This past Monday night I prayed the invocation for a Christmas Party celebrated jointly by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts of Lansing, Kansas. A local high school’s JROTC honor guard did great work in posting the colors. We had great food and door prizes. We sang and prayed. We heard from post Commanders as well as helping agencies and local politicians. Both organizations serve the community by conducting and promoting leadership development activities for high school students and by assisting fellow veterans who are in need. We remembered four of our veteran friends who belonged to our posts who had died in the past year. Members were also recognized for having served in specific military conflicts. The evening began and ended with prayer. Several speakers spoke positively about the impact of the message of Jesus.
In several biblical prayers, the person offering the prayer intercedes for a nation. Ezra confesses the sins of previous generations. Hezekiah pleads for Judah to be delivered from an Assyrian attack. The apostle Paul urges Christians to pray for kings and for others in authority. If you click on the hyperlinked names of those three, you will be taken to my posts about the prayers they offered. At the party, I prayed for peace for the United States of America. I prayed for those who have been harmed by the Coronavirus pandemic and by tornadoes. I prayed thankfully about several who have passed away recently. I prayed for good health and for hope. How well are we praying for our nation? How well do our actions reflect the teachings of Jesus and influence those around us for good? I encourage all of us to reflect on how our prayers and our actions are making our part of the world more obviously a place where Jesus has left a positive mark. Pray hard, my friends. Work hard to encourage peace, love, hope, and faith in your communities.
I encourage you to check out the Call for Fire Seminar Facebook page. I regularly post quotes from Biblical prayers, meditations about prayer, and links to articles about prayer there. I conclude this post with the prayer I offered at the Christmas party:
Most Holy God, Our nation has experienced trauma over the past two years. Over 750,000have died from a virus in our country alone; millions more have died in other parts of the world. In this past week alone, tornadoes cut a swath of deadly destruction across the middle of our nation. We also have remembered the eightieth anniversary of an attack on the United States that sparked a unifying reaction that forged a great generation of American patriots. Among them were people like Bob Dole who, crippled by war injuries, nevertheless provided leadership in later years that strengthened both his home state of Kansas and the nation as a whole, but also enlisted military members like our recently departed friend Jack Folle, whose memories brought the great war alive for us. We remember and honor Jack Folle, Ralph Beckwith, Dennis Caudle, and John Bennett tonight their service to our post and nation. We pray that you will bless our nation with renewed unity as we work together for peace and the rebuilding of decaying communities. Thank you for this season when some worshippers of you have celebrated a feast of dedication and lights while others remember the birth of the Prince of Peace. May we know peace, good health, and hope as we forge a brighter future. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen