Friday, July 23, 2021


Today’s Reading: Ezra 9-10

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


The northern part of “The City of David.” This area of Jerusalem was also known as the Ophel and is a narrow promontory beyond the southern edge of the Temple Mount and Old City. The Temple Mount is seen at the top of this photo.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Ezra 10:1

Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large congregation of men, women, and children assembled to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.


During the captivity in Babylon, much very serious prayer took place. Daniel prayed three times every day while facing Jerusalem. No doubt there were many others doing the same. God answered their prayers with a resounding, “YES!” The result was that God moved the heart and mind of the Persian Emperor Cyrus and his successors.

Josephus, the famous Jewish historian, states in “Antiquities of the Jews” (11.1.2) that Jews showed King Cyrus, who defeated Babylon, the prophecy of Isaiah where his name was mentioned over 100 years before his birth. Isaiah described Cyrus’ role in the plan of God. Josephus writes that this motivated Cyrus “to fulfill what was written.” Archeological excavations in 1879-1882 found what is known as the “Cyrus Cylinder.” At the opening of the Crossroads Centre in 1992, we had a replica of this cylinder on display. It is an important confirmation of the accuracy of the Biblical account, and of the policies of Cyrus in his rule of his vast empire. It says of Israel, “All their peoples I gathered together and restored to their dwelling place” (see photo of the Cyrus Cylinder below).


Lord God, You do hear and answer prayer. Sometimes You say, “Yes,” sometimes, “No,” sometimes, “Slow.” I pray for deliverance of people today from captivity, yes, in Iraq (ancient Babylon) and Iran (ancient Persia), and also here at home. Destructive addictions, bad decisions, a self focus rather than seeking the good of others first, and other things, are holding people in captivity. I cry out to You for restoration of all that is good, kind, and loving. I pray in the name of the One who modelled the life we need, Jesus, Himself, Amen!!!


Norma-Jean and I lived for a time on Seaton Street, Toronto, just one block east of Sherbourne. I would often walk by the Salvation Army Men’s Centre where we volunteered on several occasions. I would think of our city in history. I had read that in the 1880’s Toronto was a mess! Open sewers, contaminated drinking water, much public display of intoxication, prostitution, and other ills that made Toronto a bad place in which to live. One man made a difference. The city became known as “Toronto the Good.”

William Howland attended an evangelistic series of meetings at St. James Cathedral, where history records that he realized he was a sinner who needed the Saviour. Fired up by his new faith, he set out to bring change and hope to his city. He regularly visited people living in the slums. He became an active worker in the YMCA. To help people find jobs, he raised the money to build an industrial school. At age 42 he ran for Mayor of Toronto and won (see photo below). His first act as Mayor was to create a morality squad, which patrolled and cleaned up the streets. He instituted a complete overhaul of the city’s water system. He so involved himself in the plight of the underprivileged that he wore himself out and died at 49. Those years impacted Toronto for at least a century.

I see evidences, particularly in the park on Sherbourne Street, that Toronto needs another William Howland. Pray for Toronto’s present mayor. I’m praying for the intervention of God in Canada’s largest city, in our entire country, and around the world!

Yours for hearing from God and for making the best personal decisions possible,


The Cyrus Cylinder (click on photo to enlarge)

William Howland, former Mayor of Toronto


7 thoughts on “Friday, July 23, 2021

  1. Amazing history of William Howland and how he changed Toronto! Sorry to see that he wore himself out and died so young. Cyrus was also a great man. Blessings on all this beautiful day.

  2. Amen to today’s scripture, prayer and message. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.” Wishing all saints a blessed day in the Lord. Praying for God’s protection over us all. In Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

    “I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26-27 ESV

    Casting Crowns – Oh My Soul with lyrics

  3. I prayed and agree with David’s prayer today. Never knew about William Holland and how he changed Toronto for the good. Needs a lot of charge today too. I have had a few appointments with my doctor. She’s made some changes to pain meds and will also order an MRI of the head and EMG of my legs. I am feeling somewhat better, but I know that the next flare up will be a different story. Please pray that the doctors find out what is really wrong and that they will have an excellent plan to help me get better. I pray daily for all my brothers and sisters in Christ who read and participate in this blog! God bless all on this blog and the Mainse family for continuing to post daily. These bible readings and the comments are a real lifeline for me! Thank you!

  4. Truly this is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.
    Amen ladies to your prayers above. I too would be lost without this daily blog. First thing I do in the mornings.

  5. Maria D.,
    I pray that God will direct your doctor and medical team to order the necessary tests and have the best possible treatment plan available to you. I pray that you will experience God’s peace before and after these tests are completed. May the Lord touch you and change your situation in a manner that will bring you healing and comfort and will glorify Him!
    May you all have a blessed day!

    Oh God, we pray for more leaders like Mr. Howland. We need them in our communities, our cities, our provinces, our country! Be merciful to us, Our Father!

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