Published May 3, 2016

Paul's Epistle

This Thursday, May 5th, is the 65th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer in the USA. Millions of Americans are expected to assemble at various NDP events across the land to intercede on behalf of their communities, their nation and their leaders.

That's especially true this year because the theme is a stark call to action: "Wake Up America!"  That theme itself implies that Americans – especially Christians – have been asleep. And, when we look around and see all the nonsense that's been going on in society (with very little vocal objection from Christians, individually or collectively), that certainly seems to be the case.

For that reason, the NDP organizers have chosen as their theme this year a quote from Isaiah 58:1a, which says, "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."  I've written before, often, about the need for Christians to take a public stand for what is right. If we don't, we'll continue to be out-shouted and marginalized by those in our increasingly atheistic society who care nothing about God-inspired morals and principles and, indeed, actively oppose and undermine them.

Well-known pastor Dr. Tony Evans of Dallas, Texas, is this year's NDP honorary chairman and he's written a prayer that will be read at observances all across the land on Thursday. It is a passionate plea for God's guidance and intervention in our society. It addresses the problem of Christian apathy directly. Here it is:

"Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural intervention on behalf of our beloved nation. First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.

"This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our people and our institutions. We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now engulfs us. Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.

"It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.

"Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience, which is how we are appealing to You today, Father. On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders. We confidently invite heaven's intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer.

"In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."

Wouldn't be great if every Christian would sincerely and earnestly pray that prayer this Thursday – and, for that matter, every day.

- Paul

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