2013 National Day of Prayer

National-Day-of-Prayer-2013

Today is the National Day of Prayer for the United States. The theme for 2013 is “Pray for America.” According to the National Day of Prayer web site,

As our nation struggles with continued economic insecurity, vast healthcare reform, and countless challenges to our constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather, worship, and pray.  Millions will answer the call to prayer on May 2nd in observance of the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer.  Organized events will be held in thousands of public venues where intercession will be made for America and its leadership.

This year’s theme, “Pray for America”, is based on Matthew 12:21 which reminds us that “In His name the nations will put their hope.”  National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Family Talk founder Dr. James Dobson, has said that, “The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers, and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty’s guidance, protection, and blessing – not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.”

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer.  In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

I would like to share a song written by the group Sanctus Real. Read below about how and why they wrote this song.

SanctusReal_Pray_Single

We wrote the song Pray because these are anxious times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the edge of my seat, watching and waiting as tensions rise and markets fall. The 2012 election has left me acutely aware of the fact that we are a nation divided, fragile and in dire need of true hope. From my television screen to my twitter feed, I’m confronted with a minute-by-minute timeline of the latest news from around the world. The awareness that we’re just one thumb tap away from another shocking headline can be stressful. What will come next? We wonder if North Korea will launch a nuclear missile, if another homemade bomb in a backpack will be detonated at a public gathering, or if the mild-mannered kid next door will carry out another mass murder.

For those who cannot view the video for whatever reason, here are the lyrics to this wonderful song:

I bow my head to pray, I don’t know what to say
I’m not sure how to fix the things I’m dealing with
I’m in a desperate place, I need to share the weight
But I just don’t know how, to let it all pour out
Though I’m silent, my heart is crying
Cause I was made to come to You

So I pray
God I need You more than words can say
Right here in this moment
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray

I’ve failed to find the time, but You’ve been calling out
I let the days go by as if I could live without
But it’s gotta be here now, I won’t be pulled away
Cause it’s just You and I, so let the world around us fade

As I pray
God I need You more than words can say
Right here in this moment
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray

(Father)
Will You meet me here right now?
(Father)
I surrender, lay it down
(Father)
And every time I close my eyes
I know that I was made
To lift my hands and pray
I lift my hands and pray

You know my heart, You know my need
And every single part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray

You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
All the words and all my life
Take it as an offering

Beloved, please join me in praying for the United States of America. We are a country dealing with so many things, and from my personal experience, prayer is the best way to work through any of this:

  • Pray for our government leaders, for right decisions during these troubling times.
  • Pray for people who are struggling with financial problems, feeding their families, keeping a roof over their heads, and the rising rate of unemployment.
  • Pray for those who have been harmed by terrorist activity, AND for those want to do us harm as a nation.
  • Pray for the unborn babies that are but a breath away from having their lives snuffed out.
  • Pray for all who are disabled and those who live with chronic pain illnesses, who struggle with getting even the seemingly easiest tasks accomplished.
  • Pray for our churches and church leaders, that none of them will forgo what the Bible teaches just to go along with the status quo.
  • Pray for all of those who claim to be Jesus followers, that none of us will forget our first Love.

This is by no means a complete list, so my final thought for you is: 

just pray…

Beloved, please know that I am praying for all of you, that God will bless you as you bless others through your prayers.

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 5

Believe in God

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #5 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

Humanity: We believe that God created Humanity but they fell into sin. We believe that those who trust in Jesus alone are restored to God.

Genesis 1.31

Genesis 1:26-31—“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

Adam-Eve

Genesis 3:1-14—“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.””

Rom3-23

Romans 3:10-26—“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

Beloved, tune in tomorrow for Part 6—Church: We believe in the Church, the body of believers in Christ whose goal is to make disciples.

AnnaSmile