Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

For those of you who are non-believers, would you keep an eye on what's happening in Washington while those of us who are believers pray?  Just kidding.  God's watching.  God's watching as our Government officials proclaim we are no longer a Christian nation.  He's watching as our leaders minimize the importance of national prayer to avoid offending anyone. The verse most quote at this time of year is one in which God calls for a nation to humble itself and pray and seek God's face.  Our form of government cannot exist without a majority of the participants believing and following what God told us to do.  In Romans Chapter 13 Paul explains God's role and reasoning in commissioning government.  He also details what the believer's response should be.  First, in order to become a believer we must put aside our pride and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary.  Our humbling must be individual.  We must put aside all the things we have crammed into our brains about people, things, and logic and just accept what God's word says.  He says we must become like little children to enter the Kingdom.  

That's not easy for any of us.  Secondly, we must obey just as children do because we have a healthy respect for our heavenly Father and we know he loves us and will do what is right in our lives.  Again, as adults with highly developed critical thinking skills this is tough.  As I grow older and physically weaker, it is not as hard for me to turn things over to the Lord.  I still have moments when I forget, but God has allowed me to survive them so far.  In II Corinthians Chapter 12, the apostle Paul speaking of a physical affliction says in verse 9 that God told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  I know I feel powerless to stop lawlessness, oppressive governmental interference, and the downward spiral of human behavior.  I write about it, but I really don't feel like it makes much difference.  I can only change myself.  If I become what God wants me to be, then He can make a difference through me.  Jesus, speaking in Matthew chapter 5 says in verses 38 and 39, "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye or an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you , do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also."  I always liked the idea that once they hit you on both cheeks you were free to wail the daylights out of them.  However, in Paul's letter to Timothy he admonishes the young pastor to study the entire word of God and divide it properly.  We are to leave the punishment to God.  Our role as believers is to tell others the good news that they can receive God's salvation through Jesus Christ.  In the second reading of the law in Deuteronomy, Moses says in Chapter 32, verses 35 and 36, "Vengeance is Mine, and retribution. In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.  For the Lord will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants...."  God is saving people in great numbers all over the world.  We just don't hear about it because our national media is haughty and self-centered.  God is working here too, but because we are rich and fat we are not as dependent on God as he calls for us to be.  He will get our attention.  He has gotten mine and I intend to participate.  He tells us to pray for our leaders because governments were set up so the governed could have peace.  In this peace we are to worship God who is the creator of real peace.  In John's gospel Chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, Jesus says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him."  All humans are under God's curse on mankind because of Adam's sin, and in need of redemption.  Ask God to come into you life today by accepting the sacrifice He has provided in the person of His son Jesus Christ.  It will make an eternal difference in your life.  Pray that our nation will (individually) humble before God and return to the way he established for us.  God is faithful in his promises.    Jesus Christ was in constant touch with God the Father through prayer while he was here on Earth.  He modeled for us the importance and power of prayer.  He even gave us a model to use when we pray.  In Paul's letter to the Philippians Chapter 4, verses 6 -7 (Living Bible) he says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers.  If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus."  My prayer is that our nation will become humble before the Lord and return to Him.