VIDEO THIS is why we should pray for our president

This past week, Franklin Graham called for a special day of prayer for President Trump to be held on Sunday, June 2.

The billygraham.org website explains the initiative by stating, “The only one who can fix our country’s problems is God Himself, and we pray that God will bless our president and our nation for His glory.” The website also includes a list of numerous religious leaders supporting the special day including Jerry Falwell, Jack Graham, David Jeremiah, Jentezen Franklin, and Alan Keyes.

I realize this call to prayer is received in various ways; however, praying for one’s leaders is not a blue or red decision; it is an opportunity for Christians to come together. We participate in electing a President and other government officials and can have disagreements on policies, but praying for our country and our leaders is our responsibility whether or not our candidate wins. When I disagree with policies or decisions, I am unfortunately too quick to complain and I seek to argue my perspective. Perhaps if I turned to prayer as a first response instead of a last resort, I would see that the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5)

FRANKLIN GRAHAM, 250 CHRISTIAN LEADERS CALL FOR ‘DAY OF PRAYER’ FOR TRUMP

As you process through Franklin Graham’s request to pray for our President, consider the following:

First, there is power in prayer. The Billy Graham Evangelist Association explains prayer as a “spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.” When God’s people pray, they are conversing with the God of the universe, and Scripture speaks to the importance of prayer within the life of the individual. AND, prayer is also where we can listen to God’s voice. Prayer speaks to God’s heart, but it also speaks to our hearts. Specifically, Philippians 4 instructs us to, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer is not only a way to present our requests to God, it provides a posture for his followers to be formed and comforted by our heavenly Father.

Second, calling for special times of prayer is a common occurrence throughout the Scriptures. Prayer is a regular part of the lives of God’s people, and prayer is also part of some of the most important events throughout the Bible. Abraham prays for an heir in Genesis 15. Samuel’s mother Hannah prays for her son in 1 Samuel 2.

There is a special time of prayer at the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 1 Kings 8. Daniel prays regularly and is used by God to influence world leaders. Nehemiah prayed for his nation before receiving permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Matthew 6), and he had a dedicated time of prayer with his disciples prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Prayer is woven throughout the fabric of the Bible, and is an important element within the life of God’s people.

Third, we are commanded in Scripture to pray for our leaders. First, Timothy 2:1-2 indicates we are to pray for all people, but also specifically notes national leaders. The text reads, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Scripture affirms the power of God to direct governing authorities and structures. From the humble beginnings of the nation of Israel to the establishment of kings over the nation of Israel, even to the future reign of Jesus over all creation, we see God’s sovereign hand at work. As his people, we are to faithfully serve him and regularly pray for those in authority over us.

Considering the power of prayer, the special times of prayer within Scripture, and the command for us to pray for our leaders, I hope you will make a special attempt to pray for our President this Sunday, it is both a privilege and responsible we bear as citizens of this nation and children of the King.


A Call to Prayer for our President! June 2nd, 2019

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Objects in Mirror

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

 

“Must. Go. Faster.” That’s what Dr. Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum, says in an iconic scene from the 1993 movie Jurassic Park as he and two other characters flee in a Jeep from a rampaging tyrannosaurus. When the driver looks in the rearview mirror, he sees the raging reptile’s jaw—right above the words: “OBJECTS IN MIRROR MAY BE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.”

The scene is a masterful combination of intensity and grim humor. But sometimes the “monsters” from our past feel like they’ll never stop pursuing us. We look in the “mirror” of our lives and see mistakes looming right there, threatening to consume us with guilt or shame.

The apostle Paul understood the past’s potentially paralyzing power. He’d spent years trying to live perfectly apart from Christ, and even persecuted Christians (Philippians 3:1–9). Regret over his past could easily have crippled him.

But Paul found such beauty and power in his relationship with Christ that he was compelled to let go of his old life (vv. 8–9). That freed him to look forward in faith instead of backward in fear or regret: “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal” (vv. 13–14).

Our redemption in Christ has freed us to live for Him. We don’t have to let those “objects in (our) mirror” dictate our direction as we continue forward.

By Adam Holz

Reflect & Pray

How do Paul’s insights on Christ’s forgiveness of us speak into those issues in your life? If you’re struggling with a past choice, who might you talk to for help to “press on”?

The Cost of True Discipleship

Luke 14:25-35

Unlike many churches today, Jesus was never interested in gathering crowds, nor did He make His message more appealing in order to gain a larger following. In fact, He consistently emphasized the high cost of discipleship instead of making it easy for people to follow Him halfheartedly. That’s because His goal was to make true disciples who were totally committed to Him—and this is the same charge He gave us in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).

In contemplating what makes up the essence of a human being, we might think of an individual’s life, relationships, and possessions. Yet Jesus demanded that His followers surrender all three. In Luke 14, the Lord taught that to be His disciple, a person could not …

Love anyone more than Him (Luke 14:26). When Jesus used the word translated as “hate,” He wasn’t advocating animosity toward family members. Rather, He was emphasizing a commitment to place Him before any human relationship.

Love one’s own life more than Him (Luke 14:26-27). The image Christ used was that of carrying a cross. This symbolized death to our former sinful lifestyle and, if necessary, a willingness to die in order to remain faithful to Him.

Be unwilling to give up all possessions (Luke 14:33). This doesn’t mean we must live as paupers, but we should hold everything loosely, knowing that we are merely stewards of whatever God has entrusted to us.

None of us can fully live up to Jesus’ call. But by His grace, we can commit to Him all that we are and all that we have. This should be the mindset of those who enter through the narrow gate to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14).

Under God’s Shadow

“The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.” (Lamentations 4:20)

In the hot desert lands so familiar to the Israelites, a place of shade was considered a blessing wherever it could be found, and this was often taken as a symbol of God’s protection from the hot hatred of their (and His) enemies. In fact, the Hebrew word for “shadow” is used twelve times in the Bible as a type of God’s guarding presence.

The first is in Psalm 17:8: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” Three other times “the shadow of thy wings” is used (Psalm 36:7; 57:1; 63:7). Isaiah speaks of His presence “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” and as like being hidden “in the shadow of his hand” (Isaiah 32:2; 49:2; also 51:16). The Lord is compared to “a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:6). He is “a shadow from the heat” and like “the shadow of a cloud” (Isaiah 25:4-5).

The last reference to God’s shadow is in our text above in reference to the forced exile of God’s people into Babylon. In this sad context, Jeremiah laments that even “the anointed of the LORD”—that is, literally, the Lord’s Messiah (fulfilled in Jesus Christ)—has been taken captive with His people. He is even called “the breath of our nostrils,” recognizing implicitly that it was He who breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life in the beginning (Acts 17:25). Thus, He will even be with His people as they undergo their just chastisements; they can even “live among the heathen” under His shadow. No matter how dark our circumstances, we can say with the psalmist: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. . . . in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2). HMM

God’s Awesome

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

—Romans 11:33

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary lists 550,000 words. And it is a solemn and beautiful thought that in our worship of God there sometimes rush up from the depths of our souls feelings that all this wealth of words is not sufficient to express. To be articulate at certain times we are compelled to fall back upon “Oh!” or “O!”—a primitive exclamatory sound that is hardly a word at all and that scarcely admits of a definition.

Vocabularies are formed by many minds over long periods and are capable of expressing whatever the mind is capable of entertaining. But when the heart, on its knees, moves into the awesome Presence and hears with fear and wonder things not lawful to utter, then the mind falls flat, and words, previously its faithful servants, become weak and totally incapable of telling what the heart hears and sees. In that awful moment the worshiper can only cry “Oh!” And that simple exclamation becomes more eloquent than learned speech and, I have no doubt, is dearer to God than any oratory.   BAM084-085

Today I want to just quietly reflect in unspoken awe…. Amen.

 

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.—John 16:24.

 

God’s “ask”

Meaneth all fullness and all grace,

Access in every time and place;

Yet we

To whom this mercy is so free,

This privilege of light to bask

In the full sunshine of His face,

Regard prayer even as a task.

Anna E. Hamilton.

 

There is some power we have not yet discovered, some secret as yet unknown,—but oh! what a marvelous power! what a blessed secret! That can make the Christian life a life of love, and trust, and bright serenity; something different from the duty-life, which, though real, does not satisfy; having all the activity and earnestness of the duty-life, but having with it the peace and joy which many and many a soul is craving.

William R. Huntington.

 

We do not value, as we ought our inestimable privilege of being allowed to worship God. We do not prize our heavenly prerogative of being permitted to keep His commandments. We look at that as an obligation, which is more properly a boon.

Frederick W. Faber.

 

God Keeps His Promises

“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Eccl. 11:1

We must not expect to see an immediate reward for all the good we do; nor must we always confine our efforts to places and persons which seem likely to yield us a recompense for our labors. The Egyptian casts his seed upon the waters of the Nile, where it might seem a sheer waste of corn. But in due time the flood subsides, the rice or other grain sinks into the fertile mud, and rapidly a harvest is produced. Let us today do good to the unthankful and the evil. Let us teach the careless and the obstinate. Unlikely waters may cover hopeful soil. Nowhere shall our labor be in vain in the Lord.

It is ours to cast our bread upon the waters; it remains with God to fulfill the promise, “Thou shalt find it.” He will not let His promise fail. His good word which we have spoken shall live, shall be found, shall be found by us. Perhaps not just yet, but some day we shall reap what we have sown. We must exercise our patience; for perhaps the Lord may exercise it. “After many days,” says the Scripture, and in many instances those days run into months and years, and yet the Word stands true. God’s promise will keep; let us mind that we keep the precept, and keep it this day.

 

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