Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015 “Throwback Thursday-The Happiest Nation”

“You’ll be voted ‘Happiest Nation.’ You’ll experience what it’s like to be a country of grace.” God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so. (Malachi 3:12)

Good Morning Fellow Citizens!

Within the last year or so, social media has designated each Thursday as “Throwback Thursday”, a day to re-share some past memory…a photograph or anecdote from days gone by. Today, I am sharing a post from last year, which is all the more poignant today with all our nation has been facing these past weeks and months. Now, more than ever, we as a nation need to lift up our country and its leaders and citizens in prayer. On this day designated as the “National Day of Prayer”, I encourage you to join with me in praying not only for our beloved nation, but, as the Lord taught us, to pray that His kingdom would come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Here, then, is what I posted last May:

Today is an important day for the people of the United States, designated by the Congress of the United States as the “National Day of Prayer. Observed since 1775,” the National Day of Prayer is celebrated by Americans of many religions, including Christians of many denominations, including Protestants and Catholics, as well as SikhsMuslimsHindus, and Jews, reflecting the demographics of the United States.” A few days ago, I engaged in a rather lively discussion with an acquaintance of mine regarding the appropriateness of including the phrase “One nation under God”in the Pledge of Allegiance.  As I have considered that, it has led me to do a bit of further research regarding the faith of our past leaders. Here are some examples of prayers uttered by a few past presidents:

“My first act as President is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads. Heavenly Father, we bow our heads and thank You for Your love. Accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day and the shared faith that makes its continuance likely. Make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our hearts these words: ‘Use power to help people.’ For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people. Help us to remember it, Lord. The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways… that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.”
George H. W. Bush, Inaugural, January 20, 1989

I call upon all the people of our Nation to give thanks on that day for the blessings Almighty God has bestowed upon us, and to join the fervent prayer of George Washington who as President asked God to ‘impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves to the whole family of mankind.’”
Jimmy Carter, Thanksgiving Day, 1980

O eternal and everlasting God, . . Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.”
George Washington, from his prayer journal at Mount Vernon

The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America… Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal. Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. If I had a prayer for you today, among those that have all been uttered, it is that one we’re so familiar with: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace….’ And God bless you all.”
Ronald Reagan, February 6, 1986

I could include many more such examples. I pray for our nation today, joining my prayers with those of many faith persuasions. I pray that in doing so we will, be voted ‘Happiest Nation.’  and “experience what it’s like to be a country of grace.”  God Bless America! Let’s pray!

Fairest Lord Jesus…Ruler of all nations; Bless this land with your tender mercy and grace. Grant wisdom and wise counsel to those who lead us. Guide and protect us as a people. Forgive our national wrongs. May we be regarded as a place of happiness and security, led by You, for as our motto says, “In God We trust.” hear our collective prayers, we ask on this great day, and keep us ever in Your care. Amen!

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