Skip to main content

National Day of Prayer


Religion and politics. We’ve all been warned not discuss these two topics in public. Bring one up, and the mood at the water cooler can go from casual to combative in about 2.5 seconds. But I’m going to breach etiquette and mention them both … in the same article.

First, politics. As we all know, this is an election year. Campaign flyers are flooding our mailbox. The California Primary Election is just around the corner, and six months from now, millions of Americans will gather at their local precinct to choose a leader for the next four years. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge observed, “All the opportunity for self-government through the rule of the people depends upon one single factor. That is the ballot box.” If you haven’t already, be sure to register and exercise your right to vote in our upcoming elections. It is our duty.

Now on to religion. I must confess, I’m not very fond of the word “religion.” It usually brings to mind cold ceremonies, empty rituals, and corrupt institutions. But if, by “religion,” we mean faith in God through Jesus Christ, it’s the most precious word on the planet.

Each of us has a political duty to vote. But we also have a religious duty: to pray for our country. The Apostle Paul says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. For kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV). Since my 18th birthday, I’ve never missed an election. But to my shame, I sometimes forget to pray for my leaders after they’re elected.

Elections are good, but prayer meetings are better. Elections shape history, but prayer affects the God of history. Prayer unites our hearts with the sovereign Lord of the universe who alone “changes times and seasons, removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21).

Let’s pray that our elected officials will have wisdom and strength. Let’s pray for our schools, our military, our churches, our families, and our law enforcement. Most importantly, let’s pray for the spiritual needs of our nation -- that more people will find true hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Tomorrow, we have a great opportunity to pray during the National Day of Prayer. On behalf of the other pastors of the Morongo Basin Evangelical Pastors Fellowship, I invite you to join us at Remembrance Park at Noon on Thursday May 3, 2012. But even if you can’t make this gathering, please pause for a few moments to pray for our nation and our community. After all, it is our duty.

This article first appeared in the Minister's Message in today's edition of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…