We hope that you will enjoy our “prayer note” — an internal communication, here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We will share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.
“Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof (Leviticus 25:10).”
This passage of Scripture from the Old Testament is inscribed on the Liberty Bell at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The streets rang with the sound of freedom as the bell was sounded on July 4, 1776, after the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
Bonfires and Illuminations…
In a letter written to his wife in July of 1776, Founding Father John Adams shared his feelings on the momentous occasion. “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.“
Fast forward 240 years to Wednesday, June 15, 2016, when someone ignited a fireworks display inside an Arizona Wal-Mart. While the resulting blaze could have ended in tragedy, the store was evacuated and the fire quickly extinguished, thanks to the quick and appropriate actions of store personnel and prompt response from the Phoenix Fire Department.
I don’t think this is what John Adams had in mind.
As we celebrate our freedom this July Fourth, the atmosphere throughout the country may seem more like the chaotic, near-tragic scene from Wal-Mart, rather than the “Pomp and Parade” John Adams foresaw.
In a nation troubled by senseless shootings, terror threats, political polarization, racial tension and unrest, widespread immorality, and economic instability, there may not appear to be much to celebrate. Add to this the rise of political correctness, rejection of Biblical standards, and outright hostility toward Christians, and many believers may feel tempted to forego participation in this year’s “bonfires and illuminations.”
Illumination or Conflagration?
There is no shortage of words when it comes to discussion of how to solve the problems plaguing our republic. Google “2016 Election” and you’ll get a search result of around 200 million. Not to mention that this is probably the first U.S. election in which the major party candidates exchanged verbal blows via “Twitter Wars.” We’ve come a long way from the high and lofty language of the Founding Fathers. #GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath. Words written by the Apostle James seem to elucidate the current state of our heated and contentious national discourse: “So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites (James 3:5).”
Since words can fan the fires of freedom or ignite the flames of destruction, how should we as Christians speak into America’s current state of affairs? We must speak the truth and boldly stand for our right to declare it, yet season our words and our actions with love and grace. But the best and most effective way to use our words is to lift them before the throne of God in prayer.
Confession and Intercession…
Praise God that over 140,000 individuals throughout the U.S. have joined together to pray for our country during Franklin Graham’s Decision America tour. Sharing messages from the book of Nehemiah, Franklin Graham is crossing the country proclaiming the good news that God can restore America, if we only will pray. In each state he has visited so far, crowds of thousands have turned out to join together in praying 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
In addition to praying for the ministry of The Cove throughout the month of July, please continue to pray fervently and faithfully for America. The words of the Decision America Tour mission state it best: “Because Jesus Christ is the only hope for America (1 Corinthians 3:11), we call our nation to God and pray for His forgiveness and blessing (2 Chronicles 7:14) and for the liberty and freedom to continue to proclaim His Name until He returns (2 Corinthians 4:5).”
I hope you’ll enjoy a picnic, parade and fireworks with friends and family this Fourth of July, but accompany all the festivities with this heartfelt prayer: “God, please bless America!”
Join us in praying for the following events in July:
JULY 2016 EVENTS
All seminars in 2016 are free (lodging and meal fees apply.)
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)
An Evening at The Cove
with The Collingsworth Family— July 7
SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
with Ron Whittemore & David Gaines — July 11
Pastors’ Institute: 3-D Discipleship: Loving, Growing, Reaching
with Lon Allison, July 12-13
with Tony Evans— July 14-16
Intensive Bible Training: The Midnight Cry
with R.T. Kendall — July 18-22
An Evening at The Cove
with Michael Card— July 24
Intensive Bible Training: Recovering the Lost Language of Lament
with Michael Card — July 25-29
Thank you for praying!