The National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer is a day when many people across the United States will join together and ask God to bless our country. We live in a great nation and we enjoy some incredible freedoms. This week we have been reminded of the price of freedom. Over the last few days we have heard and read about the heroic efforts of our military and their successful efforts to take out Osama Bin Laden. It was a very complex and dangerous mission and I am so grateful that there are men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect us. We are truly a blessed people.
I am thankful that we live in a land where we can freely come together and pray. Because of the sacrifices of so many we have the freedom and the opportunity to openly join together and bring our requests before God. We can pray in public with little fear of violence or persecution. What a privilege! Many have died to make this freedom a reality.
Two weeks ago we took time to remember someone else who died to offer us freedom. I hope that you haven’t forgotten about Easter already! As we take part in the National Day of Prayer it is important for us to remember the One who forever changed the way we can approach God. Easter changes everything, and that certainly includes prayer.
Because we are sinful people and God is perfectly holy we do not have the ability to approach God on our own. Our fallen nature prevents us from speaking to God, much less asking Him for anything. Because of our sin we are denied access and we cannot enter God’s presence, but thankfully Easter changes everything.
Prior to the work of Jesus on the cross our access to God was limited. The only person who could come into the presence of God was the high priest and it was His responsibility to offer sacrifices and make intercession on behalf of the people of God. But thankfully the sacrifice of Jesus Christ ended all of that. Timothy tells us that there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all (2 Timothy 2:5).
Through the death, the burial and the resurrection, Jesus Christ became our mediator and our high priest. Praise God! The book of Hebrews is a great reminder of this wonderful reality. If you haven’t read the book of Hebrews recently (or even if you have) you need to read it. In Hebrews we are reminded of all that the death of Christ accomplished on our behalf. Because of Jesus' sacrifice we can confidently and boldly approach the throne of God. Here are some highlights to get you started:
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but He (Jesus) holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for His own sins and then for those of the people, since He did this once for all when He offered up Himself. - Hebrews 7:23-27
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:14-16
Easter changes everything! Because of Easter, because of Jesus, we have the ability and the freedom to approach the throne of God in prayer! Brave men and women have protected our freedom to pray, but Jesus is the one who enables our prayers. We can pray to God the Father because of the work of Jesus. Praise God for His provision!
I hope that you take time today to participate in the National Day of Prayer. Prayer is a wonderful gift and privilege. Through prayer we can bring our requests before the God of the universe, and He hears us! So take time today to pray. Please pray that God will be gracious and patient toward our nation. Please pray that our leaders will honor God and follow Him. Please pray for revival in America. Take time to thank God for the freedom that we have been given and for the men and women who have sacrificed so much to maintain that freedom. But most importantly, thank God for Jesus. Thank God that we have a high priest who intercedes on our behalf. Take time to thank God for our mediator. Thank Him for the resurrection.
Thank Him for Jesus . . . it’s in His name that we pray.
Tags: National Day of Prayer, Austin, Texas, Round Rock, Texas, Intercession, Mediator, Hebrews, Southern HIlls
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