Prayer for the Media

The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

(Psalm 119:160 ESV)

While the National Day of Prayer has since passed, we will continue to
ask believers to pray for the seven pillars of prayer recommended by
organizers of that event. Kinship Christian radio is sponsoring an event
called “Crosswalk” where people commit to walk and pray. Some form
groups and enjoy fellowship. Some walk by themselves. There is more
information here: https://www.kjly.com/crosswalk2013.php

This week, we urge prayer for the media.

It’s a difficult subject for me to address in Christian love. I was
the reporter for the Maple River Messenger, a small-town weekly
newspaper based in Mapleton, MN, from 1990 to 2001.

It was a wonderful time in my life. My boss and the owner of the paper
was Mr. Ken Warner, now retired. Ken is a good, Christian man whose
newspaper reflected Biblical values like truth, justice, honesty, fairness,
and compassion. He was also not afraid of letting his little newspaper
glorify God. I humbly hope the same could be said of my writing while
there and since that time.

One of the things I learned in the newspaper business is that no matter
how you run your newspaper, you will upset someone. It’s inevitable.
It’s either too liberal, or too conservative, or Bobbie Sue’s picture
should have been on the front page instead of buried on page three.

That having been said, there are still many newspapers I cannot read
without a very sharp and rapid rise in my blood pressure. (No, I most
certainly will not name them!) The same goes for what passes as news
on television, secular radio, and the internet.

Sometimes I think the people reporting the news don’t have the
sense God gave little geese. Other times, it appears the news has
been carefully crafted by some devious genius for the sole purpose of
deceiving the public.

And, I don’t think I can really address what passes for entertainment
these days without having someone who proofreads this blog asking me
in a kind, caring, and Christian manner to please make the references to
sorcery, evil, death, murder, sex, and pandering to the lowest common
denominator less offensive and graphic.

Let’s just put it this way: Harry Potter, Twilight Saga, every cop show
currently being aired, Lindsay Lohan, and Honey Boo-Boo. ‘Nuff said.

I readily confess that I believe the best shows ever on TV were: Dragnet,
The Beverly Hillbillies, and Leave it to Beaver.

Yes, I am a dinosaur. I said it and I’m glad.

I have publically stated on numerous occasions that I sincerely believe
the nation would be much, much better off if we all took our televisions
and threw them into the deepest, darkest hole in the ground we could
find. I was even planning a blog to that effect later this summer.

However, this blog is not supposed to be my personal soap box. It’s
supposed to glorify God, support and encourage believers, and help the
lost to find Jesus.

So, when we pray for the media, let’s pray God’s truth into movies,
television, radio, and the internet. Let’s pray that God would raise up
and place good and Godly Christian men and women in positions of
influence in all forms of the media. Let’s pray repentance and revival on
our media. Let us pray people everywhere would support and flock to
media presented in this manner.

It’s not impossible. Hollywood has noticed movies like Flywheel,
Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Courageous, and The Passion of the Christ.
It has noticed children’s programming like Veggie Tales and others.
And, it has noticed documentaries like “The Bible.”

And, let us thank God for Christian media like Kinship Christian Radio.

Today’s Praise
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they
shall be satisfied.
(Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Education


And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God
and man.
Luke 2:52 (ESV)

While the National Day of Prayer has since passed, we will continue to
ask believers to pray for the seven pillars of prayer recommended by
organizers of that event. Kinship Christian radio is sponsoring an event
called “Crosswalk” where people commit to walk and pray. Some form
groups and enjoy fellowship. Some walk by themselves. There is more
information here: https://www.kjly.com/crosswalk2013.php 

This week, we explore the need for prayer for our education system.

I personally feel a strong, strong calling to pray for education. Obviously,
young minds are so impressionable, it is essential that truth be an
integral part of our education system. And yes, I mean Biblical truth.

Ever since prayer was banned in schools in 1962, American schools have
become increasingly afraid to even talk about God. It has become quite
clear that a certain small segment of our society openly despises and
even mocks God, to the point that God is not welcome in our schools.

While the Constitution rightly forbids the government from establishing
a mandatory state or federal religion (Thank God!) schools are NOT
prohibited from teaching about various religions. As far as I know, every
culture that has ever existed in all the history of the world has practiced
some form of religion.

If you have ever attended a public university, you know that God is
openly mocked—and often by professors who have no compunction
about promoting the religion of atheism. (While atheists will strongly
deny they practice a religion, everybody worships something, whether it
is their own reason or the one True God. By the way, there is an atheist
church in London and the US Army is considering providing atheist
chaplains. Stanford University hired an atheist chaplain last year. There
is an interesting editorial here:
 https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/17/sorry-but-atheism-is-religion/

I am confident if our high schools, colleges, and universities taught a
comparative religions course so our children would know not only what
we believe about Jesus Christ, but also what others believe about their
gods, we would be better off as a society. It’s time we let Jesus back into
our schools. If that means Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, and Ganesh
and even atheists views are taught and discussed, I am not worried in
the least because Christianity is the only religion that teaches that God
Himself in the person of Jesus Christ died to take away our sins.

And, it is not illegal. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly said, “It
might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study
of comparative religion, or the history of religion and its relationship to
the advancement of civilization.”

Organizers of the National Day or Prayer recommend that we pray, “for
God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to
select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our
children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling. Take the
time to learn who the teachers, administrators, and district leaders are
in your area, then pray for them.”

I would add that it is also vitally important that we pray for, support,
and encourage our few remaining Christian schools.

Today’s Praise

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

Psalm 111:10 (ESV)

Prayer for the Family

and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, 
says the Lord Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:18 (ESV)

The National Day of Prayer was Thursday, May 2nd, 2013. This blog is the
third in an on-going series about the seven pillars of prayer on which
organizers have asked for prayers from the faithful. Last week, we
focused our attention on the Military. This week, we focus on prayers
for the Family.
Organizers of the National Day of Prayer say God’s model for the family
is being challenged and we are seeing families fall apart before our very
eyes.

Statistics bear this out. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation,
35% of all U.S. children live in single-parent families. (That’s the average
number. It varies from as low as 21% in Utah to as high as 47% in
Mississippi.) In 1960, the national average was just 9%. Most single-
parent families are a result of divorce, but close behind are children
born to mothers who have never been married.

According to the Center for Disease Control , the probability of a first
marriage ending in separation or divorce within 5 years is 20 percent,
but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5
years is 49 percent. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage
ending is 33 percent, compared with 62 percent for cohabitations.

In most single-parent families (about 73%), it is the father who is absent
from the home. The result of fatherless homes is not good:

• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/

Census) – 5 times the average.


• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes –

32 times the average.


• 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless

homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)


• 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times

the average. (National Principals Association Report)


• 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless

homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)


• 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health

and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]


• 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray

Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p.
28]

• 85% of youths in prison grew up in fatherless homes. –

(Fulton County, Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of

Corrections, 1992)

These are just some of the statistics. Clearly, children do better—much
better– in a family made up of a loving mother and a father, just as God
tells us in His Word.

Please pray with heartfelt passion for the Lord to protect, and
strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal
relationships, and secure His values in loving, caring homes filled with
the love of Jesus.

Today’s Praise

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom
you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region
beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you
dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 (ESV)

The Military

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be
afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever
you go.
  Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 2, 2013. This blog is the
third in an on-going series about the seven pillars of prayer on which
organizers have asked for prayers from the faithful. Last week, we
focused our attention on the Church. This week, we focus on prayers for
the Military.

One of the best books I have ever read was given to me by Kinship
Christian Radio Prayer Line Coordinator Sheri Wegner. It’s called “Psalm
91 Military Edition: God’s Shield of Protection” by Peggy Joyce Ruth.

I very much recommend this book for any member of the military,
anyone who has a friend or family member in the military, or just any
Christian who likes being amazed by the awesome love and power of
our God in Jesus Christ.

Months ago, I wrote a blog post about The Miracle of Dunkirk. Soldiers
engaged in WWII miraculously escaped annihilation by Nazi forces and
gave credit to God as they were not just praying Psalm 91 at the time–
they were shouting it at the top of their lungs.
While some historians attribute the miracle to a series of coincidental
blunders and plain old luck on the part of the Allied Forces,
“coincidence” and “luck” are two words not found in any Bible I have
ever seen. One chaplain was pinned down on the beach by Nazi planes
spewing machine gun fire all around him. Once the deafening roar
shooting stopped, he stood up and found himself unharmed and
untouched. He looked down and saw the only smooth and undisturbed
spot on the entire bullet-riddled beach was the outline of his body
where he had been laying.

That goes way beyond coincidence and luck.

As we approach the National Day of Prayer, won’t you please prepare
your hearts to pray this kind of protection over those who protect us?
Remember also to pray for the families of those who serve our country
and pray wisdom and discernment and the Lord’s truth and guiding
hand on the hearts of all military leaders, especially their Commander in
Chief, President Barack Obama.

Today’s Praise

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
  Psalm 91:2 (NKJV)

The Church

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with
prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had
believed. 
Acts 14:23 (ESV)

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 3, 2013. This blog is the
second in an on-going series about the seven pillars of prayer on which
organizers have asked the faithful to pray for. Last week, we focused
our attention on the government. This week, we focus on prayers for
the Church, keeping in mind that all who believe in Jesus Christ, are the
Church.

There is a verse in a Casting Crowns song called “Wedding Day” –

She has danced in golden castles
And she has crawled through beggar’s dust
But today she stands before Him
And she wears His righteousness
And she will be who He adores
And this is what He made her for

The song is about the Church, the bride of Christ, meeting Jesus when
He returns to this earth in glory.

Indeed, the Church has danced in golden castles, when kings and
queens reigned over countries where Christianity was the official
government religion. And the Church has crawled through beggar’s
dust—and still does in some countries.

Under Chairman Mao and Chinese Communism, professing Christians in
China grew from 1.5 million in 1970 to 65 million in just twenty years.
Fed to lions and hunted into the dust of the catacombs, Christianity
gradually grew to dominate the Roman Empire.

Picking up the newspaper or watching television, one might be lead to
believe that Christians are already a persecuted minority in America
today. (Look for a blog post on the media in week 6.)

While a 2008 Gallup poll going back sixty years shows that 91% of
Americans claimed to be Christian in 1948, that figure in 2008 was 77%.
While that is quite a decline, the church in America is far from dead.

Yes, it has its problems, and yes many are attacking it–but that is all the
more reason to pray for it.

Those organizing the National Day of Prayer recommend that we pray
for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout the nation and in your
community. Ask God to preserve and protect them as He inspires and
empowers them to equip His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the
building up of the Church, and for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ that many would repent and be saved.

My prayers will also include the humble request that the Lord would
bless all churches that preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ and
lovingly rebuke and correct those that preach what itching ears are
longing to hear, remembering in our hearts that love conquers all.

Today’s Praise

Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all
that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 

to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all
generations, forever and ever. Amen.
  Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

Prayer

I desire then that in every place the men should pray,
lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

1 Timothy, 2:8 (ESV)

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 2nd and it has a long history:

1775 – The first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer
1863 – Abraham Lincoln called for such a day.
1952 – Congress established NDP as an annual event by a joint
resolution, signed into law by President Truman .
1988 – The law was amended and signed by President Reagan,
designating the NDP as the first Thursday in May.

If ever the people of our nation had a clear need to pray for this
country, now is indeed that time. Over the next several weeks, we will
explore the seven pillars of prayer suggested by those organizing this
event.

Government:
Even though there are some who would have us believe differently,
American government was founded on prayer. Starting with the
Mayflower Compact in 1620, prayer for the blessing of our new nation
immediately following President Washington’s inauguration in 1789,
through the Civil War, two World Wars, and internal and international
conflict, our leaders have continued in prayer up to the present day.
Even President Barak Obama has signed a proclamation designating
National day of Prayer every year since his election, despite complaints
by atheists and even legal challenges.

As the National Day of Prayer approaches, we should prepare our
hearts and our minds to pray for our government. Commit2Pray.com
(a project of the National Day of Prayer Task Force) suggests that we,
“Pray for our local, state, and national leaders asking God to grant
them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.”
It is also suggested that one get to know who your elected leaders are
so that you can pray for them and their families by name, just as you
would for your own friends and family.

In my opinion, we should also pray a spirit of humility and repentance
for our leaders, that they would lead us all to seek God’s face.

Today’s Praise
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him 
we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. You also
must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for
the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 1:10-11 (ESV)

Unlikely Witness

Phil Robertson is a self-described “redneck” from Monroe, Louisiana.

About 40 years ago, he came up with a duck call that sounded better
than any other duck call.

Today, he has a multi-million dollar business employing his whole
family. That family is the subject of the number-one cable television
show called “Duck Dynasty.”

Mr. Robertson gives all the glory to God.

Each episode of Duck Dynasty ends with the entire family praying over a
meal. And, Phil is often asked to speak about his faith at game feeds and
churches. Video of his preaching available on the internet often draws
hundreds of thousands of views.

One of those recordings, titled “Deciding to Follow Jesus” is just Phil,
sitting on his porch, dressed in camouflage and sporting his trademark
beard, simply witnessing about how he came to follow Jesus. As I write
this, there have been 327,806 views of his testimony and thousands of
comments.

Two of those comments stuck with me:

“As an Atheist I really have to admire the fact that Phil can articulate his
position in a more respectful manner than 90% of the internet. Zero hate, zero
disrespect. I’d rather know Christians like Phil than some of the people calling
themselves Atheists.”

And:

“When God gets ready to shake America, He may not take the Ph.D. and the
D.D. God may choose a country boy … God may choose the man that no one
knows, a little nobody, to shake America for Jesus Christ in this day, and I pray
that He would!” —Billy Graham, 1949

Amen!

Today’s Praise

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame
the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame
the strong; God chose what is low and despised in
the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing
things that are, so that no human being might boast
in the presence of God. And because of Him you are
in Christ Jesus, Who became to us wisdom from God,
righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so
that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the
Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:27 – 31 (ESV)

A “Religious Nutcase”


Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.  Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)
Let us suppose for a moment, that I were to write a letter to
every major newspaper in America saying the following:
“I think it should be considered extremely odd if, the elected officials
of the United States of America, in obedience to having been called
to serve by the people through their election, did not make it their
first official act to genuinely ask Almighty God, Who rules over the
entire universe and holds the supreme position of authority over all
governments and Whose merciful help heals every human short-coming,
should humbly ask for His help, guidance, and blessing to declare sacred
the freedoms and happiness of the people of the United States, who
have instituted a government by and for themselves for these essential
purposes: that God would enable everyone involved in managing
that government to effectively carry out their duties. Offering this
demonstration of respect and obedience to the God Who graciously
gives us every public and private good is something I’m sure you feel as
strongly about as I do, perhaps more so—and certainly not less than our
fellow citizens. Surely, no people can be obligated to adore the hand of
God, which directs the course of all people, more than the people of the
United States.”
No doubt I would be labeled a “religious nutcase” and many
Letters to the Editor would be printed wagging fingers at me
about the “separation of church and state.”
The thing is, what I just wrote is my version of this:
“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the
public summons, repaired to the present station; it would be peculiarly
improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that
Almighty Being Who rules over the Universe, Who presides in the Councils
of Nations, and Whose providential aids can supply every human defect,
that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the
People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for
these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed
in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to
his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public
and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not
less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than
either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible
hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the 
United States.”
The above is a direct quote from the National Archives and
Records Administration of George Washington’s First
Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789.
At the very top of the Washington Monument, 555 feet
above the ground and overlooking the 69 square miles of
Washington, D.C., there is an inscription facing east. It reads
LAUS DEO
Latin for “Praise be to God.”
Today’s Praise
Save us, O LORD our God,

And gather us from among the nations,

that we may give thanks to Your holy name

and glory in Your praise.
Psalm 106:47 (ESV)

John 3:16


For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever

believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
I would guess for almost all of us, John 3:16 is the first Bible verse
we ever heard, and certainly the first verse we memorized. It’s on T-
shirts and signs. It’s “The Gospel in a Nutshell.” It is so common and
so ingrained in every Christian, that maybe–just maybe, we miss the
incredible impact and the scope of this beautiful verse.
For it is in this verse that God, in fact Jesus Himself, gives us His plan
from the beginning of time into eternity.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the

Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were

made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was

made. John 1:1-3 (ESV)
For God so loved the world…” The universe, the earth, the seas, light,
the animals, and human beings were all created in love by God. All to
His glory, to love God and to be loved by Him. Jesus was there from
before the beginning of time as we know it—and He was always part of
God’s plan.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29b (ESV)
…that He gave His only Son… And because God knew we would sin, that
we would stumble and fall, His plan included giving us His only Son in
love to take away our sin so that we could be recreated–reborn in Him
and through Him.
But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the

right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of

the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
(ESV)
… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
And as God’s plan comes to completion, the restoration is complete. We
are restored to eternal life and an eternal love relationship with God,
our Father and our Creator.
So in that one verse, in John 3:16, God has said, “This is my plan.” It’s all
there, from the beginning of time until eternity in one sentence—in one
nutshell.
And the focal point of that plan, where all of time and eternity flows
into and out of in one glorious, incredible moment of love beyond all
measure, is The Cross.
Today’s Praise
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in

the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 (ESV)

NOW

And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and
the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being
baptized?”
Acts 8:36 (ESV)

A man in Florida is sleeping in his bedroom when the earth opens up
and swallows him. He is never found.

A local woman is driving to work one day when a deer runs out in front
of her car and she is tragically killed.

A man on vacation is surfing in Mexico when a rip tide sweeps him out
to sea. His body is found days later.

I don’t know if these people knew Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior or not, but it reminded me of a story a pastor told me several years ago. There are many versions of it, with multiple attributions.

Satan called a meeting and gathered his top four demons around him. Satan said they needed a great lie to trap more souls.

The first demon said, “I will go and tell them there is no God.”

Satan replied, “That will get a few, but people can look around them and see there is a God.”

The second demon said, “I will go and tell them there is no heaven.”

Satan said, “That’s worse than the first one. People are born with a yearning for heaven.”

The third demon said, “I will go and tell them there is no hell.”

Satan said, “No, God gave them a conscience. That might get a few, but we need a better lie than that.”

The fourth demon said, “I will go and tell them there is no hurry.”

“Now, that’s a great lie!” exclaimed Satan.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we have time to wait to tell others about Jesus?

Today’s Praise
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.

Mark 1:15 (ESV)