I do not want to make this a long post of the history of the" NDP", nor of it's recent neglect and finger pointing with all of the recent, "can you believe that" accusations. I would like for you and me to give the "NDP" some thought as to its purpose, and how we should approach God in petition for this annual event. Oh, by the way, "NDP" is the "National Day of Prayer." Don't stop reading since you now know what that means. I will try to be brief.
Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, outside of Chicago, wrote a book called, "Too Busy NOT to Pray," some twenty years ago. It is a very good book on the topic of prayer that I recommend for everyone I work with in recovery to read. The reason is for it's simplicity and direction on how to pray, and what to pray. Bill uses a memorable formula in bringing our requests to God. A.C.T.S.
A- adoration. This is approaching God in praise of His, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence, as Lord God Almighty
C- confession. Asking for forgiveness for our personal sins and neglect, for selfish living, etc.
T- thanksgiving. Thanking God for all of His manifold blessings, and for answering us when we pray.
S- supplication. We then ask Him for our needs and requests.
Using this little formula does not make wishes come true. God is not a celestial Santa, a genie popping out of a bottle, or Bill Gates spreading out his wealth. No, He is our loving Father, desiring to grant us our requests as we ask in faith, and according to His will, which is His Word. I will not ask you to take my word on that, nor do I have the time to go through passages, giving Word-based prayer. (I am not being arrogant, I want to keep this readably short.)
The National Day of Prayer
Some things we should pray about as a body of believers and for our nation are:
1) Unity. We are a divided nation. Left and right, multicultural, evangelical and secularists, devout and post-modern in worship. In all of these separating titles, we have lost our way as a people. Our origins were intended to end tyranny, we have a government today that has become tyrannical, and think they know what is best for the people, which omits God and removes rights guaranteed by our constitution. Pray that God will draw our hearts as a people back to Him, loving each other regardless of our differences in belief, or in culture. We cannot expect the unbeliever to pray at all. If the believers pray for God to unite us as the body of Christ, and help us lay aside petty differences that have nothing to do with redemption, there will be unprecedented unity, and a harvest of those desiring to be in the light.
2) Repentance. We have national sins. Not only our neglecting God, but continuance of humanistic thought in the family from not teaching our children biblical truth because we're too busy, allowing their minds to be defiled by man's wisdom. I know we have the constant fight to end abortion, to define the family, along with many laws we consider ungodly. However, if we do not teach our young foundational truths, giving them a platform to denounce these sins, the ungodly laws will stand. We need to repent for not teaching the young, and learning about what we say we believe ourselves.
3) Being Jesus. We want to conform to the image of Christ, but hang on to personal prejudices. Pray that God helps us as followers of Jesus, to live lives of integrity and eliminate our dislikes and looking down our noses at those in darkness. Quit saying "hate the sin, love the sinner," and start doing so. The drug addict, the prostitute, the greedy, gluttonous, atheist, the homosexual need Jesus...and so do you. We must stop looking down, look across at those we think we are superior to.
I really tried to make this short, oops, didn't work. There are many things we need to ask God to save us from. We are fallen. We want godly leaders, nice neighborhoods, beautiful cities. We want prosperity, good health, and plenty to eat. But we also want these things on our terms, excluding others. God forgive us. We want good jobs, but we want the foreigners removed, "they don't belong here," we say. We want marriage to be a man and a woman, yet we have a 50% divorce rate. We don't know how to commit to anything, but we know what we hate, God forgive us, forgive our arrogance. Please consider these thoughts, pray today for the nation. Pray first for those you despise.
"In those days, Israel had no king, all of the people did WHAT SEEMED RIGHT IN THEIR OWN EYES." Judges 21:25 NLT
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.