National Day of Prayer “Wake Up America”
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Isaiah 58:1-2
I have given National Day of Prayer a lot of thought for the past couple of weeks. Our nation needs a National Day of Prayer to remind us of all we have to be thankful for and all we have to pray for as a community and especially individually. Over the years I have seen many themes associated with National Day of Prayer and 2016 theme is “Wake Up America”. This is crucial time for our nation, and it is important to pray for our nation, but it also equally important we pray for ourselves to be pruned and to do our part as the citizens of United State of America. Americans have a tendency to loudly proclaim what is wrong in America but offer little solution and I have been guilty of this myself. Jesus demonstrated a heart of service and sacrifice because of love. Translating this to me as a citizen, it’s really about considering the needs of society out of a love for people and wanting to see others succeed in life spiritually and physically here on earth. No government, organization is perfect but we need to look hard at ourselves and our personal circle and be more than an armchair critic complaining about what is wrong with our youth, society, government, jobs, church, and even schools, the list could go on and on. My prayer this National day of prayer will not be limited to our Nation but what can I do to be part of the solution knowing God will direct my steps.
Jesus demonstrated the attributes of God through his teachings, actions and love. Jesus is certainly not an armchair critic or a keyboard soldier ready to pounce! We should demonstrate those attributes; I mean really demonstrate them! Many times I wonder if our kids are looking at us as if we have two heads because of our double standards that we have laid before them. We have to look at what’s wrong, but with that in mind, what can we do to put things right again, whether through our actions or involvement. The questions we need to ask our self are,” What can I do to fix, repair, and restore broken relationships between humankind and humanity, and between humankind and Jesus?” “Am I setting a double standard?” “Am I being an Arm Chair Critic offering no solution?” “Am I praying for God to clean me up before I criticize someone else and look at their faults or actions?” It is about making our community, our nation, and our world whole again and cleaning up our own lives, including cleaning up the words we say and even the words we type or share. Are my words helpful? Do they provide a solution? Does my words verbal or typed match up to the attributes of God and the Fruits of the Spirit without twisting them to be my truth but only His truth?
God is all-powerful and ever present and certainly knows you better than anyone else. God Is Sovereign, Holy and is absolute Truth. God is Righteous and Just. God is Love and Merciful. He is Faithful and never changes. I’m thankful in a world that is constantly changing God does not. His word gives us the Fruits of Spirit a guideline when we feel like being an Arm Chair Critic.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
People will let you down, however we can still pray for them. Being an armchair critic appears to be more personally fulfilling. If we can highlight the person’s errors to all, we feel we have done some good in the world, but have we? The thief who repented on the cross next to Jesus is an excellent example of God’s desire for everyone to be saved and he was able to make himself right with God. I’m sure the thief was grateful his final destination was not in the hands of his community.
God can put words in your mouth, even words to type, prayers in your heart and resources in your hands so that souls can be added to the kingdom. Are you asking God for them? Are you asking God to lead you words you say and write (type)? God will keep pruning us until the fruit is evident but we have to be willing to change. My cry is to be changed by God so loud and clear that I’m part of a solution for Him to use me and not the spectator on the sidelines sitting in my armchair shouting out the negatives in everything. I haven’t seen in the Bible anywhere that we are to criticize everyone and everything just to get our point across. However, I have seen Pray without Ceasing.
Following Christ there is no room for spectators or critics, bottom line we are either helping or harming the Kingdom. We can do much harm without even trying but to be a solution requires deliberate effort, and that is one of the things we need to wake up our minds to. I have had ISIS follow my Christian devotionals and make fun of them, I have had people put down my devotional because maybe I had a spelling error or they didn’t like the nifty picture I put behind the words. I have had people criticize my devotionals a lot, and I go to admit a few times I have walked away shaking my head and thinking, “your worried about that but not picture of Jesus hanging on a cross dressed in a cheerleading outfit.” On the other hand, I have had many people that have offered encouragement. I started doing devotionals because it kept me on track to learn about God and build my foundation. Thank God my foundation was stronger when the arm chair critics came out and I was able to say nothing with God’s help. Now instead of shaking my head I will be part of the solution and pray for them. Who knows I might meet those very same people one day. I choose to hold up a mirror to myself and reach-out with the other hand, not to crush with hopelessness, but to rebuild America with hope with actions and words, and yes it took years of pruning to get to this point and I’m sure God has not put away the sheers yet.
Let us Wake Up America, pray we are kinder, pray we can hold our tongue, pray we can keep out fingers from typing negatives. Pray we will be pruned so our fruit will grow to help fill His Kingdom.
Heavenly Father, I praise you Lord that I’m able to worship you freely no matter what is going on around me. Wake Me Up oh Lord, give me the kind of eyesight that allows me to see things clearly and pray in accordance of you will. Lord I pray that I seek your words and direction when I’m tempted to criticize someone. May my words always draw them closer to you. Help me to draw souls to you instead of being one of those armchair critics, and not be guilty of the same. Help me to control my tongue and the words I type but instead to use the breath you have given me to proclaim your Holiness and ability to save, to the lost souls. I humbly ask you this through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen!
John 15:8-9 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.