Monday, September 29, 2008

First a Thank You...

My heartfelt thanks to each one of you that lifted our family up in prayer this past week after Jim's dad's passing. It's a bittersweet time for our family. The loss of such a wonderful man is sad, but we also rejoice that he was a Christian and is safe in the arms of our Lord. The mansion with many rooms... a room that was prepared long before the earth was formed just for Augie!

I have to share with you also another woodpecker story! Yesterday afternoon, Jim's brother A.C. had to leave to go back to Seattle. Jim's mom, myself, Jim and A.C. were in the driveway as A.C. was preparing to leave. Our woodpecker swooped from one tree to another and sat there and sang for us. Yes, God was telling us all would be ok. It was so sweet... our messenger... our woodpecker.

Now, moving on to today's post!

I mentioned before that our church is participating in a year long spiritual renewal program focusing on prayer. Today we have kicked off our participation in Praying 4 America . For 30 days we will be praying for a specific state(s)... praying for the leaders of the state, the churches of the state, and for the Christians of each state that they would be faithful witnesses for Christ, humble servants of God, and positive influences on society. We are also asked to lift up our President, Vice President and Congressional Leaders in prayer as well. We received a special Map of the United States that breaks down the 30 days and which states to pray for each day. Our country is struggling these days... many families are experiencing the hardships of high gas and food prices, the struggling economy etc. I myself have reflected on the events that have led up to what's happened on Wall Street and Main Street and these words from Matthew 6:24 came to my mind

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

The word "greed" was used many times in a television report as being one of the catalysts for the current situation in our country. As the years have marched on, God has been taken out of schools, meetings etc... there are people who want to take "In God We Trust" off of our currency. Has America put it's trust in money? Has America been serving 2 masters? Has America been worshipping the almighty dollar?

I pray that as Christian Amercians we pray for our country to get back on track. That we focus our attention to God as our provider not our investments...
Yes, we must be good stewards with the riches God has provided for us. Our monetary blessings come from Him.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:25-34

Believe me... I have prayed over those verses for years. I will continue to pray over those verses... I will pray them for the states in our Union. I ask you to do the same.

Do not worry dear friends... God will provide. Rely on Him when contemplating ALL of your decisions, no matter how big or how small. He is in control... even when we are not!

Today, being day 1 of Praying 4 America, we are asked 1.) To pray for a great outpouring of God's Spirit on America (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17)
2.) Pray for the President and Vice President, that their hearts would be guided by God, that their decisions would be wise, and that their leadership would be principled.


Sandy Toes said...

What a great post and your two requests for this country are so powerful! I would take it even a step farther and pray that this country does not get a future leader that represents the morals and values of this country...God shed his "grace" on us and mercy!
-Sandy toes

On Purpose said...

Praying that His Spirit is so evident in every moment of every day that people can't help but notice How Great He is!

Thank you Kristen for reminding us of the importance of praying for our country!

Cindy said...

It is such a privilege to live is a country where we can still pray in public. Yet, if we do not really begin to pour out our hearts for our great country that privilege may be taken away too.
Wonderful post but more importantly this is a wonderful journy for your church. I pray that we are all inspired to pray fervently for our country and it's leaders, and future leaders, over the next 30 days.

Amy said...

Kristen, I just love God using the woodpecker to speak to and comfort you and your family. That just gives me goose bumps. sigh.

And what a terrific prayer idea. I have been thinking about many of these same things that you shared, and I have been led to the verses in Matthew many times over the last month.

It is an uncertain time financially in our country, and now more than ever, maybe people will finally begin to realize the only thing(or person) that you can truly "count" on is the Lord. Amen?

God Bless,