How to Pray for America
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” —Psalms 11:3
I believe our nation is in trouble today, probably more than I’ve seen in my lifetime. We are contending with issues that are causing the very foundation of our country to crumble. Our moral and spiritual roots are eroding, the economy is misleading, family life is disintegrating, and political forces are at unprecedented odds. There seem to be very few leaders who will take a stand for God and for His Word.
It can be tempting to believe that America has reached a point of no return. While these factors cause despair, we are reminded in Scripture that with God, nothing is impossible. No problem is too great for Him. Seasons of distress and uncertainty and hardship call for faithful, fervent prayer by God’s people and remind us of our responsibility to humble ourselves before Almighty God. We cannot expect healing to come to our nation apart from obedience to God through His Holy Word.
God longs for His people to humble themselves and to seek forgiveness and pray for guidance. God’s Word says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). The Bible commands that we repent of our sins and turn to Almighty God. And because we are confident that we serve a God of mercy and compassion, we know that He stands ready to respond to our cries out of the abundance of His divine wisdom.
It is a crucial time for us to individually and collectively seek God’s divine intervention for the challenges facing us. We need to pray not only for our nation, but we need to pray for our leaders, for all those who govern us, that they will turn to God with humble hearts and follow Him. Our military leaders need our prayers as we have dedicated men and women serving on battlefields and sacrificing their blood to protect our nation and many innocent people around the world. God is faithful to bless those who turn to Him.
Pray that as a nation we would return to God. As we call on God, let us do so by genuine faith, believing that He hears our prayers. God can heal this great land, for which our forefathers fought and died. We need spiritual renewal, we need a revival in America, and we need each and everyone to pray. Lord, Hear Our Cry! —Franklin Graham
An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)
“I’ve asked Amy Young to share her “Open Letter to Pastors,” with us. I came across this article a few years ago and it really spoke to my heart. I hope it serves to encourage you as it does me.”
Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.
You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.
I set my can down and this is what I’d say.
A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful. I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.
Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day. A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.
Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.
Here’s the thing, I believe we can honor mothers without alienating others. I want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ.
You mean well, but it’s just awkward. Does the woman who had a miscarriage stand? Does the mom whose children ran away stand? Does the single woman who is pregnant stand? A.w.k.w.a.r.d.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
by bringing forth new life, nurturing those on her path, and living with the tension of providing both freedom and a safety net.
I know I might be an unusual one to be speaking about Mother’s Day; but maybe that’s why so many talk to me about mothering, I’ve got the parts, just not the goods. Thanks for listening and for continuing to mother us in a shepherding way. Even though I’m a bit nervous to come on Sunday, I will be here. But if you make us stand, I might just walk out.
Warmly and in your corner,
Ex Spouse Day is observed annually on April 14th. This day recognizes one’s ex spouse.
The question has been asked as to why would one want to celebrate their Ex?? We are not sure there is a good answer to that question.
For a wide variety of reasons, sometimes marriages just do not work out. Recent statistics show that the divorce rate for first marriages is at 50 percent. Some people find that they actually get along better after a divorce than they did during the marriage. Unfortunately, all divorces do not turn out that friendly and can the experience can be very painful and traumatic.
Regardless if it is a friendly separation or not, there needs to be a way to manage the situation when children are involved. After a divorce or separation it is now all about parenting the children. It is all about taking the high road in your interaction with your ex spouse.
National Ex Spouse Day is meant to be a day of reflection and to encourage ex spouses to release anger or resentment.
National Ex Spouse Day was created in 1987 by Reverend Ronald Coleman of Kansas City, Mo.
Today is National Single Parent’s Day – March 21
Just as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are celebrated each year, so also is National Single Parent’s Day.
Today 42% of all families are Single Parent led families in the U.S. In my state of Mississippi that figure is 52%, the highest in the country. In Atlanta Georgia that figure is 66%.
I was a single parent dad for 15 1/2 years to my 3 children. My wife, Cindy, was a single parent mom for 4 1/2 years to her 3 children. We have been there, done that, worn that t-shirt.
Simply put, it’s a day set aside to honor and applaud the hard work single parents do each and every day in raising their children.
While some may conclude that Single Parent’s Day is just a variation of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it is actually much more than that. Single Parent’s Day is an opportunity for the children of single parent families to recognize the sacrifices that their parent or both of their parents make to provide for their needs, work with one another, and maintain a stable home environment where the children can thrive.
It is also an opportunity for single parents themselves to celebrate their efforts and achievements.
It is a day to raise awareness about the determination and strength shown by the more than 15 million single parents who are raising children in the U.S. today. It’s a time to applaud the single parents who are up to the task of parenting their children in difficult situations.
If you are a single parent, were raised by a single parent, or have a loved one who is a single parent, be sure to take today aside to make this day a special day for yourself or the single parents in your life.
Single parents deserve your acknowledgment and appreciation.