"The National Day of Prayer" - at first appearances this looks good. Prayer for the leaders and our country is good. I have a problem, not with the prayer, but with what wasn't prayed for. I listened to a news report on the Day of Prayer. It played some of the prayers. They prayed for the leaders as I expected, but they failed to pray for the first thing that should have been addressed: their own repentance.
  I read about a ‘Founder's Week Conference' at Moody Bible Institute in 1960. The President sent out a letter in effect saying, "Brethren, we must come to Founder's Week with broken hearts, if the world is to receive blessing through us." This statement rings of great truth.
  We call for a ‘National Day of Prayer' and approach God to plead that our country will return to Him, yet the Christians of this country don't have a broken heart before God. We call for THEM to repent yet WE won't. This is what Jesus was referring to in Matthew:

  Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
    Matthew 7:1-5

  We ask God to guide the hearts of our leaders out of wickedness and into righteousness. We leave the prayer meeting, going about our lives, yet don't depart iniquity. How can we expect to hold a ‘National Day of Prayer', have a blessing, yet not personally break? Like the Founder's Day letter showed, how can we expect our prayers to bring about blessings to our nation, without starting with ourselves?

  I hear Christians and hear of Christians who talk about how evil society is, but don't hate iniquity themselves. We Christians have no right to complain about the iniquities of society, yet hold onto iniquities that suit our personal tastes. That's removing the mote in another's eye, while still having the beam in our own eye.
  I was in a "Christian home", and the TV was on. The program had scenes of people fornicating, blaspheming, then it went on to mock traditional Christian values of sanctity of the marriage bed. The children continued to watch the television. They were older children. The program didn't incense them. One child said it was one of his favorite shows, and it was one of the top rated programs!
  This type of household might very well be describing your home. I don't know, but you do.
  Do you go to church, read your Bible, even pray, yet watch such things that have the stench of hell on them? If you do, you have no right (based on Matthew 7:1-5) to complain about people pushing abortion, dishonest mayors or any other of a host of things; until you get rid of the evils you love. I don't care if you go to a church where the pastor preaches on the corruptions of evolutionary teaching, the tastelessness of scam magazines and a host of other societal sins, if you don't repent of the sins you personally cling to. To go to a church that openly condemns sin, yet not forsake your sinful pleasures causes others to consider your religion as two-faced tastelessness. They can see you're not actually for godliness. You just condemn the sins you don't have a personal taste for. Your virtue is a false piety.

Deliverance From Slavery
  Sin enslaves us and we want to do right, but fail (Romans ch. 7). The flame of desire to do right might be there, but the enslavement is strong. We feel helpless, and give up trying to be victorious in our Christian living. This doesn't have to be the way it ends. Romans chapter 8 gives the answer to the problems of chapter 7 (Read Romans chapter 8). The Spirit of Christ who dwells in all true Chris-tians WILL give the victory over the enslavement. There are battles, yet the victory is living. What do I mean by living? Say someone does something downright unneighborly to you, just for the sake of meanness. You're furious, maybe bitter, this is natural. You don't want to go the way of the old nature though, so how do you overcome this hostility you feel? You want to have Christ's attitude, so you call upon God to give you His love and endurance. Truly want it, and He will give it. You don't get it by holding your breath or some special Yoga discipline. The love is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).

  3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.     
      Proverbs 16:3

  Decide to obey the Lord in all things. Give up trying to obey Him in your own strength. Call upon Him to fulfill His own commandments in you and He will give you the ability, the right mind frame and the right attitudes. Proverbs 16:3 and Romans chapter 8 promises it.

  1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.   
Galatians 5:1

  There's that enslavement mentioned again. Christ gives us freedom! No more fleshly struggling to do right, that's walking by law.

  16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
    Galatians 5:16-18
 The choice is up to you: hypocrisy, self-styled righteousness and pretending, or true contented godliness.

 For more pertaining to this, see "Basement Christian", "Revival" and "Wake Up For God" in the library.

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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