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I wanted to share with everyone the results of the NDP event we held in Thomaston, CT. The event was a wonderful expression of God's people humbling themselves before him in prayer. We opened our church at 12N for seven hours of prayer. Each of the seven hours was devoted to one of the seven prayer focuses suggested by the NDP Task force (government, church, family etc). We had prayer volunteers "manning the posts" for each of those seven hours. At 7 pm we had invited several town officials to joing us for a 1 1/2 hour prayer service to again pray for each of the seven. Our town selectmen and several others representing each of the seven areas of prayer were present. There were about 50 of us who joined in to pray for our nation and its leaders. Each of the prayers were initiated by a town pastor or lay-leader and then the floor was open for prayer. Many positive comments were shared after the service about the power of the Spirit felt during the service.
One question I would like to pose to my fellow prayer warriors is this:
I found out after the service that the state NDP task force had suggested not to open the floor for prayer. The logic behind this is to avoid non-Christians from praying to Mohammad, Buddha etc. Although there was none of that in this service I can understand their concern. Their suggestion was to give various participants a scripture to share or a written prayer to use. I am curious to hear what any of you feels about this. I appreciate any comments.
Thanks
God Bless,
Greg

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Hi Greg,

The question that you posted really made me think. While I can understand the concerns of the NDP task force, there are some deeper issues to consider. I personally am not comfortable telling someone or being told myself how to acceptably worship GOD. Even though we are a country that was founded upon christian principles, we also have freedom of religion. I think that telling someone that they cannot openly pray out loud is violating that freedom. Also, I feel that the NDP task force is not fully trusting GOD in this situation. We need to remember to put GOD first in everything that we do, no matter how small or trivial it may seem. Remember what happened to Peter when he stepped out of the boat to meet The LORD on the water. As soon as Peter took his eyes off of The LORD, he started to sink. He was back in the world. We cannot let this happen to us. With all that being said, I think as christians, we can't live in fear of what might happen. I also think that changing the way that we worship GOD based on this fear is offensive to GOD. I look forward to hearing other peoples opinions on this matter.

God Bless You,

Eric

'One Nation Under God'

Americans to Unite and Pray on Thursday, May 3rd,

for the 61st Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

More news @ Christian Newswire

As American troops remain in harm's way, our economy continues to waiver, and we quickly approach our upcoming elections, citizens of the United States are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather, worship, and pray. Millions will answer the call to prayer on May 3rd in observance of the 61st annual National Day of Prayer. Organized events will be held in thousands of public venues where intercession will be made for America and its leadership. 

This year's theme, "One Nation Under God," is based on Psalm 33:12 which reminds us that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson, said "At this perilous and uncertain juncture in our country's history, it is critical that we remain in prayer. The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers, and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty's guidance, protection, and blessing -- not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year." 

Esteemed author, Founder of Turning Point Ministries, and Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church -- Dr. David Jeremiah -- will serve as the 2012 Honorary Chairman of the NDP Task Force and will give the keynote address at the National Observance in Washington, D.C., to be held at the Cannon House Office Building. 

To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visitwww.NationalDayofPrayer.org

About the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress' proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

Christian Newswire

The Albany/Dougherty National Day of Prayer Committee (ALDON) has sponsored a service at noon on the National Day of Prayer in front of the Government Building in downtown Albany, Georgia, for a number of years. There is a set program of prayer with people from the community leading in public prayer. The service lasts about 45 minutes..

In Massac County, IL, three simultaneous prayer gatherings take place each year at 12:20. In Joppa the gathering is near the Joppa Village Hall, in Metropolis--on the county courthouse lawn, and in Brookport--near the Town Hall. The services last about 15-20 minutes. Having three locations offers an opportunity for more people to come--especially those on their lunch breaks--and meeting outside is an outreach to the community...Maybe someone will be curious enough to want to find out more. This special gathering is a reminder that we should be praying for our country, our leaders, our communities, and our military every day!

In Albany, Georgia,a National Day of Prayer event was held in front of the Government Building with approximately 150 people present. This was the 19th sponsored by the Albany-Dougherty Prayer Committee. Various members of the committee prayed for government, families, media, education, churches, military, etc. The co-leaders of ALDON each challenged those present to continue to pray and live out our faith. We were also challenged to pray specifically for a government person by name daily and let that person know that we are praying for them.

Greg,

Interesting question indeed.  I am sure that the NDP task force reached this decision in a context of prayer themselves, and I don't have a problem with folks leading individual prayer meetings in the way they believe God is leading them.  While I can see Eric's point in his response, I also recall the second half of 1 Corinthians 14, in which Paul gave instructions to the Corinthians about orderly worship.  It certainly is the responsibility of the leaders of any worship service to see that God is honored in that service and that the worship does not degenerate into conflicting or self-centered participation.  In light of that, I'm not inclined to question the decision of the task force leaders.

Interestingly, I find that praying to other gods has not been the major issue I've seen in public prayer assemblies like this.  More often, I have experienced the type of self-centered participation that Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 14, in which people seem to "like the sounds of their own voices" and tend to dominate the time rather than valuing the contributions of others in the gathering, as Paul encouraged.  Such worship tends to exalt the individual rather than God, even though it is ostensibly "Christian".  I would have probably arrived at the same decision that the task force did, but more because I wanted to promote orderly worship than because I was concerned about competing religions.

In our area, we had a gathering of eight different churches that was organized like a Concert of Prayer.  Much of the prayer was led from up front on directed topics, interspersed with congregational worship.  There was also a time for group prayer in groups of 4-5.  I found the whole experience extremely well-run and meaningful, and very conducive to a spirit of shared worship and prayer.  I'm looking forward to our next gathering.

I think I’ve gotten to an age where I no longer feel the need to tiptoe around serious issues when signs of the end are pressing in so closely all around us. The Islamic “lobby,” like the homosexual “lobby,” will push itself in wherever it possibly can. It’s goals are clear, though most Americans are blind to them even though you barely need spiritual eyes to see them. If NDP is not specifically Christian, then I don’t believe Christian have any reason to take part in them. We know clearly that all other gods are demons, and I could not be in a place where prayers to demons were politely invited alongside prayers to the Lord in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Hasn’t it always been this way, with the demons being allowed to have their way and the Christians politely sit by and watch? Clearest example, as one who has travelled extensively internationally: If I would visit a Buddhist or Hindu shrine, I might be there to dispel powers of darkness. But I would be considered rude, even by many Christians, if I did not bow or cover myself with smoke or turn the prayer wheels. Yet, if a Muslim or Buddhist came into a Christian church, I would never expect them to “offer a little prayer in the name of Jesus” just to be polite. I would expect them to watch if they wanted but not to participate. 

Islam loudly demands whatever it wants, and seems to get it. Christians sit quietly and read their Bibles and underline with yellow markers. Our warfare is not belligerent or harmful to others, not screaming or swearing at them, but I would do whatever necessary to prevent what seems to happen more and more as we fade into the background and the louder voices take center stage in this nation and the world.

In Nevada, we plan programs with invitiations to Christians to pray, but we also invite remarks and greetings from leaders who may not subscribe to an orthodox creed. In Las Vegas we had an Undersheriff speak who was very warm and friendly. Our pastors prayed for the Undersheriff. 

God bless you for opening your church.

Virginia

We've been doing National Day of Prayer for over 18 years at the Government Center in Ventura County.

We've once invited Muslims to be present while we corporately confessed the sin of the Crusades. (We were received very warmly, and they asked to say a few words which were simply culturally appropriate),

We've invited a Jewish Reformed Rabbi, who didn't come, but we had very good dialogue with her that opened future doors. I think the issue is that the prayers stay centered on Jesus.

If Jesus is the center and circumference of the gathering, I think we need not fear what could be said from a mike.

However, an open mike in an outdoor setting, could lead to all sorts of diversions. It's important to stay focused, and provide good leadership. I wouldn't have an open mike outdoors, as it invites heckling. 

Blessings,

Fawn Parish

I Believe that God hears the cry of his people( the redeemed of the Lord, brought back to God through the blood of messiah)... i know believe that allowing the floor to open the floor to non believers therefore breaks the communion with in the whole fellowship of christ, the Bible does say that we are the body of christ, and must be united as one.....in order for prayer to be effective we must all be purified and confess our own sins ourselves before a Holy God... God does look at the heart,.  even if they shared a scripture, what scripture were they gong to share from, the quoran? or the other books that other religions use? i believe we have to set the standard, i guess this is what turns off alot of  people about Biblical Christianity, its not about religion folks, its about where our heart is and why we pray and the need to pray

amen to that brother. i agree whole heartedly



James Glynn said:

I think I’ve gotten to an age where I no longer feel the need to tiptoe around serious issues when signs of the end are pressing in so closely all around us. The Islamic “lobby,” like the homosexual “lobby,” will push itself in wherever it possibly can. It’s goals are clear, though most Americans are blind to them even though you barely need spiritual eyes to see them. If NDP is not specifically Christian, then I don’t believe Christian have any reason to take part in them. We know clearly that all other gods are demons, and I could not be in a place where prayers to demons were politely invited alongside prayers to the Lord in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Hasn’t it always been this way, with the demons being allowed to have their way and the Christians politely sit by and watch? Clearest example, as one who has travelled extensively internationally: If I would visit a Buddhist or Hindu shrine, I might be there to dispel powers of darkness. But I would be considered rude, even by many Christians, if I did not bow or cover myself with smoke or turn the prayer wheels. Yet, if a Muslim or Buddhist came into a Christian church, I would never expect them to “offer a little prayer in the name of Jesus” just to be polite. I would expect them to watch if they wanted but not to participate. 

Islam loudly demands whatever it wants, and seems to get it. Christians sit quietly and read their Bibles and underline with yellow markers. Our warfare is not belligerent or harmful to others, not screaming or swearing at them, but I would do whatever necessary to prevent what seems to happen more and more as we fade into the background and the louder voices take center stage in this nation and the world.

I suggest the leaders make is ABSOLUTELY Clear that this is a CHRISTIAN Prayer gathering.  Then if anyone tried to pray to some other "god," the leaders should immediately interrupt them and ushers should ask them to listen only and if they could not do that, then they should be escorted out with the statement that they needed to respect our Christian prayer gatherings, just like they would expect us to respect their "whatever" prayer gatherings.  Let us Christians stop being so soft on these things, and so pc about them!

Secondly, I see the potential danger when the prayer day is only called a "National Day of Prayer."  Historically that has been Christian.  But in this day and age other "faiths" will probably try eventually to get in on it.  That's the long term problem with being ashamed of the name Christ or Christian.  Hey, "Campus Crusade for Christ," uhm,  I mean CRU, TAKE NOTICE!

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