UPDATE Aug 11, 2013: A footnote: Yes, it did indeed rain. A good source of the detail is from TexasStormChasers.com, which records, less than a week after this prayer event, the bountiful rain that the Lord did indeed send to the parched land in Texas. "A large portion of North and West Texas benefited from the most widespread rainfall event our region has seen in over three months! Several cities received several inches of much needed rainfall and San Angelo even had a flash flood event." - See more at the Texas Storm Chasers website.
We also received even more rain in October of 2011.... click HERE for The Weather Channel's report on those amazing rains. Since that time, the Lord God has sent us rain to suffice while we wait for the drought to completely break. In two days of rain in July 2013, Lake Brownwood recovered five feet of water, and is now only 6 feet below capacity. God is good, all the time. Thank you Father for hearing your people!
(UPDATE Sunday, Aug 7, 2011: Follow-up post for this event is here: "I was Planning to Write about Community Prayer..." )
O Lord our God, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” -Psalm 119:160
Texas Governor Rick Perry will pray at this Day of Christian Prayer and Fasting. He has invited the governors of all other states to join him and the other Christians of all denominations who with gather in Houston today for the express purpose of following the tenets of our Christian faith and the Lord's instructions, to "call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy according to His grace, mercy, and kindness towards us."
Governor Perry told CBN News "I'm going to be praying for our country's economic prosperity." "There's just so many people that can't take care of their family because government's over taxed, over regulated, over litigated and caused roadblocks to economic prosperity -- and I don't see any relief in sight," he said.
When Christians pray in an event such as this, humility is one of the factors: publicly acknowledging our sins and transgressions, by publicly acknowledging our need for and reliance on God. Governor Perry has also said "This is me, just me, private citizen Rick Perry," he said. "As I take that stage, yeah, I'm going to be the governor of Texas, but this is about me and God."
The biblical authority for coming together as a nation in prayer is found in Joel 2:12-17 ""Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly."and in 2 Chronicles 7:14 " If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
The Response will be streamed live and many churches around the country plan to broadcast it on their screens. Streaming starts at 9:00 am today, Saturday morning, and the event itself begins at 10:00 am. It will continue until 5:00 pm.
I plan to watch, spending my day in prayer for our troubled nation, and in thanksgiving to Jesus.
HERE is the link to registration (it is free). You can access the main live webcast here: The Response Live Web Stream. You may need to register in order to view it. There is a schedule and prayer guide in that can be downloaded here: PDF document link.
If you are unable to gather with others or access the internet, the Psalms are a good place to start, and
some of the historic prayers offered by America's presidents may provide a model for our own prayer and Bible readings. The full texts given by the Response can be found here (scroll down). Excerpts:
On March 23, 1798, President John Adams declared a national day of humility, fasting and prayer:
That the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies... with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for His inestimable favor and heavenly benediction.
On April 13, 1841, President John Tyler declared a national day of fasting upon the death of President William Harrison: When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize His righteous government over the children of men, to acknowledge His goodness in time past, as well as their own unworthiness, and to supplicate His merciful protection for the future...to impress all minds with a sense of the uncertainty of human things and of the dependence of nations, as well as individuals, upon our Heavenly Parent... We may all with one accord join in humble and reverential approach to Him in whose hands we are, invoking Him to inspire us with a proper spirit and temper of heart and mind under these frowns of His providence and still to bestow His gracious benedictions upon our Government and our country.
On March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress passed without dissent a resolution presented by General William Livingston declaring: Congress....desirous...to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely...on his aid and direction...do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.
On June 14, 1783, George Washington wrote a prayer to governors of the newly freed states on disbanding army. On the plaque in St. Paul's Chapel, NY, and Pohick Church, VA, where Washington was vestryman 1762-84: Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared: In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments...the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer...to confess the sins...to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.
On April 19, 1775, in a Proclamation of a Day of Fasting and Prayer, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull beseeched that: God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever.
On June 12, 1775, less than two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, where was fired “the shot heard ‘round the world,” the Continental Congress, under President John Hancock, declared: Congress...considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state...do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the Allwise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities...It is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day.
May God bless you and this day.
May God Bless America