Let Heaven and Nature Sing

Let Heaven and Nature Sing

1 Chronicles 16: 31-35 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; For He is coming to judge the earth. O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then say, "Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name, And glory in Your praise."

Joy to the world the Lord has come… Yes, I know we usually sing that song at Christmas, but as spring is bursting forth in many areas of America, I cannot help but think about these verses in 1 Chronicles 16, as God inspires us to see and hear His creation thrive and triumph in their Creator’s glory. In these days when we need to be isolated from people who live outside our home, please take a few minutes each day to step outside and take in the quickly changing season and beauty of spring. The new leaves on the trees and flowers blooming, are a good reminder that the virus is not stopping time, heaven is not overwhelmed, The LORD reigns.

I pray that this gives you courage and comfort. There are so many things we want to express to you; our love, encouragement, compassion and hope. We are in a war fighting this “invisible enemy” on multiple fronts. While this is a greatly escalated circumstance, as prayer warriors we have been fighting the invisible enemy on multiple fronts through many seasons of life. We are answering calls and prayer cards daily and praying around the clock for you, America and all the nations. We are hearing the cries from many people that they are already weary, and the news is predicting that it is going to be a longer and harder fight than what was first expected. Know that we are praying for you and that God is unchanged by these events. You must keep your eyes and thoughts on Jesus during these days. Don’t forget that this Sunday is Palm Sunday, next week is Holy week and Easter is not just a holiday but the greatest day on our calendar as followers of Jesus. Don’t let go of the joy of the empty tomb, forgiven sins, eternal life, and that God’s love is everlasting – always and forever!

As the crowd shouted, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Hosanna!” We have the same cheer, “Hosanna,” Jesus save now! These verses in 1 Chronicles say, “Save us, O God of our salvation.” We still cry out and ask Him to save, gather and deliver us from this present disaster, but we have to remember the ultimate devastation is eternal separation from God. In Christ, no tornado, earthquake, virus; absolutely nothing can separate us from Him, and we know and rest in the confidence that we will step out of this world and into His heavenly presence in glory! That is joy worth shouting and celebrating! Rejoice and be glad in this Truth that cannot be touched. Keep your thoughts and attention on Jesus’ words and actions in Scripture throughout the days from now to Easter, and beyond. Keep looking for His glory and keep expressing His glory!

Would you please join me in prayer?

Lord, we choose to sing and shout your praise. We do not want to be outdone by the budding flowers in giving you glory and we refuse to be undone by this virus. Help us to keep our attention and affection towards You in these days leading up to Easter. Prompt me to spend more time reading my Bible and in prayer when I feel myself being pulled towards feelings of despair and depression. You are our strong tower, our love and hope. Nothing can take us from your presence; let nothing take Your praise from my lips.

P.S. Easter is not canceled, and neither is the National Day of Prayer. Many of you have asked if we are canceling or postponing the National Day of Prayer and the answer is, “absolutely not!” The National Day of Prayer is a national law, put in place by President Truman and then given the specific day of the first Thursday of May by Congress and President Ronald Reagan in 1988. While the venues may be different and many virtual, we will still mobilize unified public prayer for America across America in thousands of prayer events on May 7th , as well as broadcasting and streaming our National Observance that evening. Please keep checking our website and with our state and area coordinators, as well as purchasing our prayer guides and resources – to find out how you can pray with us and in unity across America and around the world on the first Thursday of May and throughout the year!

Lenten and Lengthened Season of Prayer

Day 38: Sing with Spring: 1 Chronicles 16: 31-33 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; For He is coming to judge the earth.

Praise God today as His creation. Look through Scripture for words and verses that describe Him, and meditate on how knowing such a powerful, wonderful God, gives you faith and compels you to praise Him.

Day 39: Thank God: 1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Thank God for His lovingkindness that has touched and transformed your life in the past and present and profess that His future lovingkindness sustains you. His lovingkindness is always and forever. Look for ways you experience this and ask God to show you ways to express love and kindness through you.

Day 40: Shout Hosanna: Mark 11:8-10 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; …

Continue blessing Jesus today and cry out, “Hosanna” Jesus save us in the needs and fears of today. Be filled with hope and wave your arms or hands in praise if you do not have palm branches.

Day 41: Glorify: John 17:4-5 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.  "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

How amazing that Jesus continued to prioritize the Father’s glory all the way to the cross. In your prayers today ask God to glorify Himself through you and to strengthen and guide you to see and complete the work He has given you each day.

Day 42: Not my Will but Your Will: Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

Submit to the Lord’s wisdom and love as you pray this prayer today over all that concerns and threatens you. Jesus knew the torturous day ahead of Him, but He also knew that salvation was at stake and kept His heart on Father’s will.

Day 43: Beyond Betrayal: John 18:2-3 Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

You may have experienced the pain Jesus felt when someone close to Him, someone who knew His patterns and the places He went to pray. As Jesus poured Himself out in the garden His friend was leading a mob to seize Him. If you know this pain, you must forgive your betrayer. Whatever they did to you does not compare to the many offenses Jesus encountered and then forgave from the garden to the cross. Ask God to help you forgive where you have been holding grudges and let His healing begin.

Day 44: God is Not Mocked: Matthew 27: 28-31 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.  After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

Accept and embrace what Jesus did on your behalf. He humbled Himself for you and me, and endured humiliation at the hand of His own creation. What amazing grace. Oh, what a Savior.

Serving Him with Gladness,

Kathy Branzell