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May 4, 2011

Thoughts on the National Day of Prayer

There are a number of National Day of Prayer Events scheduled throughout the state of Arkansas on Thursday, May 5. In the Little Rock area we will try to attend at least one of the following: at the Fellowship Bible Church prayers will happen from 6 - 7AM; at the State Capitol Building in Little Rock, an event is scheduled from noon to 1 PM, and at Immanuel Baptist Church prayers are scheduled from 7:00 - 8:30 PM.
Whereever you may be on Thursday, lift a prayer of thankgiving for our leaders and God's work through them. Pray also that God may bring salvation to those who do not follow after Jesus Christ. Pray that those who are believers will grow in the grace and knowledge of God; so that they will have much wisdom in serving their people.
Our Capitol Commission Illinios State Director, Shaun Lewis, wrote the following. I include it for your admonition and edification.
It's no secret that our political leaders pray. Almost every state legislature opens in prayer, and every U.S. President from Washington to Obama has openly affirmed faith in God. Lincoln called our nation to find strength through prayer and fasting. Truman designated a day of national prayer, and Reagan later set its date as the first Thursday of May. All of this sounds encouraging, doesn't it? Yet, something isn't quite right.

A year ago, I met with a legislator who spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ and said he prayed reguarly. Good start to our meeting, but it soon became apparent we didn't believe in the same Jesus. Like Jefferson, this legislator would pray "through Jesus Christ our Lord" while rejecting all of the Lord's miracles.

Everyone prays. Not everyone believes.

Public prayers for our nation may be sincere and well-crafted, but not all are heard. Why? Because not everyone who prays submits to the Jesus of the Bible, God as revealed in Scripture.

The National Day of Prayer is this Thursday. Amidst so many prayers that will never reach the ear of God, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, will you pray for our nation? I plan to do so and will give the opening prayer at our local National Day of Prayer event. Pray for wisdom and strength for our leaders, protection and safety for them and their families. Above all, as Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, pray for their salvation.

It may seem daunting at times to pray for spiritual change, but “though the wrong seems oft so strong, Christ is ruler yet.”

Be sure to take advantage of downloading and/or printing a copy of the Arkansas State Leadership Prayer Calendar. It is a great way to continue praying for our leaders throughout the rest of the year. You may even wish to encourage others to commit to joinning with you in praying for all those whom God has placed in authority over us.

Happy Praying!

Jason Palermo
State Director, Arkansas