JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Connection, today’s Encounter with Jesus examines our restoration to God through His blood.
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. God was providing a way for us to enter into relationship with Him through the blood of Jesus.
Hebrews 10:19 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings….”
The sacrifice of Jesus for us means that we have access to His throne of grace. We can pray to Him with a believing heart and have confidence that He loves us and hears the cries from our heart.
A daily connection with Christ enables us to draw near to God the Father and to live with confidence in Him.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from First Timothy 2:1-4.
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
In a world where many opinions are expressed in the public square, it is important to remember the power of prayer expressed in the privacy of a closet. This Scripture is an invitation to pray on behalf of others, including people in positions of authority such as church leaders, government leaders, business leaders, teachers, and parents. Our prayers to God have a way of changing our own attitude toward people. William Law once said, “There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.” That is because in intercession, our heart becomes more aligned with God’s heart for that person. However God responds to our prayers for someone, we know this: God is pleased by our petitions, and works in response to our prayers to bring souls into God’s Kingdom.
Prayer is a vital relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the peace of a faith-focused thought life.
In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul listed a number of healthy habits that lead to peace with God.
One healthy habit was to rejoice in the Lord always.
Another healthy habit was to present our prayer requests to God with thanksgiving.
Another thing we can do is learn from those in places of spiritual authority-to listen to their teachings, to watch how they live, and follow their example as they follow Christ.
Verse 8 talks about yet another healthy habit that brings peace to our soul. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
When we think about Jesus, we are thinking of these qualities, because He defines them. When our minds are focused on Christ, we remember that our lives are in the hands of Someone who loves us very much and has proved it at the cross and empty grave.
The peace of a faith-focused thought life is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
IMPORTANT DETAILS FOR EVERYONE ATTENDING
The Lancaster National Day of Prayer events are at a new location this year:
The Junction Center! All attenders are asked to park at Roots Country Market & Auction – 705 Graystone Rd., Manheim. Only those with Handicap Parking credentials will be permitted to park in The Junction Center Parking Lot.
The Evening Program and Main Event
6pm-8:30pm – Celebration of Prayer
Worship Concert by the 100-voice NDP Choir
Keynote Speaker – Joni Eareckson Tada
WJTL and WDAC will be broadcasting Joni’s talk live, on the air, for those unable to attend.
The Afternoon Program for those with Disabilities
2:30pm -3:30pm -Concert of Prayer
This is exclusively for those with disabilities (and their caregivers), who are invited to experience an intimate and meaningful time of prayer and worship with Joni Eareckson Tada. Since this one-hour private meeting will be focused on individuals with disabilities we ask the rest of the community to respect this special time of ministry by not attending, and instead attend the Evening Program. Thank You.
The program will be held in The Junction Center Ampitheatre with limited covered seating, so please bring a lawn chair or blanket.
For a complete schedule, prayer guide, youth edition, motorcycle ride and all the complete information about the events surrounding this Thursday’s National Day of Prayer Events in Lancaster please visit LancasterNDP.com
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the united voice of God’s family.
In Romans 15:5 and 6, the Apostle Paul said to the church, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is the official verse for the National Day of Prayer observance tomorrow (Thursday, May 1st 2014). The official theme is “One Voice, United In Prayer.” Prayer is a significant and powerful opportunity for God’s people to come together and acknowledge our nation’s need for God’s grace. Prayer brings God’s people closer together.
According to the National Day of Prayer website, millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by volunteer coordinators. As we come together, we will take our concerns for this nation to God’s throne of grace. According to Second Chronicles 7:14, when God’s people get serious about prayer with personal humility and repentance, God responds with His healing hand on that nation.
The united voice of God’s family is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
My very first radio “experience” was back in the early 90’s on “Dawson McAllister Live”. I was in Jr. High at the time and loved listening to WJTL for hours and hours a day. Dawson’s show aired live Sunday nights; and I listened in while doing last-minute homework assignments. I really connected with the callers and how Dawson helped them through crisis situations. So, I wrote in to be a prayer partner. One day, I got a phone call from a nice lady saying that Dawson wanted to interview me on the show. What a shock, what a privilege! The lady set it all up. That Sunday, I cleared everybody out of the kitchen and did a few tests to make sure the phone rang like it should. I sat on a stool and stared at the phone, waiting for the big moment… After what felt like about a zillion years, the phone rang and someone explained what would happen. I still remember hearing Dawson introduce me on his show as “Kristi From Pennsylvania”. I was pretty nervous and remember saying mostly “yes” and “uh-huh” to his questions about what it meant to me to be one of his prayer partners. It. was. awesome!
Fast forward about 20 years and now the tables will turn! I’ll be interviewing Dawson this Thursday about an event he’s coming to town to host. It’s still all cenetered around passion for youth, and I’m thrilled that we’ll get to chat again! I plan to say more than “yes” and “uh-huh” this time. ;]
I hope you you’ll tune in and hear it live this Thursday around 2:30 p.m. Below, you’ll find the details on his upcoming event.
Kristi Leigh – WJTL DJ
Dawson McAllister will be in the area soon to host an evening dedicated to praying for America’s youth. Everyone from teenagers to grandparents is encouraged to attend.
“Prayer For A Generation”
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7pm
Hershey Free Church
330 Hilltop Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Click here for more details.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the intercession of Jesus on our behalf.
Hebrews 7 talks about the competence of Jesus to help us in our weaknesses. Verse 7:25 says, “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our needs-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”
The Bible goes on to say that Jesus sacrificed for the sins of the people once for all when he offered himself.
Jesus is the perfect solution for flawed humanity. He helped Simon Peter get beyond his denials of Christ. He said to Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
That is how Jesus intercedes for us when we fall short of His glory. He prays for us. He encourages us to return to Him after we have failed to stand up for Him. His forgiveness is available. His restoration is complete. He can revive our courage to a place where our witness motivates others to love God with all their strength.
The intercession of Jesus on our behalf is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the power of prayer and praising God.
Paul and Silas were in prison. They had been stripped and beaten and carefully guarded. Their feet were in stocks.
That is the setting when they do something amazing. About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, which shook the foundations of the prison. The prison doors swung wide open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
This incident led to the conversion of the jailer, who believed in the Lord Jesus and was saved.
Paul and Silas could have responded differently. They could have had a pity party. They could have been feeling despair. We might understand why under the circumstances. However, they were praying and praising God, and He opened up more doors for them to be an effective witness for Jesus.
Look for God to open up doors of opportunity as you seek Him with all your heart and praise Him with all your strength.
The power of prayer and praising God are reasons to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – After Jonah ran away from God, he ran into a violent storm that threatened the safety of everyone on the ship. Jonah knew that he was the cause of the storm, and so he told the crew to throw him overboard. Reluctantly, they did.
Then, the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
When a parent disciplines a child for disobedience, sometimes that discipline takes the form of a time out. The child has time to think about what happened, and how they might do things differently next time.
Jonah had a three-day time out. While he was inside the fish, Jonah stopped resisting God’s will. His turning point is a prayer found in Jonah 2.
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed, I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.”
Jonah’s prayer of commitment is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – From Mark 1:35.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
As we look at the life of Christ, we see His consistent devotion to the Father. He prayed regularly. Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. Consistent prayer is an opportunity that God has provided for us to pour out the concerns of our heart, praise Him for His attributes, intercede on behalf of others, and confess our sins to Him.
Prayer keeps the communication lines open with God, where we not only speak to Him, but He also speaks to us through the counsel of His Word. As we commit our lives to Him with a trusting heart, He directs our path.
As Jesus was praying in a solitary place, Simon and his companions went to look for him. When they found him, they exclaimed, “everyone is looking for you.” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else.” He was not driven by man’s agenda, but rather the will of His Father. After spending time with the Father, He was in tune with the Father’s plans for his day ahead.
Consistent prayer in a quiet place is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.