Friday, April 27, 2012
An Uprising of Prayer!
This Thursday, May 3, will be the 61st observance of the National Day of Prayer. In 1952, a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Truman declared an annual National Day of Prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation. Last year, all 50 state governors signed similar proclamations.
There has been an upsurge of prayer in this last generation. Think of how many prayer groups meet every day all over America in churches, businesses, schools, homes and restaurants. The concept of intercessory prayer, that a few can “stand in the gap” and pray for many, has become a well-accepted practice in the body of Christ.
II Chronicles 7:14 has served as the rallying cry. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I celebrate the gift, freedom and opportunity to pray, however, I sense that God is calling us to something even more during these days of such great challenges and opportunities!
What if we agreed together that prayer is about more than an hour or a day? What if we agreed to practice prayer as a lifestyle? Does not the Bible say that we are to “pray without ceasing?” What if we called upon God on this National Day of Prayer for an uprising of prayer that will touch every individual, family, community, state and nation?
This is the focus of Bless Minnesota – Adopt Your Street in Prayer. I am privileged to serve as Chair of this exciting grass-roots, state-wide initiative that has one simple goal: to adopt every street in the State of Minnesota in prayer! The people of Christ Church and this region are helping lead the charge! I call it “prayer with legs!” This movement is challenging the Church to get beyond its walls and engage with friends and neighbors, co-workers and class-mates.
To adopt a street in prayer involves four simple ongoing steps that flow out of a “heart of prayer” for this world that God loves. We begin by speaking peace and blessing to others in Jesus’ name. We reach-out and build relationships that are personal and authentic. We respond to the “felt needs” of others expecting miracles and asking God to reveal their “deeper needs” in the process. And, we seize every opportunity to share the love, presence and power of Jesus Christ. In other words, we share the Gospel as it has touched our lives in a way that it can touch the lives of others right where they are at. It is the Luke 10 model that is called Prayer Evangelism!
I will be sounding this Call on this National Day of Prayer at special gatherings from morning until night, including the steps of our State Capitol at noon. I do hope that you will attend any of the events that we have been promoting, especially our Elk River Area NDOP Gathering on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at ERHS. Many churches and pastors from the area will be participating. If you have not yet adopted a street in prayer, please visit http://www.blessmn.org/ and do so right now!
“Oh God, touch this region, state and nation with an ‘uprising of prayer’ so that this wonderful day of prayer will become a lifestyle of prayer. We ask you to use us as instruments of transformation to reach every part of this world for which Jesus gave his life! Amen!”
Blessings, Pastor Greg Pagh