Grace Life Church, Marshall
As a pastor in the community, I would like to say thanks to you all for the great response from the body of believers who came to pray. Last Thursday was a day calling the body of Christ to fast and set aside time to come together to pray for our communities and our nation.
I was very blessed to see the many who came to pray at the court house at noon and those who came to the YMCA to pray that evening. I say thanks to those who took the time to plan and coordinate those two prayer opportunities for us all to join in faith to seek God's face and ask for His grace and favor upon our lives and land. There was a definite cross section of believers willing to come and publicly acknowledge the Lord and our desperate need for His Divine intervention in our lives, communities and nation.
The theme for the day was "for such a time as this" and the key verses were: Nahum 1:7-9 (NLT) 7 The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night.
I do believe as a nation we are in a time of great need to continue to come together to pray for our leadership in government, military, media, business, education, churches and families. The following is the advice given by Jesus in the Gospel of John to the many who came to Him because they had experienced the feeding of the multitudes by a supernatural means when He had multiplied the five small loaves and two small fish offered by a young boy.
John 6:27-30 (NLT) 27But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval." 28They replied, "We want to perform God's works, too. What should we do?" 29 Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."
I believe our work is to believe, to trust when all seems to be not going the way we want it to. We need to mix our love with faith, and to draw near to God and one another. We need to strive to maintain the oneness that Jesus prayed for in John 17 and can only be found as we become one with Jesus Christ.
We can draw near to God by an act of our will. We can draw near to God through prayer, giving, fasting and through living righteous lives. James 4:8 (NKJV) 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Through prayer; Psalm 91:15 (NKJV) 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
We can draw near in our giving. Luke 6:3-38 (The Message) 37-38"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back - given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."
We can draw near through fasting. Luke 2:37 (NIV) 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
We can draw near as we live right. Romans 6:13 (NLT) 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
Thanks again to the families of God for coming together to apply our faith in action to pray for our communities and our nation. Please continue to pray, give, fast and live righteous lives to bring honor and glory to the name and reputation of the Lord. Do not shrink back or grow weary in well doing. I pray we all will see the glory of the Lord cover the earth even as we see the gross darkness covering the land at the same time. Let us each demonstrate our faith by our actions of love and prayer for the Lord and for one another.