reflecting not only on the founding years of our Sisterhood, but also looking at God’s unfailing love, and faithfulness that we have also experienced during the founding years of our branch ‘Canaan of God’s Comfort’ here in Australia. So often we lose heart and confidence, because we are looking to the external factors: we are getting older and our strength is not the same. But this does not stop God establishing exciting new directions for the future based on the very foundations He put in place. But for this to happen, He needs us to trust and put our faith in Him day by day, living in trust of His guidance and grace and not become distracted by our external situations and limitations.
Trace the footsteps of Jesus from Gethsemane to His Resurrection
Nothing will bring us closer to Jesus than reflecting on the Passion, for His suffering reveals His heart. Only love could have made Him endure such pain. If we want to know our Saviour more deeply, let us take time during Lent or, better still, all year round, to meditate on His amazing love. For a life-changing experience, we have video meditation readings taken from “Behold His Love” by Mother Basilea Schlink that depicts Jesus’ Passion Way on our Yutube channel 'ESMdownunder'.
Canaan Prayer Points February - April 2022
As long as we were holding onto things in our hearts, the Lord could not answer our prayers. Only in the moment when we began to let God truly work on our hearts and to count on a God who truly performs miracles, did we experience the fulfilment He gave for the renewal of our pathways here at Canaan. Only when we continued to believe in true faith over all the impossibilities, did God intervene. Only when we spoke aloud the promises God had given us, claiming them in the difficult situations each one of us was facing, and praising God for His intervention and help, did our situation change. The finances arrived as hearts were moved and relationships were transformed.
Mother Basilea Schlink’s Journey of Repentance: ‘Where is your brother Israel?’
Before Holocaust literature had properly developed, Mother Basilea sent a sister to the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich for transcripts of the Nuremberg Trials and would read the harrowing reports to her community, interspersed with passages from the Book of Isaiah. “This is what our people did to the Jews. And this is what God says about His beloved, chosen people.”
The Sacrificial Lamb - A Sign For Us
Who is it lying there in the manger? The loveliest, dearest Child of all, as we sing in our Christmas carols year after year. For this is the divine Child, the Son of the Father in heaven, who entered this world as a babe. Yet for the Son of the eternal God no shelter had been prepared. Only in a feeding trough for animals did He find a place in which to lie. Thus from His birth the Christ Child was acquainted with sacrifice; as our sacrificial Lamb, He was destined to lay down His life as an offering for us. This Child is Eternal Love, who came down to us
Christmas Mystery 2021 - The Word Became Flesh
Mother Basilea once wrote that it is almost as if you can hear the little Lord Jesus saying: "You didn't have access to the true love of God. The way was closed because of your sin. But your Heavenly Father longs for your love. This is why I came to you as a little Child. And though the distance between heaven and earth, humankind and God, were infinitely greater, My love would still bridge the gap. Love Divine was so great and powerful that it found a way to reach you human beings. Love Divine took on your flesh and blood, because I wanted to come to you in the closest way possible." (from Weihnachstbüchlein) This little Child is the Incarnate Word of God. The Word made flesh.
The Gift of Christmas
What a glorious night it was when heaven came down and Jesus entered this world. On that holy night we were blessed with heaven’s choicest gift: a child of divine power, destined to fulfil God’s saving purposes. A conquering hero endowed with princely authority. And the day is coming when He will rule the whole world, bringing peace and salvation to all nations. Holy Night! This was the right night when the only begotten Son of God appeared in human form.
Without Hanukkah, there’s no Christmas to Celebrate
When Palestinians and their supporters claim Jesus as their own and deny his Jewishness, they help recreate the conditions for atrocities against Jews. Reprinted from The Times of Israel—30 November 2021
Why do Christians fall for BDS?
It is deeply concerning to see how inclined many Christians are to support BDS, which is, in effect, a modern reincarnation of medieval antisemitism. For those of us who are not Jewish, I don’t think we will ever understand what it is like for our Jewish neighbors to watch on the screen crowds chanting the BDS slogan: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Reprinted from The Times of Israel—14 September 2021
Canaan Prayer Points September - November 2021
When we look in faith to God, our present need can never overwhelm us. He is our loving and strong helper. Our Heavenly Father rejoices when we sing of the fact that He is our almighty and good helper. When we really count on Him, everything works out for the best. Oh, let us give Him more glory today by praying in faith.
Greetings for Rosh Hashanah
At the beginning of this New Year, our loving thoughts and prayers are with you. For many of you, we know, the past year has been particularly hard. It seems that whatever happens on the world scene, you will come under attack. We appeal to His heart, which ever watches over you in love and mercy. And we look forward to the day when all nations will acknowledge that you are indeed His chosen people. May His word be a comfort to you in these troubled times.
Response to news from Afghanistan and News from Canaan
At a time like this, God who loves us, does not want us to sink in fear and suffering... we must remember that prayer is the most powerful weapon we have against injustice. Now is the time for us as intercessors to stand in the breach for our brothers and sisters in the Lord as well as the many who don't yet know Him.
My Way - No Thanks! Yes God's Way
It is hard to know what the future holds. Things we took for granted no longer seem so certain. Do you feel that life is standing still? Perhaps you feel you lack purpose and meaning. Or you are losing hope and desperate for something real to hold on to. Does it seem that day after day nothing changes and that God has forgotten you?
Canaan Prayer Points June -September 2021
God seeks those who will pray: For in our time God, as a true Father, will show us His help and His wonders as never before—if we call out to Him in deepest need, trust Him, and in prayer actually reckon upon His help. For He stands ready to help those who believe in His love, who truly reckon upon His Almighty power, who truly reckon that He still works miracles today.
Father of Comfort – Daily reflections of a God who Cares
God restores our souls in unexpected ways. Paradoxically, He is nearest when He seems farthest away. Here we are invited to trace the hand of God the Father in the often puzzling events of life.
Happy Hanukkah 2020
What is G-d asking of us as Jews and Christians? We believe that G-d is asking us to embrace our joint calling and bring light to the world.
Christmas: Who can save the World?
With terrible events unfolding around the world, who can possibly help?