Recently, I was reading an article with a quote about Jesus that has burdened me deeply. The person being quoted did not believe in Jesus as the New Testament teaches about our Savior. In fact, his use of our Savior's name was in such a casual, slang description that I felt my heart hurt for my Lord, my Redeemer. How the world looks at Jesus, the Name above all names must certainly grieve Him to be so misunderstood, so missed in relevancy. He created us - is ignored - and then His very name is used in a slang derogatory context. And even worse, His holy Name is used in cursing. Do you notice these things in our culture anymore: I pray we do! May we pray for those who misuse His priceless Name. It is sacred. His very Name carries power. If you can pray no other words, say JESUS with sincerity to Who He is, as the Son of God who offers eternal life. Please pray with me for the Name of JESUS to be heralded over Christmas and to be revered in 2015.
vs. 8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!
vs. 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
vs. 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
vs. 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father…“
Its all about Jesus!
- Lisa Crump, Senior Director, National Day of Prayer
Spiritual Stewardship - Not Secular Slices
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" 27 And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 28 And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." - Luke 10:25-28
Among my friends and family I am known as, “the Pie Queen.” I love pie! Fruit pie, cream pies (especially Key Lime,) Chocolate pie, cold, baked, even chicken pot pie. It is not that I have a big sweet tooth, nor is it is not that I eat dessert every day, or even every week. What I love about pie is that you usually eat it with people who are very close to you.
Think about it; you have probably had many business meals or “eating meetings.” Business breakfast, lunch and dinners are a part of my schedule every week; but dessert is personal, private, savored with the people you are closest to. A sweet slice and a great discussion is a great way to end a day.
Individual servings of pie come in a slice, you may desire the whole pie, but you are given a piece; a small portion of a big pie. Sadly, I hear many Christians talk about their relationship with Jesus as if it were a pie. Somehow we have taken the wrong mentality that our life is a pie and we slice it up between work, worship, family, recreation, rest, and other activities and responsibilities. As Christians we have adopted the wrong mentality and vocabulary of “spiritual” and “secular.” God does not see our life, the life He gave us, sliced up by spiritual and secular activities; it is ALL spiritual!
From our first thought in the morning to our last thought drifting off to sleep, we are consecrated and separated, “holy unto the Lord.” Now I know some of you are thinking, “I have to go to work 8-10 hours every day, or more; how can I dedicate ALL of my life to “spiritual” things? The man who asked Jesus this vital question about life in Luke 10:25-29 was a lawyer, not a religious leader. “What shall I do…?”
The answer is simple, we do ALL that we do; work, worship, family, recreation, rest, etc… with our heart, soul, mind, and strength focused on Jesus. Your place of business is your mission field; it is where God has placed you for His purposes to be fulfilled. We do not live to work: we do not even work to live. We live to live out our personal relationship with Jesus Christ at home, church, shopping, vacationing and at work. We do not slice off a portion of life and give it to God; He gets the whole pie! By committing to pray, and live out Christ’s character through the power of the Holy Spirit in ALL that we do, we fulfill the mandate to love the Lord with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength. We also open up every area of our life for His blessing. God is seeking an intimate relationship with you, not a quick nod at breakfast and out into the world we go. He desires to share wisdom, knowledge, strength, joy, discernment and direction all day. We are selfish, and foolish, when we think it enough to give God a slice of our life’s pie when He is the one who gave us the entire “Pie” to begin with. It is His…ALL His. Even the lawyer understood that life, even eternal life is an inheritance; a gift, that we cannot earn, but ought to steward well.
If you would like to find some more information about living out your faith at work, there are many wonderful Marketplace ministry leaders such as John Maxwell, Os Hillman, Ken Blanchard, Michael Anthony, James Estep Jr. and many others, who have written books, share at conferences, and even have daily devotionals or emails you can subscribe to.. Invest some of your time learning and listening about how to live your whole day and your whole life walking and working in the Spirit… nothing could be sweeter…not even pie. Know that I am praying for you!
- Kathy Branzell, Director
A dear friend wanted to ensure that I began the new year on the right note so he gave me a wonderful, one-year devotional called New Beginnings. Each page brings inspiration, challenges and motivation to grow in our walk with Jesus Christ. After reading this morning, I felt compelled to share the following thoughts with you as we develop our active prayer life throughout 2014 and beyond:
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Of the spiritual luggage that you will carry with you into the new year, prayer is one of the most important components. Some people maintain that prayer is easy. Others believe that it is difficult. If you are trying to develop a growing and meaningful prayer life, you will know that both these statements contain some truth.
With the best intentions in your heart you set aside time for a peaceful time of prayer, but just as you are preparing yourself, something intrudes upon these precious moments: a telephone call, a knock at the door, a sudden reminder of something you should have done. You can be sure that the devil will leave no stone unturned to prevent you from praying.
It would be a good idea to take these things that distract you and enfold them with your prayers. Take the disturbances that the devil places in your way and change them into subjects for prayer.
Prayer is not a static entity, but a dynamic, pulsating force that needs to be used continually if it is to retain its power and fulfill its function of leading you into a more intimate relationship with God. If your prayer life is weak and ineffectual, you become like a motor battery that hasn't been used for some time: it cannot fulfill the task for which it was created. Recharge your prayer batteries through disciplined prayer and feel how God starts working in your life.
Lord Jesus, let me discover the wonder and the power of prayer anew through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Sanctify my prayers and make me faithful in my prayer life.
The wide, open spaces bring peace and joy to me. This part of northern New Mexico was green with rolling hills, a lot of ranch land with ample opportunity to gaze on God’s creation and reflect on His provision. We drove into one of those very small towns where the speed limit drops dramatically, bringing a convergence of highway traffic into slow moving local life. I was in the far right lane coming up quickly behind a vehicle. I was sure I saw a clear path around it in the left lane. Now in the left lane, I instantly realized I was wrong. There was no time to fully brake before I rear-ended the car ahead.
My early driving record was labeled by my family as ‘lead footed’. When my husband and I married over 34 years ago, as I said ‘I do’, his auto insurance said ‘we do not’. They cancelled his policy due to my 5 speeding tickets—ouch. Okay, I think one of those was a parking ticket. That is much better right? So from early marriage, I became a slower driver, knowing that we, as a couple, didn’t need any of my past ticket costs now.
In a flash I realized how quickly things had gone wrong in small town New Mexico. Where did that car come from? I hadn’t seen it at all, so odd for the “defensive driver” I thought I had become. What to do? There were only milliseconds to decide. I could run into the back of the car or move back into right lane? No, another vehicle was suddenly on my right. I momentarily braked, then shouted “JESUS CHRIST!” while pushing pedal to the metal. There could have been nothing more important to exclaim.
I moved to pass the car by going into the next left lane. This was a four-lane area, meaning I was passing by driving into the on-coming traffic’s lane. Keep in mind, I had my most precious cargo with me: my only child and my only granddaughter. I had prided myself on becoming defensive from drivers just like I presently was. It felt like “Someone” else took over to move our vehicle like a chess piece, a Master player.
I’m not proud of this scenario I created. It’s taken me months to write about it. But I am writing it now, finally, because I want to share my Jesus with you. A major thought going through my mind in those moments was: “Am I taking the Lord’s name in vain?” I don’t normally call on His name that way. When I shouted “JESUS CHRIST”, it just came out - loud and clear. I felt concern that it might be like what we hear when someone curses. It can be mysterious the range of thoughts we have in mere seconds!
Rather than rear-ending another vehicle at declining speed, now we were in rapid acceleration going the wrong way. If there had been an oncoming vehicle, we would have collided head on. It would have been totally my fault, endangering lives most priceless to me. Yet, the lane was clear and I passed very quickly and moved to the far right lane again. There, I slowed way down, while taking in reality. I distinctly recall the other highway traffic giving me a wide berth those next few miles. My paprika colored Subaru stood out and they kept some distance!
The invisible reality of His presence I could not fully fathom in that moment or for several days afterward. This was a divine encounter that took awhile to sink in. Yet His complete power, willingness, sovereignty, grace and mercy, became clearly manifest and tangible as I relived those moments like a movie scene.
Our 2013 National Day of Prayer theme was taken from Matthew 12: 21, “In His name the nations shall put their hope.” Thus, individuals should put their hope in Him too. Truly His very name is powerful. He answered me as I exclaimed the name above every name.
He knows the intent of our hearts and mine was in immediate need. He knew in advance that this moment in time would arrive. When I exclaimed His name, He was there. There is no other explanation. He moved to protect and His covering is real and physical. His response to His name overwhelms me with both awe and stunned thankfulness. I believe He directed me to punch forward and pass in the lane with no time to be cautious. I didn’t know if the lane was clear, but I do know 3 of the 4 lanes were occupied. Either He held that lane open for us or supernaturally cleared it in that moment in time.
Will JESUS CHRIST be there for you in an emergency? Have you experienced the pure and simple power of His very name? This should challenge us to keep His name on our lips and in our minds, ready to call to Him at a moment’s notice. I often tell others, to just say the name JESUS when at a loss for words. I often say it beneath my breath, quietly in situations, but now I know He responds to a full outright exclamation!
There is great instruction on His name from Philippians 2: 9-11: “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Next time I visit your area, who will drive? How blessed that we hope in Him alone, and none other.
Shalom my fellow brothers and sisters in JESUS CHRIST!
Senior Director, Prayer Mobilization
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - II Chronicles 7:14 [hr]
We can never see into the future to know how God will work. This was the case about seven years ago as Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) approached. In God’s providence, I got an email sharing about Christian pilots flying pastors and people who wanted to pray in the state of Ohio over that upcoming celebration. This recently formed group were calling themselves ‘PrayerFlight’.
Well if you work with National Day of Prayer, your immediate prompting might be like mine was: “Wow, would they fly in prayer on the First Thursday of May too? Could this be done in additional states?” I called Michael Harnishfeger, one of PrayerFlight’s founders and pilot from the email correspondence. He seemed interested right away. He checked with the board. Their mission expanded quickly to include the annual National Day of Prayer. Now seven years later, due to the working of God Almighty, our airwaves are blanketed in prayer over every state capitol, comprising our nation as a whole. God can surely move mightily! Praise God with us through the following from Michael of PrayerFlight:
PrayerFlight is pleased to announce 100% coverage for our "50 Capitals" National Day of Prayer - PrayerFlight.
As we like to say, from Hawaii to New York, from Alaska to Florida, Texas to North Dakota and California to South Carolina - on May 2, 2013 pilots and prayer warriors in every state will be uniting in flight, in prayer for our country. It is with great humility that we find ourselves in service to the King of Kings and we are grateful for His Blessings on this mission.
With only two weeks to go, we are well on our way to making this a banner year. Many of our states have pledged multiple airplanes and in Ohio, we are planning on 20 to 25 airplanes gathered for a time of fellowship, prayer and flight. We ask that you continue to reach out to pilots in your state and encourage them to register for this exciting mission by following the link below.
This is an exciting time and we are thankful for our partners from around the nation who have committed to this critically important mission.
More than any time before, our nation needs prayer. As our Mission Verse proclaims, we depend on God to heal our land for in fact there is no other way.
Thank you to all who have prayed, called and committed to PrayerFlight - we look forward to wheels up on May 2nd.
As time approaches we will keep our partners informed on the final number of pilots flying on our National Day of Prayer.
God has continued to work expanding this ‘prayer in the air’. Reports each year from participants have reflected that this aerial view of schools to workplaces, transportation routes to churches, military bases to capitols, neighborhoods and more provided heightened awareness of the array of needs in each place. When I flew with Colorado Prayer Flight several years ago, I felt the Lord directing our prayers as we flew over our capitol, the Denver Mint, downtown metro skyline, universities and then back over rural lands of ranches, forests and fields. Elevation can help bridge the gap between our micro view and God’s complete perspective.
Please join us in giving thanks to our Lord for His creative help to call this nation to pray through the avenue of flight and numerous other venues. For more information on PrayerFlight and how you might get involved, visit their website at http://www.prayerflight.org/
To find a prayer event near you or post an event, please visit visit http://nationaldayofprayer.org/events/
Can you remember a time where you really questioned God? If you are honest with yourself then I suspect I am not alone on this, although, personally, I’m not proud to admit the struggle. For me, it was a time early in prayer ministry. I was in a 12-hour prayer meeting in Alabama, participating with thousands of spiritually hungry young people and seasoned prayer warriors.
My prayer to the Lord began with an overwhelming since of inadequacy. The following words echoed through my mind, “I can’t believe You have me here in this place with these of such spiritual depth. Who am I? I am from a small, one high school town in Texas. I didn’t go to seminary. I don’t have a degree in Theology and here I sit with such giants in faith. I am so ordinary. “ I felt like a toddler among adults.
I was thinking all this from the additional perspective of my role with the National Day of Prayer Task Force. A daily part of my work then, and now, includes supporting the volunteer coordinator network across the nation. I have the privilege of working with our national area leaders, thousands of devoted volunteers and international ministry prayer leaders. So, I found myself questioning my Lord. How could He use “ordinary me” with the likes of these zealots? The setting was a large convention center space with row upon row of chairs of people agreeing in prayer. In the midst of this brief internal evaluation, riddled with self-doubt, I felt a stiff breeze and looked up. It felt like the convention center doors had burst open sending a gush of wind inside. However everyone else was still bowed in intercession, unaffected.
Then the Lord had my full attention for His contribution to this prayer. By His Spirit, I listened: “I DON’T DO ORDINARY”. With such clear and simple words surfaced deep instruction that still teaches me today. As I mediated more, God showed me that He is my Creator. Very simply stated, He taught me that He, as Lord God, just cannot make anything ordinary. Ordinary is not a word to associate with Him or His creation as we are made in His image.
This is all about His majesty and compete sovereignty; nothing that we do on our own. It is all about His plan for you and me.
Do you wonder what more He has for you? Ask Him. He delights to work through our weakness if we are in humble submission to His absolute holiness and divine nature. Through your extraordinary prayer life with the living God through Jesus our Lord, be assured you are living the life He wants for you. It will be one that bears fruit beyond your human capacity - beyond your days here on earth.
Here at the National Day of Prayer Task Force, there is plenty of room for you. The nation needs those who will participate in prayer observances on May 2nd; which is coming up quickly. Certainly, in our hope to see every county in America bathed in prayer, we need more who will step forward to plan and host these prayer gatherings. So, I am challenging you now to learn how you make a difference. Click the ‘volunteer’ link on the main menu of our website to get involved, helping your state coordinator mobilize prayer near you.
Additionally, consider joining the National Day of Prayer hosted prayer call, any night of the year, from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. CDT, (be sure to adjust for your time zone). Simply call our free conference line (uses minutes if you have a limited plan), 712-432-0075, and enter the access code: 4961322#. This is a wonderful way to connect with intercessors from across the country and experience prayer with praise, repentance and yielding to our Lord God. Then, on the First Thursday of each month this call concentrates on a national focus, based on our theme, Pray for America.
As you determine how you can get involved, please prayerfully consider lending your financial support as well, to help us continue to call this nation to prayer. No gift is too small.
Prayer moves on God’s willingness. Only He can heal this land and by His extraordinary design He moves through our earnest prayers. So, are you ordinary? No, remember, He doesn’t do ordinary! We are made by the one and only Almighty God who loves beyond imagination. As you go to Him today in prayer, listen and wait in expectation for His specific answers. They will not be ordinary.
The Pray for Hope Pilgrimage to Israel, December 3-13, 2012, was a bucket list trip for me. I am so thankful to my Lord for making the way for me to go to the land of the Bible specifically:
- At this time, just days away from rockets and drones colliding over this conflicted land of the past, present and future.
- To go with other believers who intentionally came to pray in this land and for it’s present day people.
- To go with the Center for Holy Land Studies tour that married a deep experience of the places and happenings from scripture to a live, learning environment of unlimited questions and Biblical insights.
- To pray for the world’s poor and suffering from Jerusalem, perhaps the most contested city on earth on 12/12/12.
From Caesarea to Mount Carmel, Capernaum to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth to the Dead Sea and Qumran (where the scrolls were found), Bethlehem to Jerusalem, I was engrossed with the events recorded in the Bible that happened on the landscape beneath and around me. Our tour guides relished in giving a full context of the scripture from details of the time period and where events happened such as the ancient road to Jericho where the Good Samaritan account took place.
A personal highlight was being baptized in the Jordan River as my Savior Jesus had done over two centuries ago. I felt such joy and peace in this rebirth of surrender in these same waters! A night cruise with worship and periods of prayerful silence around the Sea of Galilee brought me to marvel that Jesus and Peter walked on this water. What person was used by God to preserve the Dead Sea Scrolls for us to learn and affirm the Biblical books recorded? God ordained this discovery in modern days.
In Nazareth we learned of the caves where families lived in a land with less wood among the ample stones. Where David tended flocks possibly inspiring the the 23rd Psalm brings deeper appreciation of I SHALL NOT WANT as wilderness expanse is all around. And Jerusalem is a destination of experiencing Jesus: gate where he would have walked through from the temple, healing ministry, Mount of Olives before his arrest, Pilate, knowing he bled and died in physical flesh and arose again all in this old, sacred city.
Present day Israel is a witness of provision and favor. The people are endowed with wisdom to make best use of what God provides them. The produce at the Jerusalem market must be experienced in sight and taste...really! The Holocaust museum in Jerusalem gravely walks through the progression of the assault on the Jewish population; it has to be shared to understand and thus enlist to protect.
I left Israel with a prayerful heart for it’s future and to come back to intercede and study more. I never felt fearful while on tour; God has our days numbered. Yet, I felt spiritual oppression at times in this land with many enemies and much at stake scripturally. So I commit to watch:
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth. - Isaiah 62: 6-7
Israel is a great place to spark your prayer life from the present suffering in the world, battlegrounds of the Bible to modern day current events and to scriptural prophecies. If Israel is on your bucket list too, I know God will use it to help you know Him better. And maybe that could help the world be drawn to Him too.
NEWS RELEASE – April 8, 2013
Director, Public Relations
The National Day of Prayer Task Force
“PRAY FOR AMERICA”
AMERICANS TO UNITE AND PRAY ON THURSDAY, MAY 2ND, FOR THE 62ND ANNUAL OBSERVANCE OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (April 8, 2013) – As our nation struggles with continued economic insecurity, vast healthcare reform, and countless challenges to our constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather, worship, and pray. Millions will answer the call to prayer on May 2nd in observance of the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer. Organized events will be held in thousands of public venues where intercession will be made for America and its leadership.
This year’s theme, “Pray for America”, is based on Matthew 12:21 which reminds us that “In His name the nations will put their hope.” National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Family Talk founder Dr. James Dobson, has said that, “The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers, and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty’s guidance, protection, and blessing – not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.”
Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship and Founder of Harvest Crusades – Greg Laurie – will serve as the 2013 Honorary Chairman of the NDP Task Force and will give the keynote address at the National Observance in Washington, D.C., to be held at the Cannon House Office Building.
To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org
About the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
Each year, millions of people unite on the National Day of Prayer—at thousands of events around the country—to pray! While prayer is not a seasonal or annual thing, our nation pauses to observe a National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday every May. On this day, Christians have an opportunity to emphasize the importance of prayer as a testimony to who God is, what we believe, and the fact that our Nation was founded upon the truths of God’s Word, and much prayer!
Our network of volunteers, combined with our resources and online tools, will help guide you through the process of engaging your community in prayer! To learn more about becoming a volunteer, please follow the steps below.
Lisa Crump, Chief Operating Officer
Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Our volunteer network is made up of extremely dedicated men and women who love Jesus Christ and have a heartfelt belief that prayer is the hope for America. Through their tireless efforts, a covering of intercession blankets our country – a “prayer shield” that is vital at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.
To get started, simply click on the volunteer responsibilities link below to learn more and then fill out the application form. Give us a few days and you’ll be contacted by a local volunteer in your area.
If you have previously filled out this online volunteer application, please do not fill it out again. Just send any updates to your contact information (address, email, or phone numbers) to News@nationaldayofprayer.org
I look forward to connecting with you!
A Volunteer for the National Day of Prayer Task Force is expected to maintain a healthy Christian lifestyle, first and foremost. As a volunteer, you will be be an extension of our National Office, therefore being a ministry ambassador every where you go. We will provide resources to help you encourage and develop a growing prayer community in your area, and throughout your state. In addition, you'll be connected with others in your state to help you in your efforts.
- Be active in your community: A great way to get involved in your community is to develop a relationship with other prayer ministries, churches, pastors' networks, etc. by attending their meetings and sharing the vision of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Work with these groups to gain support in uniting the community on the National Day of Prayer.
- Host an event: Plan a church, community, or city event and work with local leaders to develop a program, budget, and operational plan to unite the city in prayer on the National Day of Prayer.
- Spread the word: Encourage others in your city, and surrounding cities, to get involved.
- Volunteer Positions: There are 7 Volunteer Positions. To download a description of each position, click here: Responsibilities. Once you complete the Application, you will be contacted to discuss which positions(s) are of interest to you. Click the Volunteer Sign Up below to get started!
Now that you are all signed up, be sure to familiarize yourself with our website. We have a vast supply of easy-to-use resources that will help you as you plan and coordinate your prayer events.
Below are a few quick links to help get you started:
Once you know when and where your event will be taking place, take a few minutes and enter your event information into this website: Post an Event
Our goal is to see communities transformed across America through the power of prayer and that happens one family at a time. Lives are being changed and we pray in expectation believing that God can and will make a difference if we seek Him (II Chronicles 7:14). We also know that organizing prayer is not always easy so we are not expecting you to fill stadiums with people. The Scriptures tell us that where two or more are gathered, there He is in their midst (Matthew 18:20). So, start simple and enjoy the journey. Organizing prayer is exciting and we are delighted you have joined us in this ministry to our nation.
Together we can make a difference!