MONDAY: Most children who receive shoe box gifts live in desperate circumstances. Pray that God will meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
TUESDAY: Pray for our ministry partners in countries around the world, especially that the shoe box gifts and follow-up discipleship programs will be effective evangelism tools.
WEDNESDAY: Pray that doors will be opened, so the Good News can be shared in countries that are you not receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
THURSDAY: Pray for those who fill shoe box gifts this year, especially for children, that they will see that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
FRIDAY: Pray for those involved in collecting, processing, transporting and delivering shoe box gifts, including the tens of thousands of volunteers.
SATURDAY: Pray for Samaritan’s Purse staff located throughout the world as they handle the logistics of Operation Christmas Child.
A hero, as defined by Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1828, is “a man of distinguished valor, intrepidity or enterprise in danger; as a hero in arms”. The modern-day Merriam-Webster Dictionary places the first meaning of a hero as a mythological or legendary figure. I’d like us to hearken back to Noah Webster’s definition on this Memorial Day as it reminds us that REAL heroes live among us, and have died for our freedom.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which honors and commemorates the men and women who died while in military service. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Salute or commemorate a loved one serving in the U.S. military by proudly wearing a military cross or medal. These pendants also make treasured gifts for someone serving in the military to assure them that you are praying for them and that their protection is found in God.
The mini-book entitled “Pray for Our Nation”, published by Harrison House, includes this prayer for Veterans:
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for our veterans. I thank You for their willingness to risk all so that our nation might dwell in peace and safety.
May they find the honor and recognition they deserve.
In the name of Your divine Son, I pray that You will heal the physical and psychological wounds some of these veterans have suffered. Bring peace to those who mourn the loss of comrades.
Father, I pray that our nation would learn to respect and acknowledge those who have served their country well.
Scripture Reference: Romans 13:7, John 14:17, John 16:33
Visit the US Memorial Day website for more information on the history of Memorial Day.
Make this Memorial Day about more than barbeques with family and friends, about more than the start of the summer travel season, about more than a 3-day weekend. Take time to truly remember and thank God for the ultimate sacrifice many men and women have paid. Pray for their families and loved ones. And take time to remember and thank the men and women who currently serve in all the branches of our military.
Celebrate Your Faith has many thoughtful and meaningful gifts to honor our service men and women. Check out our Memorial Day Gifts section to find the perfect one today!
60TH ANNUAL OBSERVANCE
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
“I WILL SAY OF THE LORD, HE IS MY REFUGE AND MY FORTRESS, MY GOD, IN WHOM I TRUST.” PSALM 91:2
The National Day of Prayer was formally established in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.
The official website of the National Day of Prayer states: “The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. It enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call to us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.”
National Day of Prayer Official Site: http://nationaldayofprayer.org/
The 2011 National Day of Prayer Proclamation, issued by the President of the United States, reads:
Throughout our history, Americans have turned to prayer for strength, inspiration, and solidarity.
Prayer has played an important role in the American story and in shaping our Nation’s leaders. President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” The late Coretta Scott King recounted a particularly difficult night, during the Montgomery bus boycott, when her husband, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received a threatening phone call and prayed at the kitchen table, saying, “Lord, I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.” Dr. King said, in that moment of prayer, he was filled with a sense of comfort and resolve, which his wife credited as a turning point in the civil rights movement.
It is thus fitting that, from the earliest years of our country’s history, Congress and Presidents have set aside days to recognize the role prayer has played in so many definitive moments in our history. On this National Day of Prayer, let us follow the example of President Lincoln and Dr. King. Let us be thankful for the liberty that allows people of all faiths to worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience, and let us be thankful for the many other freedoms and blessings that we often take for granted.
Let us pray for the men and women of our Armed Forces and the many selfless sacrifices they and their families make on behalf of our Nation. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect their fellow citizens. And let us ask God for the sustenance and guidance for all of us to meet the great challenges we face as a Nation.
Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those who have been affected by natural disasters at home and abroad in recent months, as well as those working tirelessly to render assistance. And, at a time when many around the world face uncertainty and unrest, but also hold resurgent hope for freedom and justice, let our prayers be with men and women everywhere who seek peace, human dignity, and the same rights we treasure here in America.
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, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2011, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith or conscience directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I ask all people of faith to join me in asking God for guidance, mercy, and protection for our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
You can also view this Proclamation online by visiting http://nationaldayofprayer.org/news/2010-presidential-proclamation/2011-proclamation/
This year’s theme, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, is also the name of one of Martin Luther’s best known hymns (full lyrics here). It has been called the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” and perhaps that is why it is so fitting as a theme.
We are undergoing a reformation of sorts in the country right now. People across the country are fed up with the status quo of things and are seeking meaning for their lives. Many of these people are turning to God and seeking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are not satisfied with “arm chair Christianity” any longer. Simply attending church once a week is not fulfilling.
One of the cornerstones of a personal relationship with is prayer. Jesus made a way for us to be intimate with the Father when He sprinkled His blood in the Heavenly Holy of Holies. He once and for all opened up unhindered access to God to each one of us through His blood. What a marvelous privilege we have been given!
Prayer is communication with God. It is fellowship with Him. It is a time to bring our concerns and petitions before Him, to thank Him for all He has done for us, and also to listen. Prayer is a two-way communication, a conversation… a dialogue rather than a monologue.
If we would learn to listen more than we speak, it could go a long way toward experiencing answered prayer. When we take the time to first receive the Father’s heart about something, our asking comes in to line with His will and desire for the situation, and it will surely come to pass.
Once we have listened and then asked in accordance with His will, our next step is to listen again, to see if God wants to use us in any way to bring about the answer to these prayers that we have prayed. Sometimes the burden to pray is just that, a burden to bring something before the Lord in prayer. But sometimes that burden in prayer then translates into Spirit-led action. We are His hands and feet in the earth, and most of what God accomplishes in this Church-age is going to be through His people.
On this ever-important National Day of Prayer, I encourage you bring your prayers and petitions for this country before the Lord, and then listen for what He would have you do to be a part in bringing those very prayers to pass.
Maybe it will be through a commitment to pray more, to regularly lift up this nation, its leaders and its people before Him. Maybe it will be to get involved in your church in a new capacity in order to minister to others. Maybe it will be to volunteer at the local homeless shelter. Maybe it will be to lobby your Congressperson. Maybe it will be to spend more time with your kids to ensure they grow up knowing they are loved and supported.
Let’s use this special day to lift all US citizens – children, adolescents, parents, the elderly, business people, civic leaders and decision-makers, pastors and clergy – before the Lord. And let’s take time to thank the Lord for all He has done for us as a nation and in our private lives. Thank Him for the protection and favor He has afforded us.
Join a National Day of Prayer event in your community or hold a prayer gathering in your home or workplace. Find a way to participate in this most important day.
Events being held throughout Minnesota, and in the Twin Cities Metro Area, can be found by visiting these links:
National Day of Prayer Event Locator: http://nationaldayofprayer.org/about/find-an-event/
by Jennifer R.
As I was preparing to write my prayer request for this upcoming Prayer Assignment to Ireland (November 29-December 4), I was looking back over some notes I took during last year’s Ireland Prayer Assignment, and something jumped out at me. It’s a concept that really ministered to me then, and the Lord has continued to bring it to my remembrance at many different times over the past year. Spoken by the Pastor who led our Prayer Assignment… he said, “You don’t need to bust through the dam, you just need the flood waters to rise high enough so the flood gates open.”
This statement has served as an anchor point for me over the past year. So often, we try to “bust through the dam” when the best way is to just keep on at a steady pace until we’ve accumulated enough “water” to open the flood gates. That is not to say that we don’t experience “suddenlies” in our life with God, but it reminds me that miracles can, and often do, happen a little at a time. Our major thrust should not be to battle all the time, but to consistently and steadily fill the reservoir until it overflows.
Ireland is a special place for me. This trip marks the fifth time I will visit the Irish Isle. It truly feels like home each time I set foot on Irish soil. I have made some wonderful friends there, but even more importantly, God has chosen to give Ireland a special place in my heart. He has a purpose for me there, and an assignment for me to complete. I continue to return each time He calls, in order to walk out that purpose and be obedient to Him.
I believe a significant part of this Assignment is “filling the reservoir” with prayer: building up a spiritual supply in the land so that when the time is right, the flood gates can open and the Holy Spirit can touch the people in a fresh and new way.
The people of Ireland need Jesus just as much as the people of Uganda or China or India do. Even though most of them have probably been exposed to some form of “Christianity”, many of them do not know the joy and freedom that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are following empty religious traditions that are leaving them with no peace or security in life. Ireland is in economic turmoil, and the people need something, or more importantly, Someone they can count on. That Someone is Jesus. He is unshakeable.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
Hebrews 12:28 NIV
I would appreciate you joining with me in prayer for this upcoming mission. Specific prayer points include:
- Good weather for travel to, from and in & around Ireland
- Wisdom for the leaders to know if/when God wants to change up our schedule
- Sweet sleep in order to be rested for long travel days and night meetings
- Favor with hotels and restaurants in accommodating large groups
- Unity among the group
- Discernment to recognize what the Lord is wanting us to pray out in different places
- Opportunities to interact with those who are seeking a touch from God
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Above all, I just ask that you let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you as you pray for this mission. Unforeseen things pop up every day on mission trips, so your best Helper and Guide to accurately address these issues is the Holy Spirit. Thank you in advance for your commitment to partner with me in prayer.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – November 14, 2010
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 NLT
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) began in 1996 through the efforts of the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) in cooperation with a variety of denominations and faith-based organizations. The IDOP has since grown to be the largest prayer day event of its kind in the world.
Showing support for our fellow Christian brothers and sisters by lifting them up in prayer is an important part of our role as the Body of Christ. We must hold up the arms of those out on the front lines of the battle that is being waged for the end time harvest. Persecuted Christians often ask for prayer to help them endure. They are strengthened in ways we may never know until we reach heaven, all because we took the time to intercede on their behalf. We must pray in faith, knowing that God hears us and that circumstances are indeed changed as a result of our prayers.
“Behold, The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear.”
PRAYER POINTS *
Pray for God to bless converts to Christianity in nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. Ask God to enable them to be instruments of blessing (salt), transformation (yeast), and truth (light) in their communities (Matthew 5:13-16).
Pray that in China God will give the government divine wisdom in dealing with the immensely complex issues of this large and multi-cultural nation. May there be security with justice, development with sensitivity and may religious freedom be recognized throughout the nation.
Ask God to protect Christians in Nepal and India, most of whom are vulnerable, poor and without a “voice.” Pray that they will not feel abandoned but rest in the peace and provision of their Father.
Pray that Christians in Burma will be sustained, kept safe and blessed with faith, peace, and the assurance of God’s love and presence in their lives.
Pray for believers in Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines as they risk their lives to witness for Christ in communities hostile to God and His Word. Pray that, even when rejected and pressured for their faith, they will put their hope in the Lord as the One who upholds their cause (Psalm 146).
*These “Prayer Points” are a sampling of the list taken from the IDOP website.