Today is the National Day of Prayer. In colonial times, the British rule called for a day of remembrance and thanks in late Autumn and for a day of prayer and fasting in the Spring. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln officially established the fall observance as a day we celebrate as Thanksgiving in America. It wasn’t until 1952 that President Harry Truman called for the establishment of the Spring observance, officially titling the day “The National Day of Prayer.”
Each year, there is a national focus for The National Day of Prayer. This year takes the theme “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth” from Habakkuk 2.14. What a wonderful prayer for God’s people!
Your goal, as well as mine, as a follower of Christ is to make God’s glory known across the earth. We can call it evangelism, but it is a desire and drive to see all nations make much of the glory of God! I believe that our pause today to pray Habakkuk 2.14 should be the springboard of our walk with Christ into our every day practice. But, there are some things that we have to wrestle with as God’s people if we are truly going to see His glory made known.
- God’s glory is made known when God’s people walk with Him. This sounds simplistic, but it goes beyond church attendance and a daily Bible verse with prayer. Walking with God involves intimacy. Walking with God allows His presence to be transformative in our lives. It is not just a daily nod to Him, it is involving every aspect of our lives with Him. Can we say that we are walking with God if our lives do not look any different spiritually today than they did a year ago? A decade ago? Or even worse, before we trusted Christ? Sadly, we have adopted the mindset that going to church and being a good person equals walking with God. He receives no glory in this.
- God’s glory is made know when God’s people seek justice. We believe that God is the author and finisher of our faith. We believe that God is good. We believe that God will bring final justice to this world at the culmination of the times. However, as God’s people, we must remember that God is glorified when we demonstrate justice. One of my favorite verses is Micah 6.8: “He has told you, O man, what I good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (NASB). The first requirement of God’s people is to do justice. You and I are required to execute justice in this world because we are people of a just God. This means that we must feel a righteous indignation and anger when we see injustice perpetuated. For example, this week we have been met with the atrocity of injustice surrounding Ahmaud Arbery. As a Christian, the death of this man should break your heart. As a Christian, the asinine claim of self-defense should bring your blood to a boil as injustice is perpetuated. GOD WILL NOT BE GLORIFIED IF HIS PEOPLE DEAFEN THEIR EARS TO INJUSTICE! It is easy to say all lives matter and that we are pro-life, it is harder to stand for justice for a life cut short when it is right in front of us.
- God’s glory is made known when God’s people are marked by love. What if we were truly known as a people of love and not any other identifier? No one will care about our holiness if it is not marked by love. That makes us a Pharisee. No one will care about our worship team or preacher if we are not marked by love. That makes us entertainers. No one will care about our food pantry if we are not marked by love. That makes us a social resource. No one will care about our student or children’s ministries if we are not marked by love. That makes us a daycare. My point is that Paul goes to extreme lengths in 1 Corinthians 13 to show us that without love, we are just another group of noise makers. However, when we are marked, covered, and demonstrative of God’s abounding love we are showing the world that only the glory of God can accomplish in us. This is altogether different than the world around us. The world loves itself, we love others!
- God’s glory is made known when God’s people give Him the glory! 1 Chronicles 16.29 says “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.” We are human and, as humans, we are prone to make it about us. The world tells you to look within, believe in yourself, trust your own instincts, make the best life for yourself, and many other man-centered approaches to life. It’s not that you cannot do things, but it’s a matter of where you credit your strength. You and I have been made in God’s image. As His creation, He has endowed us with natural abilities that He desires for us to use to bring Him glory. How can we bring Him glory if we only use our abilities for ourselves? How can we bring Him glory if we never actually give Him glory? Warning…my next statement might be unsettling for you. If we want to see Habakkuk 2.14 come true, then we have to get off of our political party wagon. God is not glorified when His people spend more time publicly admiring their Republican ideals than His great name. God is not glorified when His people spend more time publicly admiring their Democrat ideals than His great name. Neither is He glorified when His people spend time publicly bashing their opponents. I believe that we can see Habakkuk 2.14 come to fruition, but it starts with glorifying Him publicly!
Today is not the day to put politics or economics on the frontline. It is the day to come before the holy and almighty God. It is the day for us to start new. Not a day for prayer to go up with no action to follow. It is the day for us to step into His presence and live in His glory. He is our God, we are His people. Let’s show His glory today!