Thursday, September 18, 2014
From: Carol Bauer
Capital Prayer Alert
As you know, my wife, Carol, prepares a prayer alert about once a month. I hope you will share Carol’s thoughts with your friends and fellow worshippers. Thank you for taking an interest in her monthly devotion. — Gary
This time of year, around the anniversary of September 11th, it is natural for our thoughts to turn to that terrible day 13 years ago. Our church lost someone in the attack on the Pentagon and others were severely injured. The enormity, brutality and shock of what happened was hard to comprehend. Our congregation held a special service that night, and I was among those asked to say a few words.
I remember expressing that I thought that day would be a line of demarcation in the history of the world. The attack seemed like such an abrupt departure from the march of history that I felt that the words “Before 9/11” or “After 9/11” would become historical markers for all of us. It felt like nothing would ever be the same and that the U.S. had been dealt a body blow and a wake-up call all in one horrific act.
Over time, we made adjustments to daily life, beefed up our military, took on the enemy, upped our patriotism and strengthened airport and building security. Then, before the first anniversary of 9/11 had rolled around, life had largely returned to normal. Unless we had lost someone or personally knew someone who had been severely injured, our lives seemed little changed.
Fast forward to today, thirteen years later, and you find a country that sacrificed much blood and treasure and seemed, for a while, to have purchased a new normal in which radical Islam was mostly a concern half a world away. Sure, there was the occasional madman suicide bomber intent on bringing down a plane or shooting up a shopping mall, but there was no sense that we feared for our lives every day or feared for the future existence of the country.
Israel had been on the front line for decades, but we had never felt that same sense of urgency and vulnerability. Is that now changing? Recent polls have seen the president’s approval ratings drop to all-time lows, and a major factor in the decline is how the public rates his foreign policy and his approach to the world. Even some of his supporters are worried that the president is operating based on how he wishes the world to be rather than how it really is.
The beheadings of two U.S. journalists and, over the weekend, a British missionary were filmed for the world to see. In our interconnected world driven by social media the films were immediately seen by tens of millions. The jihadist clips were peppered with taunts aimed at President Obama.
These events have been a major wake-up call for an American public that seemed to be on autopilot just a few months ago. We now seem to be at a point where the American people are leading and the president is playing catch up. For the public, there is widespread acknowledgement of the enormity of what we face and a willingness to take action. The beheading of two Americans roused the country from an uneasy slumber. At the same time, the American public seems to lack confidence in the president to do what needs to be done.
The question remains: Can President Obama respond to the increasing threat effectively?
Pray without ceasing for our country and those currently in office. Pray that the president would see the world strategically and without blinders. Ask God to embolden those in military and national security positions who advise the president so that they would be willing to lay out in stark terms the unique threat ISIS presents. May their options be unambiguous and designed to stop and then destroy ISIS.
Pray that the president would turn away from half measures that would merely stall their march to create an Islamic state. Pray that all those in a position to shape the U.S. response would clearly see that this is a savage and barbaric attack on our Judeo-Christian values, the very underpinning of Western Civilization.
Finally, pray that both our natural allies and those countries in the Middle East that understand the threat of ISIS can work together effectively and quickly.
The midterm elections are approaching fast, and the deadline for registering to vote is even closer. In most states the deadline to register is two to four weeks before the November 4th election.
Are you registered? Have you moved recently and need to change your address and locate your new polling place? Are your friends, neighbors and fellow church goers registered to vote? What about those young people in your life who may be off at college? Are they registered to vote by absentee or early voting when they are home for fall break?
I urge you to visit championthevote.com. This is a one-stop location designed by a broad partnership of Christian organizations, including American Values, to get Christians registered and voting. It is estimated that half of America’s Christians do not vote. At this one location you can:
- Find out if you or someone you know is registered;
- Complete online voter registration forms;
- Get resources for a voter registration drive in your church.Please use this resource! While we may be swamped in polling data, the only results that actually matter are the votes cast on Election Day.
Please prayerfully seek God’s guidance on how you can be an effective Christian citizen in an increasingly secular society. We have the right and responsibility to make our voices heard. Those before us have paid a high price to secure that right. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light in the world. I pray we welcome the opportunity to vote.* * * * *
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