Thursday, September 18, 2008

DAY OF PRAYER 9-21-08


PRAYER IS A POWERFUL WEAPON, DESPITE THE UN -

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
=James 5:16

The International Day of Prayer for Peace will be held on September 21, in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.
It’s a two-sided olive leaf. On one hand, the U.N. has a poor track record in providing any real peace to the world, and the peace it does provide tends to be shallow and temporary. No real or lasting world harmony can be found without the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Yet, in spite of the U.N., prayer in the name of Christ can bring the power of God into any situation, and there is plenty of need for prayer for those caught in the horror of violence and war.

Churches across America and around the world will hold prayer meetings for the International Day of Prayer for Peace on September 21. The idea for the day came in 2004 when World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia met with then UN secretary general Kofi Annan. The WCC, a body made up largely of Orthodox Catholic, Anglican, and various Protestant denominations, and is dedicated to overcoming violence.

True Christian unity is an excellent thing. In Psalm 133, David says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head..."

When Christians gather together in the name of Jesus and pray, God does amazing things. While Americans concern themselves with the economy and rising oil prices, Christians in other parts of the world are concerned with people burning their homes and torturing their families. These brothers and sisters do need our prayers - not just on a UN designated day of "peace" - but every day and week of the year. The Gospel can shine brightest in the darkest, cruelest areas of the world, especially as the Spirit of God strengthens the hearts of His people.

However, true Christian unity must always be based in the truth of God’s Word. Harmony is never more important than Truth, and any time the Gospel is watered down for the purpose of “unity,” the end result is failure. Over-watering is, unfortunately, a frequent result of the ecumenical movement.

There are dangers involved whenever the focus of a gathering is on unity and peace rather than on Christ. Of course we want the world to be at peace, but it is not the most important goal.

In fact, in Matthew 10:34 Jesus warned that the Gospel would be very divisive:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:
I came not to send peace, but a sword."

The Bible speaks of a final one-world religion led by an AntiChrist who parades as the Messiah, deceiving many. Rather than destroying the existing world religions, this leader would be tactically wiser to simply make use of existing religions and attempt to unify them in a single super-religion.

That spirit is heard in the words of a South Bend Tribune staff writer who, speaking of the Day of Prayer on September 21, wrote:
“People begin to see not only their differences, but what they have in common. They begin to see the reflection of God in each other's face and each other’s life regardless of differences based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religious faith.”

That sounds nice, but it is not exactly biblical.
Many churches are opening their doors for prayer on September 21, and thousands of Christians will gather in the name of Christ to petition God for war-torn regions of the world. May they pray according to the Spirit of God for those people who truly and desperately need His help.

However, may we all continue to pray for the persecuted Church every day and every week, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
Reprint: Chuck Missler - Koinonia


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4 comments:

Momma Roar said...

I couldn't agree more - I especially like the part about praying more than on one desginated day to pray.

I'm so thankful to be part of the group of blog prayer warriors and to know I'm lifting up my prayers with many others each day. Thank you for starting that group and I pray it grows and grows!

I so appreciate the truth you share on your blog, Susan! May many stumble upon your blog today to realize God brought them here!

diana said...

i had not heard of an int'l day of prayer for peace. i guess that's good but i agree that that should be our daily prayer.

Charlotte said...

I certainly agree with you, Susan. I think we are getting closer and closer to that one world government the Bible talks about. I think the financial crises around the world is an indication of it. I wonder how long will it be before we have a one world bank.
Blessings & Hugs,
Charlotte

Pam said...

This was a perfect read as I have just finished with my prayer time.

Your comment about having to put weights on me if I get to go to a rally with Sarah Palin had me smiling! Speaking of Sarah, I think what we're seeing played out with all the crazy press and rumors is a faction of the persecuted church! She is part of us and the world (secularists) can't stand her!