National Day of Prayer

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  1. bishopdave says:

    Am I first??

    AND I posted the day of prayer on my facebook. So there. I care about praying. And your analysis is spot on. Have a blessed day, Michael.

  2. Believe says:

    We need to pray more than ever…the world financial system is being tested.

    God is in control…and it is awesome to live in this day and age. Status quo is no more. There are generational shifts going on right before our very eyes…we will need Faith more than ever.

  3. Michael says:


    I’m surprised at the lack of traction…I actually forgot about it myself.

  4. London says:

    This is totally unrelated to the politics of praying, but is something that’s driving me crazy lately….how do ya’ll keep your minds focused on who/what you’re praying about? I think I have prayer ADD cause every time I try to have a specific time of sitting and praying for people my mind bounces around all over the place. Can’t do it….

    I know folks do…so, what are the practical steps you use to get your brain to slow down enough to really concentrate on what you’re saying or thinking or whatever it is your doing when you’re praying.

    Or…we could just talk politics if it’s easier and more fun πŸ˜‰

  5. Tim says:

    I attended (per usual) the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast here in our small city. A far cry from praying for Republicans, the scheduled prayer times were for: the homeless, the unemployed, those in prison & their families, the sick, and our community. Specifically at our table, we were tasked with praying for single-parent households.

    It was well-attended…probably 1000 or so there.

    My one regret is that we didn’t pray for the gospel to go forth – but I wouldn’t expect that of the official city meeting. Of course, we pray for that very thing on a regular basis here at our church.

  6. Michael says:


    That’s the most common problem we all have.

    I use the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and a hand written prayer journal to help me.

  7. Michael says:


    My totally unscientific survey shows about a quarter of the blog and Facebook posts we’re used to seeing.

    Somethings changed…

  8. Tim says:

    London –
    “Prayer ADD”…I like the description, mind if I use it?

    That’s something I’ve had issues with as well. It’s not uncommon for me to start praying & sooner or later my mind starts wandering off into other subjects. There’s a few practical things I’ve found to help:

    (1) Pray out loud. It may sound goofy to pray aloud when you’re alone, but it’s a great way to keep your mind focused on the task at hand.

    (2) Change your physical position. If I’m praying late at night while lying in bed, I know exactly what’s going to happen. However, when I sit up straight, or get on my knees, it truly helps. Especially kneeling down…there’s something about being slightly physically uncomfortable that keeps my mind from wandering too much.

    (3) Pray through a patterened prayer. There are some days I don’t know at all what to say – but I remember that when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He gave them an example. For me, I’ll take the Lord’s Prayer line by line & use every phrase as a “jumping off point” to proclaim the holiness of God’s name, to seek His kingdom & will, etc.

    I’m sure other folks might have other suggestions, but this is what has worked for me.

  9. Tim says:

    Michael –
    I know what you’re saying…I was just glad to see my community go beyond the usual talking points to pray through some real issues.

  10. Michael says:


    Great suggestions…praying out loud makes a bid difference for me.

    Have to be careful where I pray though. πŸ™‚

  11. bishopdave says:

    I could not make it to our mayor’s prayer breakfast today. It was $30 per seat or a table for $250. If I’d gone, I would have just turned the tables over so it’s best I didn’t go.

    London, I do that too. I’ve always felt guilty when I hear “prayer warriors” going at it for hours. Somehow Jesus keeps working anyway. Hang in there. Or maybe….there’s just something wrong with us. :{)

  12. Michael says:


    I think you should have gone… πŸ™‚

  13. Em says:

    prayer ADD – that is so spot on πŸ™‚
    i am not a prayer warrior and, if i get on my knees, pretty soon that hurts so much that i can’t concentrate – during the day prayer is IMO hard to get deep into – altho, i did so when raising my family πŸ˜‰
    FWIW and all that aside – since about age 55 or so, i have followed the same model that Pastor Tim mentioned above using the Lord’s Prayer (that model is so sequentially right and so deep -can’t get past “our” without the realization that it’s a family prayer and not just about me πŸ˜‰ ), i go line-by-line meditating and rabbit trailing, but coming back to center line-by-line – it’s the only way i can force my mind to the discipline of the Holy Spirit’s leading and it’s always at night in a quiet house – devil must not like my doing so, because i now have a neighbor with impressive, in his mind, driveway lights that ‘brighten the whole front of my house and the window that i used to open to see the stars as i prayed – still pray, just can’t “look for God” out there among the stars – yes, sometimes i have to confess some ‘tude and repent πŸ™

  14. filbertz says:

    $30 a seat or $250 a table…a bit expensive, but that rents the facility, pays for breakfast, covers speakers “fees,” printing, mailing, advertising, and a few other sundries. If my wife’s business catered a breakfast, it’d easily be $12 a head for the food only, not counting a variety of common additions, and that is for a buffet.

    For the money, you also get to be “seen” by “the right people” and “enhance your reputation” as a patriotic defender of the faith and culture. πŸ˜‰

    And perhaps even pray!

    …and get a book for free that didn’t sell well.

  15. Michael says:

    “…and get a book for free that didn’t sell well.”

    LOL! πŸ™‚

  16. bishopdave says:

    Filbertz: The city owns a civic center that could have been for free. Around here in south Tx, breakfast tacos are what you eat in the morning. The best ones are under $2. HOWEVER, if it’s a prayer event shouldn’t we be fasting instead??
    Love your comment about the free book!!

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I have never done anything to participate in a day of prayer. What are you suppose to do different than any other day other than this seems to pi** other people off? (usually atheists and Jews are mad)

    I never understood it.

  18. Michael says:


    I only went to one event and it sounded like a national day of prayer…for Israel and Republicans.

  19. Rob Murphy says:

    In the massive biography I read a couple years ago on Stonewall Jackson, I was fascinated that he wrote out all his prayers. His reason was that as an officer, he felt he should regularly prepare his interaction with his superior. There was one explanation he gave in a letter to his wife that he would no sooner go unprepared before General Lee to give an accounting of his activities or guess at his needs for the men in his command, then why should he go to Father God in Heaven haphazardly.
    While it could get all wrapped up in legalism, I thought Jackson’s serious regard for God was challenging.
    I’ve taken to having a dry erase marker board on my wall that I look at to remind me of prayers. I wrote on my board “joyful always” and I try and think of things that bring me joy and talk to God about them. “Pray continually” is the middle section and it has the needs that are on my heart and in my life” and then the last section is “give thanks”, and here I’ve got a list of things that I’m thankful for.
    I’ve found without my “prayer props”, I get easily sidetracked away from praying, let alone sidetracked during prayer. I’m pretty easily derailed. I like that phrase ‘prayer ADD’. Very pertinent for me.

  20. Shaun Sells says:

    Wow, 75 people meet at the capitol to pray one day a year (I was one of them as always) and it is a big deal.

    Tens of Thousands in our city meet every Sunday and nobody is talking about it.

  21. Rob Murphy says:

    Shaun – I was thinking earlier that my least favorite (and I believe most patently false) assertions is “Christians are known more for what we’re against than what we’re for”; instead I think our big miss is what we choose not to see rather than what we see.

    In my time I’ve seen more sweet old ladies teaching about Jesus on flannel-graphs than I have seen fallen “Christian” celebs . . . yet one shakes my faith more than the other builds my faith. Whoops on me.

    But I’m weird this way.

  22. Lutheran says:

    I have some issues with NDP

    1 — They can become coopted, depending on who’s leading them. See Michael’s comments about the one he was at vis-a-vis Republicans and Israel. There’s a right-wing “God and country” group that’s been leading the DC one for decades; their founder thought Mussolini and Hitler were just really good, efficient leaders.

    2 — The church needs to be careful not to acquiesce to any government. We’re against the world and for the world at the same time. You can’t speak truth to power if you’re sleeping with power. Countries love to baptize their wars and other efforts by saying, “God is on our side.”

    3 — It’s civil religion, not the real thing. It can’t be — we’re a pluralistic country. The church historian D.H. Hart’s book “A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State” lays it out.

    Having said these things, I still don’t like seeing them outlawed. Go figure.

  23. London says:

    Thanks Rob…great ideas. Especially the white board idea.

  24. Nomansapologist says:

    Is 58:1-12
    `We have fasted before you!’ they say. `Why aren’t you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why! It’s because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on oppressing your workers.
    What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
    You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?
    “No, the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn.
    I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
    “If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. Yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.
    Then when you call, the LORD will answer. `Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors!
    Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day.
    The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
    Your children will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as the people who rebuild their walls and cities.

  25. Xenia says:

    Norman has posted the perfect passage.

  26. Reuben says:

    Arminian Mac user here!

    Well, Calminian anyway.

  27. Pineapple Head says:

    Nice one, Norman….

    I had a part of the NDP event on the steps of city hall in downtown Coeur d’Alene. About 13 different pastors prayed for a variety of topics. I thought it was fairly non-political…which I was glad of. A team of three local worship guys led some singing. Probably 200 people in attendence.

    Went out for greek food afterward…

  28. Isaiah56:1 says:

    London – I also have started to pray out loud to help me stay focus. One of the best things that happened to my prayer life was this new California “hands free cell phone” law. At first I was annoyed by it, but then I realized I could be driving around, by myself in the car, talking out loud and people wouldn’t think I was crazy! Now they just assume that I’m on the phone. (so no one calls 911 to report a delusional driver)

    I often find that I remember that I wanted to pray for someone or something when I am doing something else. This used to happen to me all of the time in the car (driving to pick the kids up from some activity or other) and I would think – “I need to pray for them when I get home” but I usually forgot. Now I just start praying out loud in the car. Since we have lots of traffic here, and I spend quite a bit of time in my car, I have had some really good prayer times. I just had to learn to pray with my eyes open!!!!!!!!!

  29. Another Voice says:

    I don’t really know how one can expet to pray for the needs of the nation and not be political.

  30. Believe says:

    Reuben…nice! Calminian over here, too! 8)

    Puzz is gonna puke πŸ™‚

  31. That was today…OMG…I forgot…I know there was something planned but as mentioned, not much traction. In the past, the news papers here in Salem have politicize the whole thing…especially since it happens on the state capitol steps

  32. centorian says:

    I prayed while I was cutting my first load of firewood.

    The new pastor in town here organized an event in the park. It had a feel of an religious right agenda and as a way of trying to get more people in church [his]. It was summing up to be the same polite multi church events we’ve had heard in the past; you speak for five minutes and then the next pastor will and then we will finish and all drink some punch. Let’s just say they wouldn’t have dug what I had to say… I didn’t participate.

    I heard a clip of Franklin Graham; I have to say that I was proud of him for change.

    This country needs the voice of the prophetic shouted loudly into their collective ears… They need to hear the call to repent. Forget the politicians and agendas, this country has sinned, we have mocked God. We need to ask forgiveness and then go and sin no more.

  33. centorian says:

    had heard in the past = had here in the past….

  34. Pina Cabeza says:

    After our NDP event, but before I got to the Greek restaurant for my gyro, I was accosted by some constitution party whackjob who informed me he used to attend our church, but we had gone “too emergent” in the past. I had to endure a 10 political rambling before I finally broke free.

  35. centorian says:

    lol!!! you should have told him you burn candles, use and occasional cuss word while preaching, and have downloaded Driscoll’s notes on Song of Solomon. That would have saved you about nine minutes 8)

  36. Believe says:

    Centy said, “Forget the politicians and agendas, this country has sinned, we have mocked God. We need to ask forgiveness and then go and sin no more.”

    YES. AMEN!

    There will be an opportunity for much repentance in the coming months and years, as things the way we once knew it get less comfortable. It’ll be a great opportunity for the Church to share the Gospel to people who will be much more receptive to it due to more and more turmoil and hardship.

  37. Believe says:

    Piney, after enduring that, you should change your handle to Pina Colada. 8)

  38. Em says:

    Centorian,”This country needs the voice of the prophetic shouted loudly into their collective ears… They need to hear the call to repent. Forget the politicians and agendas, this country has sinned, we have mocked God. We need to ask forgiveness and then go and sin no more”
    amen… i think it’s too late … i think we can’t tell the lie from the truth on any level anymore, but
    i am so glad you guys are out there…

  39. Em says:

    Believe, i hear you, but πŸ˜‰
    IMO we’re gonna have to live the Gospel, because no one will ‘hear’ a thing we say

  40. His Kid says:

    A few thoughts for you that may be of help with your ADD πŸ™‚ :
    * Like Stonewall Jackson mentioned above…I try to quiet my heart before prayer and remind myself that I am approaching the Throne of the King. I am entering His courts, an awesome and mind-boggling privilege that I should not take lightly. This helps me to focus on Him in a deep way and I find I’m less likely to let trivial things intrude in my time with Him.
    *Still, the ADD thing happens. Was it Abraham that had the sacrifice laid out and he had to shoo the birds away? Can’t remember the exact reference, but I remember a Spurgeon sermon saying that we need to treat our sacrifices of prayer the same way. If those meaningless thoughts intrude in our prayer time with God we need to spiritually run at them, flap our arms, do what ever we need to do to shoo those thoughts away from what we are doing. I mentally see myself chasing away those thoughts. Crazy, huh? But it keeps me focused.
    *We are all priests called to represent our loved ones before the Throne and I am reminded that it is my responsibility to bring their needs to God. A huge responsibility that I can’t take lightly. I keep a list of the people that I feel that God has put in my ‘corner of the world’ and I try to lift each one up daily, even if it is just for a brief moment. Working through that list keeps me focused.
    *I keep a “worship” list on my ipod, and in the wee hours of the morning, when it is still dark, I put my ear buds in and spend some time in pure worship, again, trying to train myself to have a time that is purely worship and praise for Him…not about me at all. Maintaining focus is a hard discipline to learn and I’m still working on it! But these are steps I’ve taken that seem to help.
    *All of this is for what I would consider my “focused” time of prayer, usually in the early morning. Just as important, though, is the idea of praying continually and that kind of prayer is different. That is my ‘hanging out with God’ all day kind of prayer. A quick ‘thank you’ as I prepare my breakfast; a “I don’t get this, God” as I read a scripture that is puzzling; a “Lord, why did I just do that? I’m sorry!” as I stumble and sin in some area in my life….that is the constant communion and conversation with Him that happens all day.

    All this to say that prayer has so many different ways of being manifested in our lives and I have absolutely loved exploring them all. Don’t limit yourself to one preconceived notion of what prayer is supposed to look/sound like. Let Him lead you.

    Hope this helps.

  41. Believe says:

    Em…boy do I agree…and thanks for the correction πŸ™‚

    Talk is cheap…show me the Gospel…and tell me…but show me!

  42. Believe says:

    Em…I hope you sold your Ford stock the other day…things are getting ugly in Financial Land.

  43. Josh Hamrick says:

    Just read Mohler’s blog about the Franklin Graham situation at the Pentagon. Anyone have an opinion on that?

  44. Jim Jacobson says:

    I know that these things do often give the appearance of being political. I have attended our City’s Good Friday prayer breakfast a couple of times. It is put on by the YMCA. I believe there is a lot of folks that attend that may not be believers, perhaps even most. However the organizers (or maybe the Lord) have always made sure that the gospel is presented. I think that the “right wingers” that are there are generally more open to the gospel… prayer meetings are always a good thing in my opinion. Whether or not there is “traction” or not, might depend on us. In the past I have always wanted to avoid these things so I don’t have to endure folks that I think are wacky.

  45. Jim Jacobson says:

    Josh, do you have a link?

  46. Another Voice says:

    Josh, I think it goes with the overall disappointment shown by many in the media that the Times Square bombing attempt was the work of a Muslim with terrorist ties, rather than a white, male Tea-Party advocate.

    Just look at Bloomberg. When everyone was looking for that disgruntled white male angry at Obama’s HealthCare bill, there was no call against stereotyping.

    When it turns out to be a Muslim, all we hear is the same stuff about not tolerating any discrimination or retaliation blah blah blah.

    I believe in freedom of religion for our nation – but the PC way that our government is treating the Islamic terrorist menace is going to get a lot of people killed – much like we saw at Ft. Hood. We got lucky (blessed) in New York, just as we did with the ‘underwear bomber’ in Detroit last Christmas.

    THAT’S what I think.

  47. Jim Jacobson says:

    I think I like Franklin even more after reading that. He is not being divisive or hateful, he is just being honest to the gospel. The gospel and it’s central figure are divisive.

  48. Josh Hamrick says:

    I agree with both of you. My respect level for Franklin went way up with his erfusal to back down on Jesus being the only way.

  49. Jim Jacobson says:

    They should have invited Olsteen.

  50. Jim Jacobson says:

    Mohler has a great MP3 from his radio program here:
    Interesting. What a radical. πŸ™‚

  51. Michael says:

    Too bad Franklin didn’t show the same character in Albuquerque…

  52. Josh Hamrick says:

    Yeah, he’s also been a little more “hands on” with the money than his father was, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

  53. Pineapple Head says:

    Here’s my NDP theme song (from The Lost Dogs)

    In the submarines and tanks
    In the S and Ls and banks
    In the cancer wards, the prisons and the bars
    On the earth and on the moon
    In the closet, in your room
    In the flop houses, the think tanks and the farms
    To the salesman forever trying to sell
    To the faithful daughter walking to the well

    Oh, pray where you are
    Pray where you are
    In the fields and in the factories
    There’s no limits, rules or boundaries
    At work or school or driving in your car
    Pray where you are

    In the strip joints, in the church
    On a desperate lost child search
    On the airplanes and the backroads and the rails
    On the blacktops, on the beach
    Down a sewer and up a creek
    In the penthouses, the gulags and the jails
    To the criminal with no one left to con
    To the movie star whose day has come and gone


    To the junky with his back against the wall
    To the lawman as he breaks another law
    In the desert, off the shore
    In peacetime and in war
    In the pentagon, the court rooms and the malls
    In the tents and in the caves
    At the truckstops, by the graves
    In our hopes and fears and struggles great and small
    To the corner bum that no one seems to hear
    To the president who prays for four more years

    Pray where you are. . .

  54. centorian says:

    Your #52… I agree completely… His actions in ABQ were shameful……. something about God giving those radio stations to Skip??? please….

  55. victorious says:

    Hey Cent! Yeah God gave the radio stations to Skip and the cash flow obligations to the people. πŸ˜‰

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