Page 3 - July 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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J   uly is the month when many nations  work” or, more tragically still, that we

            celebrate independence. The 14  is  don’t need it. Regardless, failure to pray is
            special to the French, as the Storming  always irrational, because it does work as
        of the Bastille in 1789 marked the turning  long as we pray for the right things, and we
        point of the French Revolution. Argentina,  desperately need God, as does the needy
        Peru and Venezuela commemorate their   world around us. And we need Him every
        independence from the early 19  century   day on the calendar.
        Spanish Empire in the month of July. The 1    There was a Man who never declared
        of the month is significant to both Canada,   independence from God. The Lord Jesus’
        which began its break from the United   life on earth was bathed in prayer, teaching
        Kingdom in 1867, and Rwanda, which   us that He was always dependent upon
        declared its independence from Belgium in
        1962. The date most special to Americans   His Father. This in itself should be a strong
                                             motivation for us to pray. Philip Yancey
        is July 4, 1776, which marked the adoption
        of the Declaration of Independence by   wrote, “If I had to answer the question,
        the 13 colonies, officially acknowledging   ‘Why pray?’ in one sentence, it would be,
        separation from British rule. Dozens   ‘Because Jesus did.’”  And we should recall
        of other nations have an important   that even while agonizing in Gethsemane,
        “Independence Day” somewhere on the   Jesus prayed to His Father, “Not my will,
        calendar, and so once a year many of us   but thine, be done” (Luk 22:42).
        celebrate the extent of freedom we enjoy.  Admittedly, we have a hard time saying
          But perhaps every day we declare   those words. Submitting our will to God’s
        another form of independence, something  and yielding control to someone else is the
        not to be celebrated but lamented, for  very antithesis of independence. But we
        every day we neglect prayer is a day of  would be wise to heed Scripture: “Be still,
        declaration of independence from God.  and know that I am God” (Psa 46:10). In
        Failure to pray may be occasional, as our  the Latin Vulgate, the word for “be still”
        relationship with the Lord varies. We may  is vacate, admonishing us to vacate the
        transition from periods of warm devotion  throne of our lives and declare our total
        to those of cold apathy. Failure to pray may  dependence upon the Lord. The way we
        be unintentional as we become so occupied  do this is through prayer, and every day
        with other things. Daily responsibilities  we do so will prove a significant date on
        press in upon us until we collapse in our   the calendar of our short history.
        beds at the end of the day without even   ¹ Yancey, Philip. Prayer: Does it Make Any
        thinking to pray. Or failure to pray may be   Difference? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006),
        intentional as we conclude prayer “doesn’t  p.50.

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