From Art

I would like to share with you James 4:3-10. After reading that passage, think about this, 'When Paul prayed that God would remove the thorn in his flesh, God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2Cor.12:7-9)". God did not remove the thorn, but He gave Paul the strength to endure it.'
 God doesn't always answer our prayers we ask of Him. There are people who believe they can force God to perform through prayer. That's never the purpose of prayer. we do not control God. He is not our servant. We are His servants. He isn't obliged to anything for us. That He does things for us, for you and for me, is a sign of His wonderful love and grace because we deserve nothing. If you have been praying for something for a long time and it has not changed or happened, this doesn't mean God isn't going to answer. But it might be wise to examine your heart and examine your motive to see if the desire is from your flesh because many times we ask and don't receive because we ask amiss.
On October 17, 2012 I will be joining others and hopefully you will join us with fasting and praying to God about our nation. I will be praying for our nation to be righteous, to follow God and to obey His holy word.
Humbly, your Brother in Christ,
Art Morrison

From Clay

Set a goal for a fast that you can achieve. Set aside a time for prayer in an amount that you can do. the level you choose is unique and personal between you and God.

From Frank Schindler
The entire world appears to be descending into chaos. It is not hopeless at the moment but it looks like a jungle out there. I may be wrong but I don't think so. Poor simple minded America where did all your wise men go?
When a difficult issue comes up today no one in  government asks for God's input. What does the Bible say about it? But these things that are happening now were written down thousands of years ago. Nothing has changed. The solution is to deny the self and do the right thing according to what God says the right thing is. Love God with all your heart and mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.
According to first Timothy chapter 2 verses 1-4:
"I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Thank you for reading these words.

From Jay

Dearest brothers and sisters,

As we go into this time of reverence and submission, the primary thing on my mind is strategy.  Forgive the use of such a strong word, but let's be honest: we aren't making this (admittedly small) sacrifice of time and comfort to just feel better about ourselves, or to feel more holy for having done so.  The bottom line is that we are trying to communicate with the Almighty God, and therein lies the success or failure of our mission.  We aren't merely crying out to God; we truly desire for Him to hear us.  And if that's what we want, then it would be good to know the conditions under which God listens, and when (if ever) He does not.

I know it's an unpopular concept, and I say this with all humility, but there are many instances in the Bible when God does not listen to prayer.  As brothers and sisters joining together and turning to the Lord, it would be wise to remember how we are to make ourselves clean before Him, in order to have His attention.  Here are a few things I've found in Scripture, and I suspect there are more:

If we indulge in sin without repentance, it's pretty obvious our prayers don't count.
Proverbs 28:9

Our worship, sacrifice and prayer must be consistent with the way we live our lives.  If we don't practice justice and mercy day to day, the Lord isn't impressed with what we offer Him in His house.
Amos 5:10-13, 21:24

Gentlemen, make sure you are on excellent terms with your wives. :)
1 Peter 3:7

Because we are coming together as a unit under Christ, God sees us as one.  And sometimes if one person is hiding something, it can derail the entire thing.
Joshua 7:1-26

To ensure I don't end up the Achan of the bunch (believe me, I'm just as likely, if not more, than anyone else), I plan to spend significant time in prayer with the Lord prior to October 17, asking Him to search my heart (Psalm 139:23-24) for any unconfessed sin or ungodly thought pattern that might be a hindrance to what we're trying to do.  As your brother, I humbly ask you all to do the same as we go into this day, so our gracious God may incline His mighty ear unto us, and give us His holy audience.  
Thank you for reading.

John's Blog - CLICK HERE

From Matt

Recently, a Supreme Court Justice was heard openly criticizing our Constitution. As our country runs faster and further from our Founding Father’s principles, it is no wonder we are failing.  We need to embrace our Constitution not tear it apart.    

We are becoming a nation of takers, rather than givers.  I recall the famous words from JFK, “Ask not what your country and do for you, but what you can do for your country”.  We are in for some difficult times.  Working together, we can get through what awaits us. 

It is painful to watch as there are those who would actively work to divide us, rather than unite us.  Our current leaders need to work for all the people of the USA, not putting one group against another.

The government’s current spending of the tax payers money is out of control.  We spend 40% more that what we bring in revenue.  We must, as painful as it will be at first, live within our means.  In the 80s, we had a balanced budget.  That was great, but much of tax payer’s money was going to pork projects.  Extra revenues must go to paying down the debt, not “paying off” congressmen and senators. 

From Richard

The little book of Joel is about a crisis. Judah's food supply was wiped out by a plague of locust. And the Babylonians were readying a devastating attack in which many would lose their lives and others would be carried out of the land and into slavery. Many were languishing with drunkenness and sexual immorality.  And their hearts had turned away from the faith of their fathers.   They were in bad shape,  the hammer was poised  to strike a fatal blow, and they really weren’t paying attention.  The people were distracted and discouraged.

 As I hear the news of the day, and circulate in my community, I am struck by the parallels.  Not so much in specific circumstances.  Rather, I find it impossible to ignore that in America today we are in severe difficulties, with greater trouble on the near horizon.  In that respect, our condition is much the same. Fortunately, Joel isn’t all gloom and doom.  His words directly and urgently incite the people of his day to hope.  He points out that God doesn’t want to crush them; He really wants to bless them.  Joel presents a simple remedy for the crisis: set aside a time to gather together and turn to God, in fasting and prayer. 

Joel isn’t  calling for a superficial acknowledgement of the problems.  The Jewish custom of the day was to tear one’s shirt as a sign of grief.   And, no doubt many were doing so, to demonstrate their sorrow at the losses they had suffered.  Joel wants to spur them on to something deeper.  “Rend your hearts, and not your garments.”   When I examine myself, I find many of the problems in America that I want to complain about, also live, or once lived in me.  I’m at a stage in my life where I’ve learned that I can’t make much of a difference, if I haven’t cleaned up my side of the street.   And grumbling seems only to only add  to the problem. 

The bible doesn’t confirm whether the Israelites responded to God’s simple plan, prophesied by Joel.  History suggests that they probably didn’t.   I have found that God is infinitely wiser than I am. In fact, He is wiser than anyone I know.  I have also found, as Joel recounted that “God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.  And he relents from doing harm.”  If fasting and prayer is what God says may turn the course of events, it seems really foolish to pass it up.