Archive for the ‘National Day of Prayer’ Category

#Love 1 Another

A prayer for forgiveness:  O Lord, we come before you in repentance for our sin.  We have sinned against you in word, thought and deed.  We have not heeded the warnings given to us by the Holy Spirit, we have not looked for answers in your Holy Word.  We have mocked the warnings from friends, our pastors and counselors.  Forgive us, O Lord, not because of our righteousness, but of your mercy.

As I was praying and thinking of what message to bring to this post, I learned that Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the National Day of Prayer, had chosen the theme for the  2019 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER!  It is “Love One Another Just as I have Loved You.” John 13:34

Perhaps some of you do not know that the National Day of Prayer was established in public law by President Truman in 1952, and celebrates its 68th year of one Day of Devotion throughout the United States on the First Thursday of May each year.  On May 2 2019, many of us will be participating in the event as our churches, pastors and leaders intercede in prayer for healing of our nation in all areas of influence:  government, military, media, business, education, church and the family.

Dr. Floyd fasted for 21 days seeking God’s word for this year’s event, and it meshes nicely with words of Martin Luther King Jr., whose life was celebrated this week…“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  

John 12:46 tells us: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” 

Most of us, believers or not, have to admit that we live in a hate-filled secular world where words and actions seek their challenge through mistrust, fear and denial.  In the words of Solomon through Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  As a student of the Bible, and most recently the study of Daniel, we continually see similarities throughout all generations.  Can it be that this is the season to try love…

My question to you is:  Do we hear the word of the Lord who speaks and directs us to action and then denies it as Jonah in the Book of Jonah did?  As you will recall Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh, a sin-filled city, to “preach against it, because its wickedness has come before me.” Jonah went the opposite way to “flee from the Lord.”  Love prevails, though, and Jonah’s story becomes a parable of God’s mercy.

Jonah’s story reminds me of mine and how I wanted to flee from an action because of fear.  Swimming in the pool at the Y one evening, a friend mentioned that our mutual friend, Claudia, was in the hospital, and it did not appear that she would live.  I continued to swim the laps, each stroke becoming harder and harder.  In my mind I visualized my last experience in the hospital with my father.  He had died that past week, and I certainly did not want to go back to the day we had taken him home.  The clock was in front of me…20 minutes to eight.  I knew I had to go.  Throwing on clothes, towel drying my hair, I prayed it was not too late.  It was after closing when I stepped off the elevator.  I was told Claudia had been in a light coma for the day, and I could certainly see her.  “Rub her arms lightly and speak softly to her,” the nurse said.  I prayed as best as I could in those early days of Christianity, before acceptance that I was worthy of His love.  Shortly after I entered the room and barely touching her arm, she opened her eyes and we immediately picked up the thread of fabric that had joined our lives…someone, I thought a male nurse came while we struggled with scripture.  He sat with us for long minutes, explaining the text as he understood it.  He shared his testimony as we claimed ours.  A call to the hospital the next day let me know that Claudia had died, slipping into a deep coma after I left.  There was no knowledge of a male nurse on the floor that night.  To my Sisters and Brothers in Christ:  Do not miss the task and the blessing it will bring.

Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, “ Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  That evening with Claudia and the days that followed were the beginnings of a faith-filled journey that has no destination.

1 John 3:1 helped me to understand what I had to do to love…“See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Romans 13:8-10 tells us:  “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Jesus the Christ died and He rose from the dead. We receive, and He transforms, indwelling as a light in our spirit, so that all might know us by our love for one another.  This is the Gospel.

1 John 4:7 instructs us, “Let us love one another, for love is from God.”

A prayer for Hope:  Father God, restore us that we might seek your face with our whole heart, rebuking the lies that have worked their way into our souls.  Create in us a new heart that is white as snow and lead us to our purpose here on earth.  Sweeten us O Lord that we might be pleasing in your sight and remembering your promises to us, give glory to you in all that we are and do.  To you, O Lord, is the glory.  Amen and Amen.



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