Where is your heart these days?
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (I Timothy 2:1-3)
What is this Memorial Day thing all about anyway?
For some, it ends up being just another three-day weekend … hamburgers, hot dogs, and hullabaloo. It’s kickoff time for the summer ahead — so spend time with family and friends, take in some sports, and be glad that you don’t have school or work.
All that is fine and dandy, but maybe Memorial Day should be a little something more than just refreshments and revelry?
The origins of Memorial Day began a long time ago:
“This day shall be designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes?
We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.
If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us. Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time.”
John A. Logan, Commander in Chief — GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, General Orders No. 11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
The original idea was to honor those who have given their lives in the Civil War to preserve the freedoms that we so easily take for granted today.
In 1950, Memorial Day was officially instituted, and although many are aware of this fact, few know the original objective behind it.
A law that was passed on May 11, 1950, instituting Memorial Day states that its original purpose is to serve as A DAY WHEN OUR NATION UNITES IN PRAYER.
“The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period during such day in which all the people of the United States may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling upon all the people of the United States to unite in prayer at such time; and calling upon the newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information to join in observing such day and period of prayer.”
Memorial Day is not only supposed to be a national day of passivity, but also of prayer!
Last time I checked, America is in great need of God’s help.
We need to rally the troops and address our serious issues with serious prayer.
If you’re looking for a starting point, this prayer was given at the beginning of the opening session of the Kansas Senate by Rev. Joe Wright of Central Chrisian Church, and makes a great template for what all of us should be praying this weekend.
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good.’ But that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that.
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
We have exploited the poor and called it lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbors possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen!”
Please take some time on Monday to remember those who paid the ultimate price to give us freedom, and also lift up our great nation to the One who paid the ultimate debt to bring us forgiveness, because Uncle Sam needs us!