Thursday, May 05, 2005

National Day of Prayer

This morning I led worship for a National Day of Prayer gathering here in San Leandro. I actually didn't know that today was the National Day of Prayer today until I got there. A fellow by the name of Carl Davis was the guest speaker. Right away there was something that attracted me to Carl. He works at Morgan Stanley, but also is a leader in the area of marketplace ministry. He shared how God is working all around us, including things that are going on here in the Bay Area. I jotted down the following thoughts while he spoke:

1. I have a book I picked up not long ago called Reclaiming America for Christ. The book is a collection of articles/talks given by different pastors, politicians, etc., talking about how bad America has become, and how we need to pray that God would restore us into a Christian nation. I've had a few issues with this. First, were we ever a Christian nation? What does a "Christian" nation look like? What is it that we're actually hoping for? Larger churches? More "Christians" as we know them? Second, it seems that God has worked primarily in places where Christians were not in places of priviledge. I believe, as do others, that we need to go back to the Old Testament to see how the Jewish people behaved while in captivity in Babylon. I think this will help us better answer the question, "How then should we live?"

2. That's where I've been. I don't necessarily think that's wrong, but I don't think it's complete. Part of it is a reaction, and reactions lead to extremes. I remember at one point in my life I was organizing events for the National Day of Prayer. I find it odd that I didn't even know that was today. In my zeal for rethinking how to live as outsiders (in a land that is not our own), have I neglected something very important?

3. More and more I have been praying for God's Kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven. In other words, for God to give us a taste of what heaven is like: restoring broken lives and communities, ending massive problems like aids, poverty, disease, etc. Though this is huge, it is more tangible than just saying that we want America to become a Christian nation once again.

4. I want to be wise in knowing the times. Our culture is changing, and we need a new posture for living. At the same time, I don't want to lack faith. At some point God's Kingdom will be restored, but it may not be in my lifetime. Therefore, we need to learn how to live here. Is this a lack of faith or simply wisdom. I want to have both.

I realize more and more that I'm definitely a work in progress. As Paul would say, "Thanks be to God!"

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