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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honoring the Institution of Prayer

Honoring the Institution of Prayer 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 (2 Chronicles 7:14). This week our nation set aside May 3rd as the National Day of Prayer. I was blessed to attend two wonderful events as part of our community’s celebration of this significant day. The first was at Grove Level Baptist Church and led by Pastor Charlie Bridges and many of the wonderful members of the Grove Level Baptist Congregation. Each year Grove Level has a special prayer time with most of the leadership of our community. Attendees typically include: City and County officials, State Legislators, Superior Court Judges, Magistrate and Probate Court Judges, Officials of our Law Enforcement and Fire Departments, etc. I have been able to attend dating back to my days as a member of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners. I am always honored to be invited and truly blessed from the experience of taking time to come together as leaders of our community and praying. The second event was the National Day of Prayer Celebration on the lawn of our courthouse. Having the opportunity to come together with leaders from our community and our friends and neighbors was indeed a blessing. I personally want to thank the organizing committee led by Dr. Dale Kidd. What a powerful testimony of our great community and our great nation that we can freely assemble, call on the amazing and loving God of the universe, and pray. As the scripture says, if we will humble ourselves and pray, God will hear us and answer our prayers. America is still a bastion of strength and a light on a hill. As someone once said, “a nation can be measured by which way people move when the gates are let down.” People all over the world still hope for an opportunity to come to America and experience all that our great and free nation can offer. Dr. Richard Lee wrote in the introduction of a book, In God We Still Trust, “While other nations have built their governments upon the shaky foundations of communism, socialism, and countless other anti-God philosophies, only to see those foundations crumble, America stands without equal as a beacon of hope and freedom in a hurting world.” Governments, being comprised of humans, are by their very nature imperfect. But a people who humble themselves, recognize and pledge their love and devotion to a perfect and loving God, can lead a strong nation. Although my belief in God sustains and blesses me, I have not written this column trying to offend those who do not know God or who choose not to believe. But I also make no apologies for sharing my faith and offering that it is my faith alone that enables me to make sense of and to live abundantly in a broken world. My Prayer for our community… Father, I humbly bow and pray and ask that you hear my prayer… You are truly magnificent, holy, loving, gracious, omnipotent, giving, and merciful… I thank you for the over-whelming blessings bestowed upon our nation, our state, our community, and my family. You are truly gracious in providing our daily bread… I lift up the leaders of our governments for our country, our state, and our community. Thank you for good and Godly servants who answer the call to serve. Lead them I pray. Equip them with a heart for those they represent, and the wisdom to exercise fair and impartial judgment. Protect them from the temptations that follow power and authority. I lift up the ministers and lay leaders of our churches. Our churches have so much capacity for good. But that capacity is useless without action. Lead our churches to seek out unfairness, injustice, and hurt within our nation and our community – and lead us to do something about it. I lift up our Free Enterprise System and the corporations, companies, and small businesses that operate fairly and honorably within it. Our free market economy can and does provide our ability to work, invest, save, and provide for our families. I pray that you will bless those that operate honorably and treat their employees and customers fairly. And I pray that you will reckon with those that do not. Father God – you are truly holy and good! Make us a prayerful nation. In your holy name I pray … Amen

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