And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
The needs of our church, our nation, our community are urgent, perhaps even more than last week when I wrote to you to ask for prayer.
We are a pro-life church, and that means all life, all the time. This next comment is opinion: The political leaders of our country have no solutions than transcend the deep divisions we are experiencing.
Only Jesus Christ can unite us in a profound way, only the grace of God will move us to a path of peace.
Would you join again for prayer? Tonight at 7 PM. We are asking you to come once again to the church, but this time to pray in the outdoors, near the Elwood Road entrance. The reasons:
- We want to be a witness to our community and for them to see this as an invitation to join with us
- Outdoor meetings are “safer” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (we will have restrooms open in the church building)
You may be saying, “Didn’t Jesus tell us to pray in secret?” He sure did, and he rebuked those who prayed publicly for seeking the adulation of people. Pride was and is the issue. I think public prayer in this climate is an act of humility; it shows our dependence on God. (For some more thoughts on public prayer, see the section after my signature.)
I trust you to leave your politics home and come, seeking the Lord.
Even though we are outside, a mask is probably a good idea. If the weather is inclement, we will pray inside. But we will pray!
Today is the 76th anniversary of D-Day. Allied forces, at great cost, landed on Omaha Beach and began to take ground back from the Nazi forces. The German troops were dug in, but were displaced by brave soldiers who took the battle to them. The American soldiers had comfortable homes and beloved families back in the States. They left them because of the need to confront and defeat evil.
The enemy of our souls is occupying ground that belongs to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Let us stand with Him and proclaim the victory he won. Let us kneel at the foot of the cross to confess our sin and our need of him. Let us walk forward with the timeless message of the gospel.
All grace to you,
Prayer in Public:
The Old Testament records instances of it:
1 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.
1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.
In the New Testament Church, public prayer was a part of their practice:
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
Jesus called attention to the focus of prayer, not the place of it–
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”