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“I could tell you a case of a man back home, forty-five years old – a pagan, illiterate, who knew nothing about Christ. Then he was brought by grace, through the preaching of the Christians, into the presence of Jesus and Him crucified; and that man was so changed that within a month, when impure thoughts came into his heart he literally went outside from a meeting and vomited. What a standard, what sensitivity! A man steeped in paganism, with no Bible training, no background. And now in the light of Calvary, in that smashing, invading love, this man is taken, re-created, renewed, his conscience is so clean that when impure thoughts came he even went and physically vomited. A sensitivity had been created. The Holy Spirit had renewed the personality. Is this your case?
It is only when the whole heart is gripped with the passion of prayer that the life-giving fire descends, for none but the earnest man gets access to the ear of God.
Prayer should be the means by which I, at all times, receive all that I need, and, for this reason, be my daily refuge, my daily consolation, my daily joy, my source of rich and inexhaustible joy in life.
If you’ve been following along with me on Twitter this weekend, you’re well aware that I am in the midst of an extended family reunion in Florida with my (very loud, Irish extended family). And while my family is still proud of our Irish heritage (some of them maybe a little too much), we are also deeply thankful to share in the freedoms the United States offers.
For those of you reading this outside of the US, today is Memorial Day– a holiday celebrating those who died fighting for our country and her freedoms. These freedoms that my family enjoy came at a great cost. And that cost was not just monetary, but blood-bought in wars and conflicts, some name and some now.
- American Revolutionary War – 25,000 deaths
- War of 1812 – 20,000 deaths
- Mexican-American War – 13,283 deaths
- US Civil War – 625,000 deaths
- Spanish-America War – 2,446 deaths
- Philippine-American War – 4,196 deaths
- World War 1 – 116,516 deaths
- World War 2 – 405,399 deaths
- Korean War – 36,516 deaths
- Vietnam War – 58,209 deaths
- Persian Gulf War – 258 deaths
- Iraq – 4,486 deaths
- Afghanistan – 2,145 deaths
These brave men and women gave all they had so that we could enjoy certain freedoms not available to all. For that, my fellow Americans and I are very thankful.That’s a lot to remember. That’s a lot of people who gave their lives for others.
I get that this is a picnic and barbecue day. Nothing wrong with that. But, in the midst of the summer kickoff, be sure to take some time to pray for the families of those who lost their loved ones– parents, children, siblings, and more.
And, contrary some of the comments you may see on social media, it’s OK to be thankful for those who are serving now (or have served) as well, as President Bush modeled in his 2007 Memorial Day speech, honoring the fallen and being thankful for those who serve today. He explained:
Good morning. This Memorial Day weekend, Americans honor those who have given their lives in service to our Nation. As we pay tribute to the brave men and women who died for our freedom, we also honor those who are defending our liberties around the world today.
Yet, the main focus should be on the “memorial,” remembering those who have fallen– who gave their lives for something greater than themselves, or just to serve along side a comrade.
At times like this, I’m always struck by the teaching of Jesus where he said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
I hope in God, I pray on, and look yet for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.
God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them
“We have one crystal clear reason apart from the blessed happiness of this way of life. It is this: prayer is the core of our day. Take prayer out, and the day would collapse, would be pithless, a straw blown in the wind. But how can you pray–really pray, I mean–with one against who you have a grudge or whom you have been discussing critically with another? Try it. You will find it cannot be done.”
We can do nothing without prayer. All things can be done by importunate prayer. It surmounts or removes all obstacles, overcomes every resisting force and gains its ends in the face of invincible hindrances.