May 5, 2011
Today we celebrated “National Day of Prayer”. It has become a gala event, with activities in Washington DC, state capitols, city government buildings and in many churches. I attended a breakfast sponsored by CBMC and it was well attended. At noon today our North Carolina state director, Greg Beaupied participated in a special prayer gathering at the North Carolina General Assembly. I think we would all agree that these kinds of national events are a good thing, but do you think God is really blessed and glorified by them? Is He listening? Is He saddened? Perhaps He laughs.
Our Capitol Commission Illinois State Director, Shaun Lewis, gives us some food for thought as he wrote the following:
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 regularly. 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.”
Isaiah 59:2 - But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Please pray as Shaun has shared, but please keep in mind that God has chosen not to hear the prayers of those who have no personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. Their unforgiven sins have separated them from Him. Perhaps the next time you speak with someone who mentions prayer, it just may be the opportunity God has provided for you to speak with them about their relationship with Jesus Christ.
We are excited about how the ministry has been going so far this year. In the eighteen states in which we have a state director, participation has been nothing short of miraculous. Although I'm not sure numbers matter much to God, they do give us an idea of how He is working in the lives of those we have the opportunity to serve. At last count the average percentage of elected officials participating in our Bible studies has been between 12% and 20%. In some states there have been more than fifty legislators who have attended at least one Bible study. Many others have shown interest and have asked for counsel and advice. Significant relationships and friendships are being developed. Our men are blessed with the opportunity of pastoring and serving these dear people. We thank God for those of you who pray for us. Please keep it up and if possible please consider becoming a financial partner.
Yours in Christ,