The National Bible Bee
Placing biblical scripture in the hearts of our children is a vital part of leading them to faith in Jesus Christ and developing a spiritual family legacy in your home. That's why I encourage you and your child to participate in the fun and educational Bible Bee. The National Day of Prayer Task Force is pleased to be an official ministry partner of this important event.
You can learn more about the Bible Bee and can register by visiting BibleBee.org or following the links below. I hope to see your family at the National Bible Bee in November, 2015. I along with my wife, Shirley Dobson, who serves as the Chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, are looking forward to speaking at the welcome ceremony and watching as the next generation is blessed by the power of God's Word.
James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
What is the Bible Bee?
It is a wonderful opportunity to join young people (ages 7-18) from around the country in the study and memorization of God's Word.
• Learn how to register today.
• Study materials arrive in June.
• Local competitions hosted by a Bible Bee Host (or via proctor or online) occur in August.
• National Bible Bee for top-scoring participants is held in November.
• Contestants at Nationals compete for over $350,000 in cash and scholarships.
The cost is minimal and the rewards are priceless. ($20/first participant, $10/subsequent family members, $50/family maximum)
Visit BibleBee.org to learn more about the contest.
What is a Local Bible Bee Host?
• Local Bible Bee Hosts are the lifeblood of the Bee!
• They provide opportunities for communities to gather weekly, biweekly or monthly to support and encourage families and participants in their preparation.
• They coordinate and host the local Bible Bees.
We need more key people willing to serve as hosts. This year we are excited to announce up to $1500 for local Bible Bee prizes and expenses, depending on the size of your group.
"The Bible Bee is a superb opportunity for your children to do something of eternal value. Learning and memorizing God's Word is always a great idea — how much more when there is a fun and rewarding contest to encourage your child. Every family needs to take a fresh look at the Bible Bee."
—Michael P. Farris, J.D., Chancellor of Patrick Henry College
Praying for Pastors
As never before pastors are under attack spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Satan is doing everything possible to destroy pastors across the nation. Pastors leaving the ministry have risen to epidemic proportions. Every month 1,700 pastors leave the ministry. That’s almost 55 a day!
Your pastor faces spiritual and emotional attack every day. The expectations placed on pastors are enormous. Pastors are expected to be super-Christians, powerful leaders, steadfast theologians, financial wizards and fundraisers, meet every need of every person in the church, work 60-70 hours a week, and maintain the perfect home life.
The pastor is to have the wisdom of Solomon, preach like the apostle Paul, have the faith of Peter, lead like a CEO, be a counselor, physiologist, have the mercy of Mother Theresa, and walk in humility.
As the expectations have risen, the respect for pastors has plummeted. In a recent list of most respected professions, the pastor came in just above “car salesman.”
Satan knows that as the pastor goes, so goes the church. If he can destroy pastors, then he can ruin churches. Every year 7,000 churches close their doors. As never before your pastor needs people like you praying for him.
Here are some frightening statistics related to American pastors.
- 1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
- 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
- 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
- 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first entered ministry.
- 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
- 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- 70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only fifty percent still felt called.
- 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
The sad truth is, pastors often feel, lonely, over-worked, under-appreciated, and unqualified to fulfill the call of God in their lives.
As never before, you need to be praying for your pastor.
Take the 31-day Praying for Pastors Challenge - click here to learn more
"My Plea" by Dr. Ronnie Floyd
Dr. Ronnie Floyd
There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God’s people. The time is now for us to come together before God in clear agreement, visible union, and in extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ.
For the sake of our nation and the spiritually lost around the world, it is time to humble ourselves before God. For this, I plead with all pastors, missionaries, laypersons, denominational leaders, churches, denominational entities, conventions, colleges and universities; from student to adult, regardless of age, vocation, or status.
As we come to God in humility and repentance, entering into this special season of extraordinary prayer, we plead with God for spiritual revival personally, revival in the church, and the next Great Awakening in the United States. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:
“And in movements of the Spirit the first thing that happens and which eventually leads to a great revival is that one man or a group of men suddenly begin to feel this burden and they feel the burden so much that they are led to do something about it.” Revival: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, p. 163
I am pleading with each of you to join in this spiritual movement to pray for the next Great Awakening so the Great Commission will escalate to its rightful priority and accelerate to its completion in our generation.
When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness. Acts 4:31 (HCSB)
A Look Back
Jonathan Edwards was a man who believed in the absolute sovereignty of God. He was the catalyst for the first Great Awakening and was even impactful in the second Great Awakening. Even with Edwards’ deep abiding belief in God’s sovereignty, he called upon God’s people to act because he believed God would listen to the promptings of His people.
In fact, Malcolm McDow and Alvin L. Reid’s Firefall 2.0: How God Shapes History Through Revival (Wake Forest: Gospel Advance Books, 2014), p. 207, they record the words that Edwards wrote to pastors directly:
“Be much in prayer and fasting, both in secret and with one another. It seems to me, it would become the circumstances of the present day, if ministers in a neighborhood would often meet together, and spend days in fasting and fervent prayer among themselves…. So it is God’s will that the prayers of His saints shall be great and the principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s Kingdom in the world. When God has something to accomplish for His church, it is with His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayer of His people.”
Therefore, as we look back, we must fully embrace the deep belief that God responds to the prayers of His people, especially when these prayers are cried out to Him in desperation and done in an extraordinary way. Evidence is becoming clearer nationally that God is calling His people into a season of special focus and commitment to extraordinary prayer.
It has been over 100 years since the last great move of God occurred in our nation. It was in 1857 and 1858 that a movement of prayer led to 1 million people becoming Christ-followers from a population of only 30 million in our nation. This movement of prayer was begun in New York City by a layperson named Jeremiah Lanphier. After failing to minister effectively to the immigrants in his church’s neighborhood, Lanphier was moved to pray.
At noon on September 23, 1857, in the Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street in New York City, Jeremiah Lanphier knelt alone. Before 1 p.m. six men joined him. Within a month, 100 men joined him daily. Soon, thousands of men began to pray each day at noon around New York City. This resulted in 1 million Americans coming to Christ within a two-year span, as well as another 1 million converted to Christ in Great Britain and Ireland.
The church was revived. Christians were never the same. The fires of evangelism were burning brightly. The advance of the gospel to the nations of the world was profound. Men like David Livingstone, J. Hudson Taylor, and eventually the Student Volunteer Movement saw 20,000 young people surrender their lives to missions. Additionally, these great movements of God impacted renowned men of history like Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, and William Booth.
These were not perfect times. Simultaneously, tension over slavery was growing and financial panic was occurring. In this time of uncertainty, God’s people became desperate and began to cry out to Him. The Sovereign God of Heaven determined to pour out His Spirit in a supernatural way, resulting in one of the greatest movements of God in the history of our nation.
While it has been over 100 years since the last great movement of God upon our nation, we cannot ignore the moments when the Lord has still moved upon our nation powerfully. For example, in the early 1970s, the Jesus Movement touched a generation, including many of our leaders today. Through this work of God, thousands came to Christ, followed by many of them being called into ministry. The greatest year of reaching and baptizing teenagers in our Southern Baptist history occurred in 1972, all due to the influence of the Jesus Movement. While not a “great” awakening, many joyfully remember the work of God in those days.
Sadly, we now have a generation or more of people who have never experienced anything close to a movement of God with this level of impact. It is past time for this to change. God is ready, are we?
Our Present Status
Unquestionably, we find ourselves experiencing days unlike any we have seen in our history. The moral slide in our nation has degraded into a revolution that seems to be out of control. While marriage is being redefined by our culture and the family is under an unprecedented attack, social problems are rising everywhere due to this new cultural reality. Simultaneously, there are so many national and global crises rising up that we cannot keep up with their supposed threats. As well, the world is becoming more dangerous by the second.
While this present status is undeniable, much of the church in America sleeps. Spiritual lukewarmness is plaguing the church, resulting in the infrequency of church attendance, declining churches, lagging evangelism, sagging giving, and generational disconnectedness. Complacency and conflict categorize the church more than contrition and compassion. Among the people of God, announcements and promotions within the church gain a higher priority in planning and follow through than prayer.
While these realities are rising to a seeming point of no return, it is in this hour that we must wake up from our slothfulness and sleep. Romans 13:11 says, Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
We are at a decisive point in time. Therefore, this is an undeniable moment and season, fixed by a sovereign God as a moment of destiny. God is at work and we cannot miss this season of decision and opportunity by being unresponsive and asleep.
A Call to Extraordinary Prayer and Urgent Action
The church must rise up in extraordinary prayer and urgent action. We must take desperate steps forward spiritually during these desperate times in which we live. With urgency in this hour, knowing the Lord could return at anytime, it is incumbent on us to rise up together now as His Church.
Therefore, I am pleading with our (church) Family to come together in clear agreement, visible union, and extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ.
Recently, I read a sermon by Dr. Billy Graham that he preached on October 14, 1993, at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In this sermon, “Can Revival Come?”, Dr. Graham called for revival and awakening. In one sentence, he cast a vision that represents my overwhelming passion personally and for all (churches). He said, “An awakening can bring about evangelization of the world in our generation.” These words so resonate with my pleading with (churches) and beyond.
Surely we can embrace with clear agreement that spiritual revival personally, spiritual revival in the church, and spiritual awakening in the nation are all needed so we can accelerate our pace in reaching the world for Christ. Certainly we can deny ourselves, defer our own preferences, and visibly unite in extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ.
With conviction in this desperate hour, I want to call us to consider some unprecedented actions in our modern history that will move us into a season of extraordinary prayer as a convention of churches.
Join Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Dr. Billy Wilson and many others at the Prayer and Leadership Summit on October 16-18, 2015 in Colorado Springs, CO. Learn more at www.prayerleaders.org
What Sustainability and Religious Freedom Have in Common
Despite the possibility that Chipotle's decision to pull pork from almost a third of its restaurants will come at a cost, the corporation's commitment to serving "food with integrity" has outweighed its quest for financial gain. "We would rather not serve pork at all, than serve pork from animals that are raised in this way," Chris Arnold, the company's communications director, told the Washington Post.
Chipotle's founder and CEO, Steve Ells, has made a decision to commit to self-imposed standards, which he personally finds important, enabling him to live out his commitment to environmental care and sustainability through how he runs his business. His example has also drawn others — employees, investors and customers alike — by giving them a place to work and patronize that shares their beliefs and values. As the Washington Post observed, "The unparalleled success of the chain is glaring proof that people are willing to pay a bit more for that promise."
Or, as one online reviewer put it, Chipotle is "a fast-food chain with a conscience."
It is a wonderful thing that individuals are not only able to start and build a business in their chosen trade, but they are also free to structure that business in a way that reflects their personal beliefs and values. In turn, a wide market of choice is provided for employees and consumers, offering an opportunity to partner with a larger association with a shared commitment to a common cause. In America, we have the ability to act out our individuality and diversity in every aspect of our lives, and not just in our private or personal decisions.
Protecting corporate conscience acknowledges that behind a company name, individuals with their own identities, perspectives, freedoms and convictions are making decisions that affect real people — owners, employees, customers and the community.
There is a distinct social good to preserving the freedom of individuals to form and operate a business based on deeply held principles rooted in conscience. Many great leaders throughout our nation's history have understood the importance of this freedom — how it elevates and benefits our society as a whole when individuals openly and fully live their lives according to the moral values that motivate them, even when reasonable people disagree with those values.
It is time that we take a step back from unnecessarily politicized debates about corporations and acknowledge the simple fact that many Americans are motivated to be a force for good in their communities because of, not in spite of, their faith. Faith animates compassion, and compassion leads to greater integrity and ownership of caring for those in need around us. Furthermore, organized compassionate responses need not come solely in the form of a church or charity to be appropriate, authentic or effective.
There is also a pragmatic reason to defend corporate conscience. A recent study revealed that, though religious populations are growing worldwide, more than 75 percent of the world lives under significant religious restrictions. These religious prejudices are, in turn, having a negative impact on businesses around the globe. This has led noted social scientist Dr. Brian Grim to conclude that "[w]here there is freedom in the market place — including freedom to live out the Golden Rule and bring belief systems to the proverbial table — this...fosters more trust within a company and enlarges public trust toward a company..."
It is crucial that the same freedom of conscience enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remain equally available to business owners of faith. Indeed, much more so, as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment. We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief.
If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn't a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so?
To be sure, religious freedom is not just a choice of convenience – it is a fundamental right given to all Americans by the Constitution. As we recognize Chipotle's decision, let's remember that a clear constitutionally-supported civil right of religious freedom should be cherished and respected in every corner of this nation.
We live in a country whose laws respect freedom and diversity, and our Constitution has always had robust protections for all Americans to live and work by their religious convictions. Americans do not check their religious freedom at the door when they leave their home or place of worship and enter the public sphere.
We must not fall prey to the hypocrisy of defending the freedom of operating a business on convictions of sustainability, but reject that same freedom when the convictions are based in faith.
- U.S. Senator James Lankford and Rep. Randy Forbes
U.S. Senator James Lankford, R, is a freshman senator from the state of Oklahoma. Rep. Randy Forbes, R, is serving his eighth term as U.S. Representative of the Fourth Congressional District of Virginia. They both serve as co-chairmen for the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
This article was featured in the Washington Examiner
A Prayer for America by Alex Kendrick
Our Father in heaven, we come before You today, acknowledging You as our Creator. You are the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac, the One who established Your chosen people and through whom You gave Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. You established the promised land of Israel and demonstrated time and time again that if Your people sought You, worshiped You, and obeyed You, that You would bless them with guidance, provision, and protection. But that if they turned away, then You would remove Your hand and allow judgment.
Lord, we also acknowledge that just as Israel was dedicated to You at it’s founding, that another country years later would also seek Your blessing and dedicate themselves and their land to You. The first president of these United States of America, on the day of his inauguration sought Your hand, Your guidance, and Your blessing on our new country, and the people prayed and celebrated in agreement.
In the following years, Lord, You did more for us than we deserved. You blessed us with military strength, economic strength, with inventions, medical discoveries, academic achievement and national prosperity. You lifted us up to lead the world as we proclaimed that our blessings came from You and that “In God We Trust”. Our constitution acknowledges You as our Creator and our founding fathers noted that our people should never be led without Your Word.
But as You blessed us, we eventually became prideful in our success, believing that it was also by our own hands that our nation was elevated, and that You owed us blessings and protection. In time a generation rose that became calloused toward You, Oh God, and we chose our own prideful logic above Your truth, abandoning You in our schools and ignoring You in our courts. Yet, You showed patience and mercy, and called out “Return to Me, America. Return to Me.”
But instead we embraced our sin, claiming we were Lord over ourselves. We abandoned You by giving credit to the creation of our world to astronomical chance, and began throwing out Your moral boundaries for our selfish pleasure. We oversaturated our hearts and minds on immoral entertainment until our conscience was seared, and began shedding the innocent blood of our unborn children who were an inconvenience to our lives. Yet You kept calling, “Repent, America. Repent and return to Me!”
But we responded that, “We’ve done no wrong.” And we justified our sin as our right and liberty. We chased money, physical pleasure, and the belief that we are entitled to what we do not deserve. And now we stand on the precipice of redefining what You have already called “sacred” for a definition of our own.
Lord, what You call wicked, we now call good. And we’ve now begun persecuting those that proclaim Your truth. You’ve sent warnings, allowing breaches in our security, and instability in our economy. You’ve allowed drought to begin touching our land, and civil unrest in our cities.
Lord, even the people who claim to still acknowledge You have become apathetic and complacent in our comfort. Our worship has been lukewarm and our prayers passionless. We shake our heads in shame as our nation weakens around us, instead of repenting of our apathy and inaction. Where are the people of God? Where are those that still cry out to You with broken and contrite hearts?
Lord, we deserve judgment. We deserve Your wrath, for we have sinned and sinned greatly. And we know that Your judgment starts in the house of God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and our hypocrisy as a cancer in our land. But we cry out to You, Lord! We have nowhere else to look but You! There is no other answer. Man cannot redeem us. Remember Your mercy! Remember Your compassion! Break our hearts, Oh, God! Help us to love what You love, and to hate what You hate. Give us the courage to call sin what it is, and to define our lives by Your truth. Remind us of Your love for us, and call us to repentance. May every heart that knows You as Lord seek You this day! May we grieve over our sin this day; that You might show us mercy and forgiveness.
Lord, for those that heed Your words, and repent with open hearts, restore us to You. And unify those that love You. Raise up a generation that seeks You and worships You with their whole heart. Raise up a generation that is not ashamed of the gospel, and that hates to be lukewarm. Grant them faith, love, and courage to live according to Your Word, and to pray with power and to act with conviction. Raise up leaders, Lord, who will not compromise when under pressure, or abandon You for the approval of men. Raise them up, Lord, that they may call upon Your name, and confess Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Break up the hard soil in our hearts, Lord, that You may take joy in our worship of You, and bless us again. Call us to holiness, that we would once again be the light of the world and draw all men to You. Awaken us, Lord! Rekindle our fire, and stir our hearts. We confess our sins, and we seek Your face. Forgive us, Lord God, that we can again proclaim, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.
We ask for Your forgiveness and cleansing. We pray against those who reject Your truth. Turn their hearts to You or confound their logic. But don’t let wickedness take our land. Don’t let them succeed. Stand in their way, Lord. For America is Yours! And like Israel, may she remain undivided and in Your care. Keep our bond strong with Israel, Lord, and our leaders loyal. Or remove them from office. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.
- Alex Kendrick
Alex Kendrick is an American film writer, producer, director, actor and author. He is best known for his films Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous and the upcoming War Room (releasing August 28). He is also known for the book The Love Dare, which became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and spent 131 weeks on the Times' Paperback Advice best-seller list. With over 5 million copies in print, it has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Anne Graham Lotz Declares MAYDAY!
This past Spring, Joel Rosenberg and I taught through the book of Joel as we led a prophecy seminar at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. It was my privilege to give the first two messages that covered Joel 1:1 through Joel 2:17. The impact on me was profound. Both times, when I stepped off of the platform, I knew God had spoken. The messages almost made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Why? Because God was clearly warning that His judgment is coming on America and it’s going to be ugly. I knew it then, and I know it now.
I believe Jesus is soon to return to take all of His followers to Heaven with Him in The Rapture. While this will be deliverance for you and me, can you imagine the impact on our nation, let alone the world, when suddenly every single authentic Christian disappears? Institutions will collapse. Banks will close. The Stock Market will plunge. Planes will fall out of the sky. Cars will crash on the road. Government in America at every level will disintegrate. Families will be torn apart. In the unprecedented turmoil, our nation will be vulnerable for our enemies to seize the moment and attack us. There will be mass chaos, confusion, fear, grief, despair, anger, threats, danger… judgment.
Just as God allowed the Israelites, His people, to go through three of the ten plagues He sent in judgment on Pharaoh and Egypt in Exodus 6-8, God may allow His people today to go through a time of distress and trouble before the rapture takes place. I believe we are in that time now. I believe it’s time to not just pray. It’s time to cry out to God on behalf of our nation and our world.
MAYDAY! MAYDAY! is an international distress call that signals a life-threatening emergency. And it’s the call to cry out that I am issuing May 15-May 23. These are the nine days between the Day of the Ascension of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost that have Biblically and traditionally been days of prayer and fasting for an outpouring of God’s Spirit.
The purpose of MAYDAY! MAYDAY! is …
- To claim God our Father’s promise of an outpouring of His Spirit in these days following extraordinary signs in the sky …I will pour out my Spirit in those days …The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Joel 2:29, 31
- To implore God the Holy Spirit to compel the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, that times of refreshing may come… Acts 3:19
- To entreat God our Savior for an abundant harvest of souls for His Kingdom in the remaining days. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35
- To delay or soften God’s judgment that is coming on America and on our world. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing. Joel 2:13-14
I’m asking you to please partner with me, and invite everyone on your email address list, or who follows you on facebook or twitter, to join us at http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/mayday/ that will include specific information on how to participate. Please feel free to forward this letter to your constituents or use it in any way that would be helpful.
I will provide a prayer I have written for each of the 9 days to help unite us in one spirit and one voice as we cry out to God. Those who receive the eBlast are invited to sign up for the daily email prayers. Please be assured there is no other agenda to this initiative. This is not about promoting anything or anyone. This is all about calling God’s people together to pray, before it’s too late, and judgment falls on our nation.  Please let me hear back from you as soon as possible. Time is short.
Anne Graham Lotz
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. -Psalm 107:19
  One month after Mayday! Mayday! the Supreme Court will make a landmark decision on marriage. And four months after Mayday! Mayday! Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Feast of Trumpets that many people believe will be fulfilled by the rapture of the church, will take place on September 13-15. Soon after Rosh Hashanah, the fourth blood moon will occur on September 28. The time is critical, and the time is now, to pray!
America Mobilized to Prayer
All 50 Governors and the President of the United States proclaimed the 64th annual National Day of Prayer as millions of Americans gathered from coast to coast in solemn assembly. It was the single, largest mobilized call to prayer in the history of our nation with more than 43,000 events taking place at courthouse steps, parks, offices, government buildings, churches and homes symbolizing a single prayer – one voice – one cry – for such a time as this. It was, perhaps, the fulfillment of the vision of President John Adams, who wrote on June 17, 1775, "We have appointed a Continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great Creator, imploring his forgiveness and blessing; his smiles on American councils and arms."
Stadiums were filled from Pennsylvania to Minnesota with shouts of prayer and adoration. Parades, motorcycle rallies, hot air balloon launches and more were planned in celebration. In Washington D.C., standing room only events with extended lines throughout the duration of the programs gave transparency to the move of the Holy Spirit to unite the church for what appears to be the sparking embers of a global revival. At the precipice of this National Day of Prayer, many within the church had been praying for just such an awakening and the results may have historic impact of immeasurable proportions. Revive us again was the popular theme of the season as millions united in prayer. It was Charles Spurgeon, who in 1866 said, “the word "revive" wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is from the Latin, and may be interpreted thus—to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished. A true revival is to be looked for in the church of God. Only in the river of gracious life can the pearl of revival be found.”
Revival is not new – God has always intervened trying to get us out of our stagnation and apathy. The Old Testament is a history of revival. In fact, one scholar indicated 7 major revival periods with over 16 clear cultural moves of God during that time. As seasons of complacency would overwhelm the nations in sorrow with a dramatic fall from the graces of God, there would be a spark within a few, driven by His very hand that would lead to national repentance as evidenced in Ezekiel 33:11 or Joel chapter 1, where he declares that the only hope is for a nation to “declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God and cry out to Him.”
Following the church from the 14th century throughout modern times, we can document 54 revivals according to many theological sources. In the United States we have seen 3 great times of revival including the 1857 Fulton Street Revival led by a relatively unknown man by the name of Jeremiah Lanphier. What started out as a gathering of 5 people for the state of our nation turned into a movement of over one million men and women turning back to God in bold exclamation of faith. 50,000 people gave their lives to the Lord and this time is credited for a significant drop in crime and a rebuilding of the broken homes that permeated New York City at a time of high unemployment and national insecurity.
The evidence that God is calling his people to revival are overwhelming and as E.M. Bounds stated in his powerful book, The Weapon of Prayer, “A breed of Christian is greatly needed who will seek tirelessly after God, who will give Him no rest, day and night, until He hearken to their cry. The times demand praying individuals who are all athirst for God’s glory, who are broad and unselfish in their desires, quenchless for God, who seek Him late and early, and who will give themselves no rest until the whole earth be filled with His glory.”
The formula is written for us clearly in II Chronicles 7:14 and God’s people are responding by the masses. He has called his church to:
- Return to Him with humility
- Pray unceasingly
- Seek His face unconditionally
- Turn from our wicked ways
- Live in unity
- And Persevere until His return
Many will look to the headlines to see if there is instant change in America as a result of this massive public outcry and what we must remember is that God will respond in His timing. Our prayers will not go unanswered. Like the disciples who waited 50 days for the promise of Christ to be fulfilled on Pentecost, we must be patient and remain mobilized and confident that the prayers of His people are powerful and effective and generations not yet born will praise the Lord, Psalm 102:18.
“America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side.”
President Ronald Reagan, January 25, 1984
May God bless America once more!
- John Bornschein, Vice Chairman
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A Proclamation for the National Day of Prayer
When women and men of all backgrounds and beliefs are free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world. In America, our Nation is stronger because we welcome and respect people of all faiths, and because we protect the fundamental right of all peoples to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and discrimination. Today, as we pause in solemn reflection, we celebrate the religious liberty we cherish here at home, and we recommit to standing up for religious freedom around the world.
For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith -- an essential act of worship and a daily discipline that allows reflection, provides guidance, and offers solace. Through prayer we find the strength to do God's work: to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife. In times of uncertainty or tragedy, Americans offer humble supplications for comfort for those who mourn, for healing for those who are sick, and for protection for those who are in harm's way. When we pray, we are reminded that we are not alone -- our hope is a common hope, our pain is shared, and we are all children of God.
Around the globe, too few know the protections we enjoy in America. Millions of individuals worldwide are subjected to discrimination, abuse, and sanctioned violence simply for exercising their religion or choosing not to claim a faith. Communities are threatened with genocide and driven from their homelands because of who they are or how they pray. The United States will continue to stand against these reprehensible attacks, work to end them, and protect religious freedom throughout the world. And we remember those who are prisoners of conscience -- who are held unjustly because of their faiths or beliefs -- and we will take every action within our power to secure their release.
In the face of tremendous challenges, prayer is a powerful force for peace, justice, and a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow. Today, as we join together in fellowship, we seek to see our own reflection in the struggle of others, to be our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and to keep faith -- in one another, in the promise of our Nation, and in the Almighty.
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2015, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God's continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
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For Such A Time As This
At the height of the glory of the Persian Empire, among the Jewish families who did not return to Jerusalem after being taken into captivity by the Babylonians was a man named Mordecai and his orphan cousin, Esther. The story of her rise from total obscurity to become the queen of the world’s most powerful monarch of that time, King Xerxes, illustrates how God uses events and people as instruments to fulfill His plans in the world.
Xerxes elevated his most trusted advisor Haman, who ordered everyone to kneel before him whenever in his company. When Mordecai repeatedly refused to kneel, the enraged and egotistical Haman discovered that Mordecai was Jewish. In a villainous moment, perhaps rivaled in history only by the Holocaust, Haman convinced Xerxes to sign a law to have all the Jews exterminated and to seize their property.
Hearing of the new law, Mordecai pleaded with Esther, urging her to go to the king and beg for mercy and plead for her people. “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). After calling upon the Jews in the capital city to fast and pray, Esther risked her own life, exposed Haman’s plot and true character, and saved the entire nation. Even today, Jews celebrate their deliverance through the Feast of Purim.
Similarly, as American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, President Franklin Roosevelt called for our nation to unite in prayer. He also offered a prayer to prepare each citizen for the road ahead. “Let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee.” The victory that followed on June 6, 1944, also known as D-day, began the march to Berlin. Eighteen months later, WWII was over, and one of the world’s greatest evils had been defeated. The prayers of a nation had been a powerful force.
Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection, and strength, even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our Founding Fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Congress. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to ensure protection – through prayer.
President Abraham Lincoln knew this well. It was his belief that, “It is the duty of nations as well as men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God.” When it came to the fate of the nation, he practiced what he preached. Before the battle of Gettysburg, he turned to God in prayer. “I went to my room one day, and I locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg.” Won by the Union, Gettysburg was one of the turning points in the war that ended slavery and kept the states united.
Today, the need for prayer is as great as ever. Our nation again faces battlefields, along with an epidemic of broken homes, violence, sexual immorality, and social strife. As the heroes of our nation did in the past, we must again bow our heads in prayer. We must ask the Lord to bless our leaders with wisdom and protection, and that we will have the fortitude to overcome the challenges at hand. If Esther, Mordecai, Roosevelt, the Pilgrims, and Lincoln never underestimated the power of prayer, neither should we.
The 64th annual National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 7. Join the prayer movement at www.nationaldayofprayer.org
- Lance Wubbels
Pray USA Begins
Representing 25 different states, 16 members of Congress and 36 state legislators gathered to coordinate a tactical strategy to effectively challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our Country.
The consensus among participants was that people of faith can no longer sit idly by and passively watch as our nation’s history, and Judeo-Christian heritage are being rewritten with a false narrative.
In a solemn and historic ceremony, all who were present signed a Call to Prayer for America Proclamation.
In the coming weeks, hundreds of national and state elected officials will sign the Proclamation, and will read it aloud in churches across America. Citizens everywhere will be able to join this effort to pray for America by adding their names to the document.
Together, our signatures—demonstrating a commitment to pray for America—will make a bold and public statement; not only in the marketplace of ideas, but also in the halls of power.
Duty is ours; results are God’s. –John Quincy Adams
Read and Sign the Proclamation - learn more now: http://prayusa.com/