National Day of Prayer 2018
Pray for America
Please take time tomorrow to pray for our nation–its leaders, churches, schools, families, military, etc. Whether you join a large gathering to pray, or just pray with one or two people, you will be joining your voice with thousands of people across this nation–humbling yourself and asking God to intervene in these perilous times.
National Day of Prayer Theme for 2018
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
Prayer brings people together. Prayer builds bridges between opposing persons and even political parties. Prayer reminds us that we are created in God’s image and He desires for us to represent Him everywhere we go. Prayer brings UNITY.
In 2018, our theme will be Pray for America – UNITY, based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
For more information go to the National Day of Prayer website. You can find a prayer guide there as well as see if there are any organized prayer events near you. There will also be a Livestream available at 7:30 PM EST.
A fast that God approves
Many churches and individuals begin the New Year with a 21-day Daniel Fast. My church has done it for the past several years and I have participated in many of them. Last year I did not because I dreaded facing weeks of preparation reading labels, spending extra money on appropriate food items, looking for recipes that were Daniel-fast approved, etc. etc. etc.
(In 2016 I wrote a post about why this approach to fasting was troubling to me—see the link below to read that post).
To me this whole modern approach to fasting seems to be the antithesis of Daniel’s motivation for fasting. Daniel 10: 1-3 says he was in mourning because of a vision: “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (NIV)
Two things strike me about Daniel’s fast in this passage:
(1) Daniel’s motivation for fasting was about a Great War he saw in a vision. What if we entered our fast truly mourning the “Great War” the enemy is waging against our nation, our culture, our youth and the Church and crying out for God’s intervention.
(2) Just as Daniel entered his fast focusing on the spiritual by denying his flesh and refusing the king’s rich food—so our focus for fasting should be on denying our flesh and humbling ourselves—not spending our time focusing on what foods we can and can’t eat during the fast.
This year I am participating in the fast, but with a new freedom. I’m simply giving up what I personally consider my “choice, rich and pleasant foods” and focusing my attention on spending time drawing near to God in His Word, in worship and in prayer.
If you are participating in a fast this year, I suggest you search your motives and seek God for how He wants you to fast. Trust Him to lead you.
Click here to read my other post about fasting: The Daniel Fast: Are We Really Denying Ourselves?
Join me for an online class on prayer!
I teach an online course based on my book, Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet, for BeADisciple.com–a great online site affiliated with Southwestern College that offers a variety of Christian classes for pastors, lay leaders and all who want to go deeper with the Lord.
For more info see click here: BeADisciple
Posted in Living the Christian Life, Meditation, Prayer, Small group study on prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Topical Study on Prayer
Tagged Christian Disciplines, Christian Life, discipleship, How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life, Lord It's Boring in My Prayer Closet, Prayer, small group study
Hurricane Irma from space
My heart has been heavy the last few weeks as I’ve prayed over all the disasters that have come upon the United States—floods from Harvey; wildfires across the mid and western states, Irma—one of the biggest and most destructive hurricanes to ever hit the Caribbean and Florida; a destructive earthquake in Mexico. And that doesn’t include the ongoing unstable political situations around the world.
Social media is full of requests to pray for the victims of all these disasters. And while we should pray, I’m saddened that the majority of Americans and many Christians do not have a clue as to what these disasters might be pointing to for the future of America as a nation. Continue reading