Do You Pray?

By: Steve Huston

With the National Day of Prayer taking place at noon this Thursday, May 5, at the American Decency Association (203 E. Main St. Fremont) and in many communities around this nation, the timing of this NEWS FLASH is certainly providential. With the breach at the Supreme Court and the (what appears to be true) word that Roe v. Wade (1973) will be nullified, the result is (if true) that the battle ground becomes each local state

Because Michigan passed state law back in the late 1800s and it was reinforced in 1931, Michigan is considered to have the strongest pro-life law in the country.  HERE’S THE NEWS FLASH FOR YOU MICHIGANDERS – A couple of months ago, Planned Parenthood unleashed a petition anticipating that Roe v. Wade would go down and that the Michigan’s strong pro-life bill needed to be destroyed.  Planned Parenthood already has launched a major petition drive, that IS AND HAS BEEN circulating, to replace Michigan’s pro-life stance with one which is pro-death, including verbiage that opens the door to infanticide.  YES INFANTICIDE!  We are not hyperbolic.  This is factual and being attempted now. Enter God’s helping hand in a timely way.  For the National Day of Prayer event we have one of Michigan’s strongest and most able voices to speak to us moments after our NDOP event this Thursday.  Thom Powell will tell us that we must act now or Planned Parenthood will have an open opportunity to put on the ballot, this fall, a proposal that will open the door to infanticide. We urge you to join us for both the National Day of Prayer at noon and then for this extremely important sharing of information from Right to Life of Michigan.

Having a burden for the National Day of Prayer and then this added burden regarding the Supreme Court’s likely ruling, I feel compelled to speak with you about prayer. Do you pray? Do we really pray? Prayer is the greatest unused force in the world. It’s more powerful than crushing armies, forces of nature, and nuclear bombs; yet, by and large it’s an untapped power, often crushed by apathy and materialism. If we have any regrets at all when we get to heaven, my guess is that the greatest regret we’ll feel is not having done more earnest praying while on earth. We might also have a “V-8 moment,” recognizing that our requests were a mere pittance in comparison to the magnitude of God’s mighty power and generosity—“ye have not because ye ask not.”

Prayer is more than the haphazard tossing of words and requests heavenward; it’s the earnest lifting up of our soul to our God, the LIVING God, our Heavenly Father. It includes petition; but at its heart, it’s communing with God, opening our hearts to Him AND He sharing Himself with us. Recognizing prayer as this beautiful, personal interaction with our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, and Friend, it’s a shame AND A WONDER that so many almost regard prayer as a loathsome chore, a holy drudgery, or an irksome task that must be done each day. Do you find prayer to be little more than something to check off your “to-do list”? Do you approach speaking to a dear friend or loved one in the same manner? Instead of approaching secret prayer with coldness and self-constraint, shouldn’t prayer be a delight to us, something that we simply cannot get enough of? It’s a shame that so many consider it a secret comfort when it’s over, if they bother with it at all.

One old-time holiness author put it this way: “Prayer is not only an instinct that must be fulfilled, it is a desire that must be expressed. You know what it is to desire any particular object. When we are hungry, we desire food; when thirsty, we desire water; when weary, we desire rest; when troubled, we desire peace; when convicted of sin, we desire pardon. So we have no difficulty in grasping what it is to have strong physical or mental desires. In some cases we are able to gratify these desires by our own power, but in a great many other cases our desires can only be granted by others. However, there are many objects which we desire which can only be granted by God. Therefore we must present our desires to God in prayer.

Ought not God’s people feel compelled by a desire to pray? Yet, many who go by the name of Christian shall attend a National Day of Prayer gathering who do not pray except to treat God as a divine vending machine; placing their two-quarter prayer in God’s coffer expecting the results for which they have now paid. Friends, prayer is much more than that; it’s an expression of relationship, recognizing God as our Heavenly Father who desires to give good gifts to His children. The best gift of all is the giving of Himself, thereby making available to His children all that He is and all that He has. We must also recognize that as a good Father He will withhold from His children that which they may deem beneficial but He KNOWS is harmful, that which is outside His will (or time) for them. Let us be good, obedient children, accepting His perfect will rather than attempting to pry that from His hands which He, in His wisdom and beneficence, has chosen to withhold.

Too often our prayers focus solely on our physical desires—food, fun, finances, and health—rather than those better things that God desires to provide for His children—holiness, love, joy, peace, discernment, and all things which define His divine character. Is it any wonder, then, that our prayers are rather limited to personal and family “needs” rather than the national and community need of holiness which leads to praise and the glorifying of God and which truly shows our love for fellow man?

I urge you to read Psalm 61 and see what kind of prayer that David, the man after God’s own heart, prays. History shows us that he has been in exile and now is returning to his rightful place and position. I believe that we see in this heartfelt cry to God a plea for both a personal and national need of divine assistance to be what God desires in His man and His nation which leads to God-glorifying action and praise.

What does this mean for us? We need to become people of prayer (humbling ourselves before God, seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways; not just during National Day of Prayer but 365 days a year. We need to think and pray personally, nationally, and generationally.

Join us this Thursday, May 5 at noon, coming together united in heart and in Christ, crying out to God for His perfect will to be worked out in our lives and in our nation. Joining with us in prayer (virtually) will be Michael Perkins, a producer of AFA’s “In His Image” and Kamal Saleem praying that families will return and remember their God in devotion and obedience to God’s Word and Spirit. Other in-person guests will include Pastor Vern and Lena Picknally, Tricia Luchies, Thom Powell from Right to Life of Michigan, and Pastor Gene Walter sharing timely scripture and prayer.  We’ll also join together to worship our Heavenly Father with music provided by Robert Azkoul. Join us as we come together on the National Day of Prayer.

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