Thursday, May 3, 2012

the national day of prayer


For many years the first Thursday of May has been set aside by our president and our nation as the “National Day of Prayer”, and I have noticed that fewer and fewer community events have been happening with this event.  CLICK HERE for President Obama’s declaration for this day.

Yet I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to take this day serious.  Do something different.  Set aside some minutes just for prayer.  Write a card or make a call and share a prayer with someone that is on your heart.  Call out people in prayer … our president, senators, representatives … people in government from local leaders and all the way to Washington, DC.  Spend some time lifting some of the things that are the most important pieces God has given us.  Those are things like family, marriage, relationships, churches, schools and more (you choose). 

Here are some of the verses that challenge me about prayer:

Never stop praying.

Like many other people you might say it is impossible to pray all the time.  My answer for as long as I can remember is that prayer and connecting with God can be and ought to be a constant in our lives.  Help your thoughts to be continually toward and on God!

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Take some time out to pray everyday.  Make it a habit.  When we don’t schedule something, it rarely happens.  Put prayer on your calendar and mark out the time.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Prayer changes things.  Prayer may just change us in the first place.  Humility is the understanding that I need God.  I have not arrived.  Prayer keeps us connected to God who desires us more than we will ever know (see yesterday’s post for more).

For more resources on the NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER go to http://nationaldayofprayer.org/.  I pray that God will soften our hearts and use our prayers to change us and change others!

Here are a few suggestions for prayer for today (and for any day):

·      Grab a journal and begin to write some of your prayers.  Make these simple and honest between you and God.
·      Open your Bible and pray through Scripture.  The book of Psalms is a great place to start.
·      Pray for a friend and write the prayer in a card, letter or email and send it to them.  Send it.
·      Get a list of the elected officials that serve you and speak their names out loud in prayer.
·      Chose as our family has for the last few years to close your day as a family in prayer.  Chose a few things to pray for and as a parent pray God’s protection and blessing over your family.

That is just a few ways to make this day or any day one that makes prayer a priority.  Start today.  Start now.  Spend the next 2 minutes praying.  It might just change your life.  God might change you forever.

Pray for these things: Pray for your children and your close family.  Pray for your pastors and church staff.  Pray for your neighbors.  Pray for the people you know who are in jail or in the hospital.  Pray for the friends you have going through battles.  Lastly, pray for people who are lost and have never met Jesus (say their names, the ones you know, out loud to God).

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