What's happening to prayer?
These are a few of the headlines on today’s front page of the Northeast Tarrant Star-Telegram.
Obama works to rally U.S. behind his agenda I wish our President would rally us behind God’s agenda. There was a time, not so long ago, when our country adhered to godly principles. They haven’t all been abandoned, but things have changed drastically since I was a child.
At Six Flags, beer sales will begin Saturday
Bill would allow liquor stores to open on Sundays
I could fill the page with more disturbing headlines than these. However, I just want to ask a simple question with a tough answer.
“What has happened to this one nation under God?”
Just to give us a glimpse of how far we have come, I’ve included the words of the first prayer in congress. How many men would be bold enough to pray before our country like this today?
The First Continental Congress, Tuesday, September 6, 1774, their first official act was a call to prayer at 9:00am. Ever since the First Continental Congress, each session of Congress is still started with an opening prayer!
The First Prayer in CongressDelivered to the Assembly by Rev. Jacob Duche
O' Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords,
who dost from Thy throne behold all 50
dwellers on earth and reignest
with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments;
look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States,
who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor
and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection,
desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee,
to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause;
to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support,
which Thou alone canst give; take them,
therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care;
give them Wisdom in Council and Valor in the field;
defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries;
convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause
and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes,
of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts,
constrain them to drop the weapons of war
from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!
Be Thou present, 0' God of wisdom,
and direct the councils of this honorable assembly;
enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation.
That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order,
harmony and peace may be effectually restored,
and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people.
Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds;
shower down on them and the millions they here represent,
such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world
and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come.
All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ,
Thy Son and our Savior.
This should bring tears to the eyes of the strongest Christian! Prayer has not been abandoned by America…yet. However, the One we pray to has changed. How is that? The change has been in who has the authority to answer prayer. Do we approach God on our own merits and make our requests known to Him or do we go through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus? I’ll take Jesus.
When is the last time we let a tear slip from our eyes when we thought about how far our nation has wandered from God? There are reports that the White House is now vetting prayers. The Prophecy News Watch has an article that claims the President’s public rallies open, “with invocations that have been commissioned and vetted by the White House."
Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News and World Report recently reported that an administrator of another nation emailed a planned prayer to the White House for vetting.
Gilgoff also wrote, “the practice of commissioning and vetting prayers for presidential rallies is unprecedented in modern history, according to religion and politics experts.”
Are we dealing with government-approved prayer?
A Pastor in Ft. Meyers, Florida reportedly delivered, "a prayer that carefully avoided mentioning Jesus, lest he offend anyone in the audience."
I guess people are offended when you pray in Jesus’ name! Wouldn’t you rather pray to someone who is alive than to an object without hands or feelings, eyes to see or ears to hear? Is your heart broken yet?
“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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
It’s hard to claim this verse when we can’t even pray publicly without making someone mad at what we say! I understand, though, that the world cannot understand the spiritual.
Minister Joe Wright once opened the new session of the Kansas Senate with prayer. Those in attendance expected the usual general prayer filled with politically correct words. What they heard shocked them and caused an immediate response. Many legislators walked in protest during the prayer. This is the kind of prayer we need today.
Here is the prayer in its entirety, as reported on Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”.
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness
and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says,
"Woe on Those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We
* We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called
* We have worshiped other gods and called it
* We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
* We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
* We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.
* We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
* We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice.
* We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
* We have neglected to discipline our children and called it
* We have abused power and called it political savvy.
* We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
* We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called
it freedom of expression.
* We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and
called it enlightenment.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every
sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been
sent to direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son,
the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bob Ferguson (757) 486-6636 FAX (757) 498-1934
No doubt, the way America is headed today is contrary to what the Bible envisioned. Recent Supreme Court decisions have accepted as right the things God said were wrong and wrong the things God clearly said were right! If any person said the first prayer today, would he be invited to leave?