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Persecuted Christians

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In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted.  And it turned out that way, as you well know.” (1 Thessalonians 3:4)

Christians WILL BE PERSECUTED.  We’ve been told, we’ve been warned.  But even with those warnings we are still surprised when we hear of or experience persecution.  Why is that?

In the news we read of pro-family, pro-life legislation that is scorned.  We hear of Christians trying to peacefully exercise their freedom of religion but being questioned or outright refused (see recent court rulings on Day of Prayer gatherings, and even in-home Bible studies in Gilbert!). Few and far between are politicians that are willing to make and administer laws based on what God prohibits or permits.  In foreign lands, we read of people of faith being beheaded and tortured for their faith.  Some say there have been more Christians killed for their faith in the last century than in all the previous centuries combined!  The Bible tells us that we will be persecuted. period.  So why are we surprised when it happens?

When we read just a little further in 1 Thessalonians chapter 3 verses 7 and 8, we hear Paul say, “Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord!”  Is it possible, that in our sufferings and persecution that we can find encouragement?  Paul did.  After all, persecution means that the Lord’s Name is being lifted high – and that’s cause for celebration.  And it means that another saint is standing firm in their faith.  Furthermore, it means that the Last Day is approaching, since Jesus tells us that persecution will only increase until He returns!

So brothers and sisters – be encouraged when your faith is challenged.  May you stand firm in the face of this persecution.  May you rejoice that the Lord is using you to proclaim the Gospel in this special way.  And may you feel united with Saint Paul and your brothers in faith around the world who join with you in the cause of suffering for our Lord!  May God be glorified in all persecution for the sake of faith.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.

5/6 National Day of Prayer

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2010 National Day of Prayer

About 60 people from 10 different Queen Creek Churches and Organizations gathered at the Town Hall this morning to pray for our Government, Military, Media, Businesses, Education, Churches and Families!  This is the 6th Annual event that has been hosted by the Association of Christian Churches and Organizations (www.theACCO.org) of which I am the current President.

Today we were joined by both the Town’s  outgoing and incoming mayors, as well as the vice-mayor and one council member.  Each year this event gets bigger and bigger -for which we thank God.  We also thank God that we live in a nation where we can peacefully gather and publicly profess our faith – lifting up God’s Name and inviting His presence in our lives and government!  May we all pray for that right to continue and for God’s favor to rest on our nation.  In His Name. Amen.

National Day of Prayer

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2010 Day of Prayer Banner

Did you realize that a Federal judge is trying to declare the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional?  I was quoted in an article in today’s Arizona Republic about this issue.  Click here to read that article.  Let me know what you think!  Because to me it’s simple – The whole reason the amendment granting “Freedom of Religion” is in the Constitution is because our founding fathers EXPECTED us to pray!  By allowing (even encouraging) prayer, the government isn’t telling you HOW to pray, or even that you MUST pray.  In fact, I feel very strongly that this is exactly the KIND of Freedom that our Constitution protects and therefore needs to be encouraged and safeguarded.

The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

The theme for this year’s Day of Prayer is “Prayer for Such a Time as This” and is based on the verse from Nahum 1:7 which states: “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”  Clearly this is a time where we as a nation need to be seeking the strength and wisdom of the Lord.

On the day of prayer (and every day), it’s suggested that you pray for:

  1. Federal Government
  2. State Government
  3. Local Government
  4. Military
  5. Media
  6. Business
  7. Education
  8. Church
  9. Family

You can click here for an online prayer guide to help you pray for these areas!

I hope that you’re planning on praying this Thursday for our government, elected officials, civil servants, teachers and all those who hold positions of leadership in our great nation!  It’s a good time to EXERCISE your freedom … AND at the same time invite God’s Power, Protection and Provision into our families, community and nation – it’s win-win!

May God bless you as you pray, and May God Bless America!

PA