Thursday, May 5, 2011

Power in Prayer

Devoting a day to prayer is a deeply-rooted American tradition. Pilgrim and Puritan leaders often designated days of prayer. During the Revolutionary War, our Founders asked Americans to pray for their new nation. Today, we celebrate the 60th annual National Day of Prayer in America.
Does prayer really work? The power of prayer is proclaimed repeatedly in the Bible.

"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

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:7

History itself is deluged with evidence that prayer works. When godly people recognize a need and turn to God, miraculous things happen, for nothing is impossible with God!
America is in dire need right now. Today - this week - anytime, take some time to pray for our country. We grasp the handle to the most powerful tool on earth. Let's put it into action.

Below is a fantastic video by Christian music artist Carman - a video perfectly suited for today. I encourage you to watch it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden's Death - How Would Jesus Respond?

Osama bin Laden, the terrorist responsible for the death of countless of innocents - including three thousand American citizens - is dead.
My first reaction was to jump for joy. There's something so satiating in knowing that he has finally been caught and blotted from the earth - and such a fitting end, too.
But wait - What is the Christ-like response? I don't claim to know for sure, but from what I've read out of His Word, this is what I think.
As much as I'd like to dance around and sing "Ding dong, Osama's dead," there's no denying the words in Proverbs 24:17-18:
"Don't be happy when your enemy is defeated; don't be glad when he is overwhelmed. The Lord will notice and be displeased. He may not be angry with them anymore."
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says to "love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you."
Should we love terrorists like Osama bin Laden? Yes! (And this is only possible with the love of Jesus!) The fact is, God loved Osama bin Laden. He loves everyone, no matter how disgusting their sin. And I believe that even at the last moment, had bin Laden sincerely repented and given his life to Jesus, He would have been saved. It is sad that another soul has been eternally separated from God, and that is certainly no reason to rejoice.
However, Osama bin Laden is no longer able to wreak havoc upon innocent men, women, and children all throughout the world. Is this a good thing? Yes! Is it ok to rejoice in that fact? Absolutely, if you ask me. Justice has been dealt, and the Bible says that God is a God of justice.
"The Lord loves justice and will not leave those who worship him. He will always protect them, but the children of the wicked will die." - Psalm 37:28
"Don't tell the wicked that they are innocent; people will curse you, and nations will hate you. But things will go well if you punish the guilty, and you will receive rich blessings." -Proverbs 24:24-25.
"When the wicked get control, everybody hides, but when they die, good people do well." - Proverbs 28:28
Osama bin Laden was responsible for the September 11 attack on America. After the attack, President George W. Bush said, "I don't know whether we're going to get him tomorrow, or a month from now, or a year from now...But we're going to get him."
It's our leaders' job to protect our nation and the innocent citizen within our borders. I believe we were right to track down bin Laden and other terrorists, and I am proud of the military for their cunning work over the weekend. God promises that He will deal justice. He claims that vengeance is His, and I believe that He can execute His justice and vengeance through human vessels, as in this case.
Isn't God a God of mercy, as well? Definitely. And I believe God did show mercy to bin Laden; it was ten years before he was caught.
Is this a sad day? Yes; an unsaved soul has been lost. Is this a happy day? Yes; an enemy and threat to innocent people all over the world has been defeated. While it may not be appropriate for Christians to jump for joy at the death of an enemy, I still believe it is acceptable for us to praise God for His justice, and give thanks for our courageous, diligent military.
As I said before, I don't claim to have all the answers, but this is what I believe, and I will continue to pray that God will give me His attitude towards this and every situation.