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Friday, September 25, 2009

"Let prayer be our passion, let prayer be our practice"

Below is an exhortation given 150 years ago; it remains pertinent especially given today's political, social, and religious polarity in the US.

"Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, our God asking through Christ the forgiveness of our sins, beseeching the aid of the God of our forefathers in the defense of our homes and our liberties, thanking Him for His past blessings, and imploring their continuance upon our cause and our people.

Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make to this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray - to really pray.

Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight - all through the day. Let us pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for the churches.

Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word concern out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and His redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice." General Robert E. Lee 1863

Christian concerns at this hour should include:

The concern that: we have lost the practice and the passion of prayer.
  • That we have lost respect and concern for all life - pre-born, pre-conceived, newborn, and the aging; futhermore that we have replaced the belief that life comes from God with rhetoric.

  • That while we once believed that all life comes from God, we now suffer from the notion that life is man-made and disposable if all is not "perfect". This fails to account for the soul - the essence of human life and certainly not man-made.

  • That we have divorced life from authentic love.

  • That we have given up on the right to life and replaced it with the notion of it's "time to die".

  • That we are giving up on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by looking to a government rather than God to help us through difficulites.

  • That we have discarded Jesus' example of sacrifice for others and replaced it with entitlement, expectations for handouts and easy living.

  • That we value humans for what they have not who they are. For instance we value superior intellects, giftedness, rhetoric, human "wisdom", wealth, the ability to earn distinction, physical beauty. At the same time we fail to see these same virtues in those given less fortune, less ability, and less opportunity. We fail to see the whole person.

General Lee's exhortation is still timely; it is time to pray and time to live like we believe that God is God of all creation and we are merely His creatures.

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