National Day of Prayer

US flag in star jasmine for the national day of prayer

Statue of Liberty in springtime for the National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is a day of common ground, “bringing together citizens to celebrate our most beloved freedom; the freedom to humbly come before God and seek His guidance in prayer,” quoted from www.nationaldayofprayer.org. Easy enough for us gardeners…on our knees anyway, as they say!

Enjoy an excerpt from God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, which considers prayer an essential Garden Tool, as handy as trowel or pruners, and certainly more powerful. This passage looks to Jesus’ example; how readily he showed us how to pray.

 

Revering Promises God’s Hearing

And he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Hebrews 5:7 NIV

Read: Hebrews 5:7
Oil & Sharpen: Psalm 139:1 – 18; Isaiah 40:10 – 31; 1 Peter 5:7 – 10

According to this Word, it was not Jesus’ status as God’s Son, but his reverent submission that caused his prayers to be heard. Not his entitlement by birth, but his chosen stance of respectful surrender, that awarded him God’s listening ear.

We can do that! We can recount God’s power and might, remembering the reasons we submit — our God is more splendid and majestic than the cedars of Lebanon, more upright than the date palm, stronger than the oak, more enduring and nourishing than the olive. He is the One who knows every star by name (Isaiah 40:26), every thought in our minds and every word we are ready to speak (Psalm 139:2 – 4). We will never fathom how all of this is possible (verse 6; Isaiah 40:28), but we can witness evidence of its truth when we find new strength in weariness (verse 29), sense comfort in darkness (Psalm 139:12) and recognize Jesus’ gentle leadership as we stay close to God’s
heart (Isaiah 40:11). He is worthy of our adoration and trustworthy with our care.

Lord, God Almighty,
Creator of artichokes and cicadas’wings.
Designer of infinity —
And designer of me, too —
Hear, oh hear, my prayer.
I had everything arranged so well —
And it isn’t working out that way.
The orderly life that I had planned for those I
love is disordered —
And steadfastly refuses to be put back into my
structured “five-year plan.”
And I am undone.
— Jo Carr and Imogene Sorley,
Plum Jelly and Stained Glass & Other Prayers, 1973

When we are worried, frustrated, misunderstood and fearful he welcomes all of our concerns (1 Peter 5:7), which is such good news, because so often the people around us are simply people, worn out by their own anxieties and unable to bear ours as well. These negative emotions serve to humble us, overwhelming us yet drawing us to a submissive stance. Jesus did not hesitate in giving his cries and tears to God, the one who could save him from death (Hebrews 5:7); they were a normal course of his prayers and petitions, as they will be ours.

 

This excerpt appears in the Garden Tools section of the book as part of a week’s essays on Prayer, page 1399. 

God Bless America

Photo Credits:
©2016 Shelley S. Cramm

Star jasmine bloom in our garden each May, in concert with the National Day of Prayer – a sweet-smelling reminder of the fragrance of prayers before God (Revelation 5:8)

A recent trip to New York endeared this treasured symbol of freedom to my heart. Praise God for the precious gift of the Statue of Liberty!

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