Days of Prayer, Decision, and Thanksgiving
In his most helpful book, A Praying Life, Paul Miller offers the following timely encouragement:
When Jesus describes the intimacy he wants with us, he talks about joining us for dinner. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
A praying life feels like our family mealtimes because prayer is all about relationship. It’s intimate and hints at eternity. We don’t think about communication or words but about whom we are talking with. Prayer is simply the medium through which we experience and connect to God. (Paul E. Miller. A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World).
“The praying life,” Miller continues, “is all about relationship…it is interconnected with every part of our lives.”
Does praying—communing in relationship with God—interconnected with all of your living? Would it not be the best move in these uncertain days to deepen in regular praying with the Lord himself.
What might we pray about these days? Among so many personal things that come to mind, permit me to suggest the following.
PRAY FOR LIFE TO PREVAIL
Recently, the Times-Republican reported that “after decades of plummeting abortion numbers, the state last year recorded 3,566 abortions, 25% more than the previous year” (data-IA Department of Public health). This is exceedingly grievous. We continue to see the wanton destruction of infant children created in the image of God. Christians who honor the Giver of Life and His Word need be all the more on their knees, praying the Lord would end this scourge in our state, in our nation, and in our world.
One of our SERVE ministry partners is Obria Clinic of Ames, a ministry that helps those with unplanned pregnancies. Also raising this issue is the 40 Days for Life emphasis, which occurs each fall and spring. The purposeful, respectful slogan of the emphasis is simply PRAY TO END ABORTION. A number in our ministry and community provided a public presence at the Planned Parenthood clinic to that end over the last 40 days.
May I ask you to join me in praying each day between now and Thanksgiving for the Lord’s hand to move decisively in our society and culture for life to prevail? Let’s pray to end abortion.
PRAY FOR A UNIFIED MEMBERSHIP DECISION
As you have heard, our Discipleship Pastor Kyle Bartholic is being considered by our membership in candidacy for the Lead Pastor Role at Christ Community Church, beginning June 1, 2021. Last Sunday, a membership Q-A forum was held with Pastor Kyle. Two more similar forums are on the calendar:
These are important times of interaction and discovery, as our Board is asking our membership to make a prayerful decision in the will of God regarding Kyle. The vote will occur on Sunday, November 22, 2020 @ 4:30 PM.
Pray! Ask the Spirit of God to guide you and our entire membership to a decision that fits with the will of the Lord Jesus Christ for this body.
Thanksgiving is but 21 days away. It was President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation that a “thanksgiving day” be regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday in November (later, Franklin D. Roosevelt made it an official holiday). If (arguably) our greatest president courageously called this nation to spend a day thanking God for all that he provides, how much more shall we who fully follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
Expressing thankfulness is one of the dominant calls to God’s people in both Testaments of Scripture. It is a lack of humble thankfulness that turns men away from God (Romans 1:21-22). Conversely, it is eager, profuse thankfulness that keeps us in tune with our providing Father, the loving Savior, and the comforting, encouraging Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:18). To be thankful is His will for us in every circumstance.
These are days of important prayer, important decisions, energized by flowing thankfulness. Let’s lean in together and pray.