Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Prayer for the World

Earlier this week I invited you to participate with me and other Christians around the world in the Global Day of Prayer. If you pray aloud it will take about five minutes.

Almighty God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Together with believers all over the world,
we gather today to glorify Your Name.
You are the Creator of heaven and earth.
There is no one like You, holy and righteous in all Your ways.
We submit to Your authority as the King of the universe.
We pray with one voice to enthrone You in our hearts
and to honour You before the world.
Lord God, You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration.

Our Father in heaven,
Thank You for loving the world so greatly.
You gave Your only Son, Jesus Christ,
to die on the cross for our sins
so that we could be reconciled to You.
We are grateful to call You Father and to be called Your children.
Nothing can separate us from Your love.
Thank You Father for adopting us into Your family
because of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You alone are worthy to open the scrolls of history,
for You were slain and have redeemed us to the Father by Your blood.
We confess that You are Head of the Church
and Lord of all heaven and earth.
May people from every tribe and language become Your followers
so that Your blessing brings transformation among all peoples.
Let Your kingdom be established in every nation of the world
so that governments will rule with righteousness and justice.
And may Your Name be great, from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Jesus Christ, You are the Saviour of the world and the Lord of all.

God of mercy and grace,
We acknowledge that we have sinned
and that our world is gripped by the power of sin.
Our hearts are grieved by injustice, hatred and violence.
We are shamed by oppression, racism and bloodshed in our land.
We mourn all loss of life in murder, war, and terrorism.
Our homes are broken and our churches are divided by rebellion and pride.
Our lives are polluted by selfishness, greed, idolatry and sexual sin.
We have grieved Your heart and brought shame to Your Name.
Have mercy on us as we repent with all our hearts.
God of mercy, forgive our sins. Pour out Your grace and heal our land.

Spirit of the living God,
Apart from You, we can do nothing.
Transform Your Church into the image of Jesus Christ.
Release Your power to bring healing to the sick,
freedom to the oppressed and comfort to those who mourn.
Pour Your love into our hearts and fill us with compassion
to answer the call of the homeless and the hungry
and to enfold orphans, widows and the elderly in Your care.
Give us wisdom and insight for the complex problems we face today.
Help us to use the resources of the earth for the well-being of all.
Holy Spirit, we need Your comfort and guidance. Transform our hearts.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Because You were dead, but are now risen,
and the Father has given You a Name above all names,
You will defeat all powers of evil.
Tear down strongholds and ideologies that resist the knowledge of God.
Remove the veil of darkness that covers the peoples.
Restrain the evil that promotes violence and death.
Bring deliverance from demonic oppression.
Break the hold of slavery, tyranny and disease.
Fill us with courage to preach Your word fearlessly,
and to intercede for the lost faithfully.
Almighty God, deliver us from evil.

King of Glory,
Come and finish Your work in our cities, our peoples and our nations.
We lift our voices in unison with believers from Africa and Asia,
from the Middle East and Europe, from North and South America,
and from Australia and the Pacific Islands—together we cry:
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Be lifted up ancient doors so that the King of glory may come in!
As Your deeds increase throughout the earth,
and as Your blessings abound to all the nations,
they will seek You, asking, “Who is this King of glory?”
Together we will answer:
He is the Lord Almighty!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Come fill the earth with Your glory as the waters cover the sea.
The Spirit and the Bride say:
Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The New Mosque & the US Constitution & a Few Jesus Quotes Too

Before I get to the real point, I want to establish a few things.

  • I do not believe God is a Republican. (Yes, I'm speaking tongue in cheek. But I do not believe either party has it all right. Never have.)
  • The Puritans came to "The New World" not because they were brave or adventurous but because they had been persecuted for their religious beliefs. (I used to talk about this each Thanksgiving week when I was a pastor, and someone always told me they had no idea...)
  • The words "separation of church and state" are not found in the US Constitution nor in the additional Bill of Rights.
  • There is no such thing as a "Christian nation." We were never that--though it is true that most of our leaders, and indeed our citizens, believe in God (or, as they were likely to say in a previous time, "Divine Providence.")
  • I believe we were founded upon Judeo-Christian PRINCIPLES, and that the writings of our forebears make that very clear. Maybe some day I'll post about that.
  • I think there was an intent by our founding fathers NOT to establish a state religion (as can be found in the majority of European countries and in our mother country of England, where the reigning monarch is also the "defender of the faith").

Here is the first amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    That's it.

    I could write about 10 rants about this subject and how I think the whole arena of "church & state" has been mangled beyond recognition--until abridging the freedom of speech has become commonplace in our local high school, and a kid gets in trouble for talking about God to a friend. While the majority of Americans who identify themselves with a religion or denomination are one form of "Christian" or another I've never heard anyone suggest there should be a law establishing a state religion.

    Yet, while those who labored over our amazing constitution were avoiding a national, state-sponsored and funded religion, they were also affirming our freedom to believe, or not to believe, to go to a Christian church or a Jewish temple (or a Buddhist one) or to stay home and read the funny papers without fear of reprisal from the government.

    So what is the point?

    I am dismayed at the reaction in our county to the fact that a small group of Muslims have acquired a former store in which to establish a mosque. Reading the paper, and looking at pictures and viewing a video of a local civic meeting would lead one to believe that a group of known, previously-arrested, avowed friends of Osama Bin Laden have arrived and announced "Death to all."

    Perhaps I should be honest and say that I find much in the Koran that is profoundly troubling, and I am not a fan of Islam for many reasons. But it is quite something else to be carrying a sign that reads

    No Jesus
    Know Jihad

    or protesting, or name-calling, or angrily quoting the first commandment ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me") to the city council and warning them that they will rue the day they allowed a mosque anywhere near. Sorry, but all that stuff is just plain old fashioned bigotry and ignorance--ignorance of so many things I don't know where to begin!

    Just one day ago a speaker on a local religious radio station said, "When it comes to discussions with people of other religions you dare not be polite. " He used Jesus' encounters with SOME of the Jewish community to justify his assertion. My husband turned to me and said, "That's not true! Did I hear him right?" Yes, unfortunately, he did!

    Last time I checked, no one I know claims to be the Messiah. We cannot know the thoughts, or intentions of our fellow human beings. We are sometimes required to be judges of actions and behavior, but we are not the judge of the human heart. Only God can be that.

    First off, let's spend more time pondering these words of Jesus:
    Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus went on to tell the story commonly known as "The Good Samaritan," a story with some profound implications of how damaging it is when we judge those we consider different or not as righteous as we are. Or how about these words, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

    One of my favorite biblical scholars and apologists, Ravi Zacharias, says that without love, faithfulness, and personal integrity the message of grace often goes unheard and that if we want to have a positive impact we must be willing to take the time to actually learn what someone else thinks. He adds that most people of other faiths could rightly say to many [most?] Christians, "You don't know anything about what I really believe."

    The imam of the little group of Muslims in our county said he hoped people would get to know them and put the ugliness of the process behind them. Do you think they feel respected, valued and loved, or do you think they feel misjudged and misunderstood and maybe even hated? Are they likely to share their customs, beliefs, hopes and fears with anyone who stood up at the meeting and denounced them?

    If someone said we could not have a church in their community because of what some Christians somewhere else did or did not do, wouldn't we be upset and feel we were being unfairly judged? How do many of us feel about countries where churches are not allowed and where sharing one's faith is not only considered impolite but is unlawful? What if someone carried a sign that said

    the Inquisition?

    And secondly, as I said to begin with, one of our founding principles is freedom of religion. And that means not just the kind we know and like. Those of us who sometimes are troubled by what we regard as the misunderstanding or misquoting of the constitution believe in the free exercise of religion--don't we? So let's stand up and say so and stop denying others the rights and freedoms we want for ourselves. Anything else is unamerican.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost Sunday

    Across the globe, millions of Christians are planning to meet together in churches, stadiums, parks and homes for the sixth annual Global Day of Prayer held on Pentecost Sunday.

    This prayer movement started in South Africa at the turn of the millennium when many Christians in Cape Town sensed a calling to assemble in prayer. When the invitation went out for the people across South Africa to unite in prayer for their cities and nation, people filled halls and stadiums of every size!

    Year after year, millions more sought God together from almost every stream or tradition of the Christian faith in every country of the African continent.

    In 2005, the African Christians invited the world to join them and the result was the first Global Day of Prayer. About 200 million people participated.

    In 2006, 2007, 2008 and again in 2009, millions of Christians gathered in almost every country on earth. The movement continues to spread and deepen. We anticipate that 214 million are taking part this year.

    Along with worship and other prayers, participants are asked to pray a specific prayer together. I will post it on Pentecost Sunday, so if you'd like to join me--and many more around the world--in prayer, I invite you to visit here at The Owl's Song next Sunday.

    May 23, 2010, Christians from six churches in the Plymouth, Wisconsin area will join the movement for the first time by gathering at Riverview Middle School at 3 pm. We gather to pray and repent with humility, sincere hearts and united hopes. If you would like more information about that gathering or about Plymouth's 90-day involvement and how you can pray and serve, visit GLOBAL DAY OF PRAYER-Plymouth.

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    The Charismatic Renewal is 50

    I found this article interesting.

    Has the influence of the movement spread like yeast through bread?
    Are there changes in the broad church world that are permanant?
    Have the well-publicized excesses of some charismatic "celebrities" spoiled the loaf?

    Saturday, May 08, 2010

    Little Big Foot: Breakfast at the Home Place

    Sorry it has been so long since the last installment about the pastor of Little Big Foot. I'll try to do better. Some current changes in my schedule might make writing a little easier. We left Dee Anna, her brother Phil, and her mother, Bernice, in the family waiting room, doing their best to comfort one another.

    The chortle of a rooster woke Dee Anna next morning. Er errr errrrrrrraa!

    She thought foggily, "They don't say cock-a-doodle-doo."

    A rooster? They had never had chickens. She rubbed her eyes and sat up. It was early. The red numerals on the digital alarm clock read 6:15. Even so, a wide swath of Texas sunshine streamed across the floor. The house was quiet.

    After a few moments of vainly trying to go back to sleep she stretched and swung her feet over the edge of the bed. Might as well get up.

    A few minutes later, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, she tiptoed down the hall and into the kitchen. Passing the door to the living room, she was mildly surprised to see that an undecorated Christmas tree stood in the corner. She'd almost forgotten it was nearly Christmas. She realized she was cold and turned up the thermostat. Maybe not as cold as Wisconsin, but still cold.

    Her thoughts went to the snow-covered woods and the back roads of Little Big Foot. When she had left for the airport a crew of workers had been hoisting Christmas lights over Main Street. Better call someone there today. She wondered whether Marla had finished setting up the front of the sanctuary for Advent. Had the Boy Scouts delivered the large wreath...?

    The rooster's crow startled her. It sounded close. She moved to the window over the sink and gazed outside. Sure enough, a neat little chicken coop stood to the side of the house, surrounded by a small enclosure. A white rooster strutted across the ground, and a few Rhode Island Reds moved about. Chickens?

    She turned and looked around the kitchen, feeling a little guilty that it had been so long since she'd been home. The old linoleum had been replaced with a nice blue-flecked tile, and the walls had been painted pale yellow. White curtains with a yellow and blue pattern hung at the windows. Green plants were in evidence, one hanging by the window to the porch, one on the wooden table, one sitting in a corner of the counter. It was nice, Dee Anna thought. Inviting.

    She found the coffee and started a pot brewing, and she located cups and plates. Rummaging in the pantry she found biscuit mix. Realizing she was hungry, she decided to make breakfast.

    She found a tablecloth in the same drawer they had been years ago. She smiled as she ran her hand over the rough cotton and the embroidered roses. Her Grandma, whom she'd never known, had been a skilled needlewoman. So had he mother, Dee Anna recalled. She herself had never managed to stitch anything worth keeping.

    Not long afterwards, Bernice stood in the doorway, quietly watching Dee Anna set the table, noting how her daughter's tousled red hair gleaming in the occasional kiss of sunshine. Dee Anna was wearing pink fluffy slippers, Bernice noticed, and she smiled faintly. It was good to wake up to the aroma of coffee and biscuits. It was good to have Dee Anna in the house.

    "Did you hear Ricky Rooster?" she asked, startling her daughter.

    Dee Anna turned, smiling, "Ricky Rooster? Seriously?" She glanced toward the window. "He woke me up. When did you get chickens?"

    "Oh yes, that's his name," said Bernice, moving to the table and sitting down heavily. "Your father decided I needed something to do that would get me outside." She frowned. "And he figured we could use the fresh eggs and a roasted bird now and again. So he got the chicks from a Mexican family over on Rogers Road. We bought eggs there sometimes."

    Dee Anna poured coffee into Bernice's cup and handed her the carton of creamer. She was still absorbing the idea of her mother caring for chickens. "Ricky Rooster?"

    Her mother snorted, half in scorn and half with amusement. "Mr. Hernandez has a heavy accent. Your father always said he sounded like Ricky Ricardo on the old 'I Love Lucy' show. So he named our rooster Ricky."

    They grew silent, as Dee Anna cracked eggs into a skilled and then opened the oven door and pulled out the biscuits. "Perfect," she thought. "Ha!" She had a momentary desire to turn and say, "Are these good enough for you, Mother?" She sighed as she turned to the woman at the table. "I'm going to go wake Phil up."

    Dee Anna had been surprised that Phil had come home instead of heading for his little place in town. He had pointed out the apartment complex to her as they'd driven home from the hospital. Arriving at the house, Dee Anna had made some tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches as their mother had taken a quick shower, and after they had all eaten Phil had insisted Bernice go to bed. She had offered no resistance. As Dee Anna had cleaned up the dishes from their small supper, Phil had gone outside. Dee Anna wondered why she hadn't noticed the chickens and decided maybe he'd gone outside to check on them. They'd headed for bed soon after, both tired and both feeling awkward.

    She stopped at the closed door of his old room. She hesitated, feeling strangely out of time and place. She rubbed one hand through her hair as she knocked softly with the other. "Phil? You awake?"

    The door opened suddenly, startling her, and she stepped back. "I'm up." Phil smiled. " Can't say I'm awake, exactly."

    Her brother stood silhouetted in bright light from a window. He was dressed in jeans too, but instead of a sweatshirt wore a plaid western-style shirt with pearly buttons. He pushed his sock-clad feet into his boots, which were standing by the door. Dee Anna glimpsed some of his old basketball trophies sitting in a bookcase. It's been a long time, she mused, surprised they had not been thrown away years ago.

    "All set, sis. I got my boots on...I'm ready for anything." He stepped into the hall and gave her a quick pat on the shoulder. "What do you do to your hair, woman?"

    Dee Anna said nothing, but took his hand and moved to the kitchen. "I smell coffee," said Phil.

    They were surprisingly hungry, even Bernice, and they ate in silence for several minutes. After a while, Phil put down his fork, looked up and said, "Good coffee. Good biscuits. Good eggs. Thanks, Danna." Dee Anna grinned, and Bernice said, "Of course they are." Her eyes were crinkled at the corners and a faint smile crossed her face. "I taught her."

    They all had a second cup of coffee, talking of nothing in particular, but talking nonetheless. Then Bernice cleared her throat. Phil and Dee Anna looked at her, wondering what to expect.

    "I want the two of you to know that I'm glad you came home." They waited. "It was hard sittin' in the hospital."

    "I also want you to know that your daddy cares about you both. He missed you all those years," Bernice said to Phil, looking at him with a frown. "He worried, not knowing where you were. He loved you. I guess we didn't always show it like we might have." Phil looked at his plate.

    "And you, Missy, don't you know how a father needs his daughter?" Dee Anna looked at her in surprise saying nothing. She thought, "Didn't always show it? Did you ever show it?" Ah, perhaps that was unfair. She did remember some times when her father had seemed to enjoy her company.

    Her mother went on, "And you runnin' wild down in Dallas." Bernice stopped and cleared her throat. "Y'all know I'm a strong women, and y'all know your daddy is not always...." she stopped. "Well, Bud needed a strong woman, and I guess I was it."

    Phil and Dee Anna were not used to conversations with their mother. Conversations about life had always been shared with each other, not with their parents. Looking at her mother, red hair in its eternal bun, faded but lovely face set in stern lines, Dee Anna realized that even as she'd longed for a mother like the ones some of her friends had, a mother that would hug her, take her shopping, whisper secrets--even though her mother had never been like that, Dee Anna had known her mother was strong and determined. She had known, somehow, that if she'd needed protecting it would have been her mother who stepped up to do the hard thing.

    "I've been doing a lot of thinking, sitting in the hospital and wondering if your father was going to wake up or not." She put her head in her hands. Then she sighed, sat up and straightened her shoulders. "I remembered a lot of things. I remembered the feeling of waking up in the morning being glad to be alive. The feeling that I had all the time in the world. Wondering if I'd be someone great. I used to read about Madame Curie and wonder if I'd be a great scientist someday." As her children looked at her in surprise, she said defensively, "I was always good in science class, you know."

    No, they hadn't known that. What else didn't we know, wondered Dee Anna.

    Bernice stared at Phil, scowling. Dee Anna saw the quick flash of apprehension in his eyes, followed by the guarded expression he seemed to wear these days.

    "I suppose lots of people wondered why I, a girl with a lot of promise, valedictorian of my high school class..." Another surprise. "Why," she went on, "I married a man like Bud. I mean, his family was known for not bein' very good farmers. His daddy was lazy." She snorted. "He was a happy man, but he didn't know how to work." Bernice's expression grew far away and surprisingly soft. "But you know, your father was a good-looking man. My father didn't like him much, but I didn't care. I used to sneak out of a night and go over to that place on the highway..."
    Phil and Dee Anna had no idea what place she was talking about, but they sat very still.

    "We used to dance." Bernice smiled to herself, remembering. "He was a good dancer, all right."

    "Dance?" Dee Anna couldn't stop the word from coming, her eyes round. "You and Daddy went dancing?" She was remembering the time she'd gone to a high school dance with some friends and her father had somehow found out, He'd come into the gym and demanded she come home. Ironically, the dee jay had been playing Footloose.

    Her mother's face grew hard and Dee Anna wished she had stayed silent. "Oh yes, we certainly did. Bud was the best dancer of all our friends. All the girls wanted to dance with him. My father warned me, but I was a headstrong girl and I didn' t listen." She frowned at Dee Anna. "And you wondered why we had to be so strict all the time, didn't you?"

    Bernice pushed her plate back and crossed her arms. "I'll tell you why. Dancing leads to all sorts of trouble. It makes a smart and strong girl like me forget who she is. It makes everything crazy, that's what it does." She glared at Phil. "I had to go to my aunt in Houston after I got pregnant with you. My parents were mortified."

    Phil stared. "Are you saying you and Dad got married because I was on the way?"

    "No, I'm not saying that." She looked cornered, but she went on firmly. "No one could have convinced me not to marry him. He was handsome and sweet and could sing like Elvis--better, really."

    "But you said you were pregnant, Mom?" Dennis reached across the table and put his hand gently on her arm. "You were pregnant and your parents were mad...and then you had that right?"

    Bernice let our a long breath. "Yes. I was a good girl, but I was foolish. I thought I was in love. And then one night...well...then you were on the way and that's all there was to that."

    She closed her eyes. "I didn't mean to tell y'all that. I guess I am tired."

    Dee Anna was speechless. She looked from her mother, who sat with her eyes closed, looking very old, to her brother, Phil. Phil's face was expressionless, and then suddenly he smiled. He looked at Dee Anna. His smile grew wider. He began to laugh, and his laugh grew louder. Bernice looked up, shocked, "What are you laughing at?"

    Phil threw his head back and laughed and laughed some more. Tears ran down his face.

    "Is that it? Oh, Lord have mercy...!" And once again his laugh filled the kitchen. His mother and sister stared.

    Outside, Ricky Rooster said, "Er er errrrrrrra!"

    Thursday, May 06, 2010

    America's National day of Prayer

    The 59th Annual National Day of Prayer is today. The theme for this year is “Prayer for Such a Time as This” -- a theme taken from Esther 4. Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, were living in a Babylonia province. Through a series of circumstances, the beautiful Esther had become queen. (You can read the dramatic details of the story in the short Bible book of Esther.) The story is remembered by Jewish people as Purim.

    A plot was hatched that would have resulted in the destruction of the Jews of the province, but Mordecai enlists the aid of Esther the queen, challenging her with these words, Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this. Esther rose to the challenge, risked her life, and saved her people.’

    Federal Judge Barbara Crabb (from Wisconsin) has stated that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. The Obama administration has challenged her assertion. Groups around the country have held, or will hold observances, as in years past. Though the tradition was formalized in 1952, with a congressional resolution calling on the president to proclaim such a day, there were national days of prayer long before then.

    Ken and I gathered at 7 a.m. today with about 50 people: townspeople, religious and political leaders. The atmosphere was marked by a sense of community, civility, humility, and concern for our nation.

    Here are a few thoughts for those who might like to join in the observing the day.

    First, an excerpt from Present Obama's proclamation, which acknowledges the religious diversity of the United States – within the universe of monotheism. “I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us,” the proclamation states.

    My friend and pastor, Rev. Sharon York, read Psalm 27.

    The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation
    A Psalm Of David.

    The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

    When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
    my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.

    Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
    though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.

    One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
    that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
    to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

    For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
    he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.

    And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
    and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

    Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
    You have said, “Seek my face.”
    My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

    Hide not your face from me.
    Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
    Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!

    For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in.

    Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
    Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.

    I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
    Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord.

    We were encouraged to pray for
    • our national, state and local leaders
    • those in economic difficulty, and those without jobs
    • our schools and educational system

    Using the letters P.R.A.Y., here is a suggestion for prayer.

    P Praise

    Begin with praising God for our many blessings.

    Psalm 100:3-5
    Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
    For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

    R Repent

    On behalf of yourself and the nation, acknowledge failures, sins, injustice, etc.

    Ezekiel 33:12
    "... The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins."

    A Ask

    Psalm 86:5
    O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
    so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
    Proverbs 2:2-4
    Tune your ears to wisdom,
    and concentrate on understanding.
    Cry out for insight,
    and ask for understanding.
    Search for them as you would for silver;
    seek them like hidden treasures.

    There is, of course, much for which we could ask. Let's focus on wisdom.

    Y Yield

    Romans 6:13
    Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, yield yourselves completely to God...use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the God's glory.

    Prayer must be followed by action. Prayer is not merely a ritual to observe, it is an act of submission to God. Yielding ourselves to what is right is costly. Where might God be leading you? Are you willing to do the hard thing? Pray for yourself, but also that those in leadership positions of all kinds will have an attitude of humility and submission to the Almighty.

    Thanks for taking a few moments out of your day to join me.