Corona Virus? National Day of Prayer! 3/15/20!

Jonah 2: 1-2


1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Intro: Yesterday, President Trump Proclamation on the National Day of Prayer for all Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts. The Proclamation Reads:

“In our times of greatest need, Americans have always turned to prayer to help guide us through trials and periods of uncertainty. As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to gather in their churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. But in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort, and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost loved ones. I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our Nation.

As your President, I ask you to pray for the health and well-being of your fellow Americans and to remember that no problem is too big for God to handle. We should all take to heart the holy words found in 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” Let us pray that all those affected by the virus will feel the presence of our Lord’s protection and love during this time. With God’s help, we will overcome this threat.

On Friday, I declared a national emergency and took other bold actions to help deploy the full power of the Federal Government to assist with efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. I now encourage all Americans to pray for those on the front lines of the response, especially our Nation’s outstanding medical professionals and public health officials who are working tirelessly to protect all of us from the coronavirus and treat patients who are infected; all of our courageous first responders, National Guard, and dedicated individuals who are working to ensure the health and safety of our communities; and our Federal, State, and local leaders. We are confident that He will provide them with the wisdom they need to make difficult decisions and take decisive actions to protect Americans all across the country. As we come to our Father in prayer, we remember the words found in Psalm 91: “He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

As we unite in prayer, we are reminded that there is no burden too heavy for God to lift or for this country to bear with His help. Luke 1:37 promises that “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” and those words are just as true today as they have ever been. As one Nation under God, we are greater than the hardships we face, and through prayer and acts of compassion and love, we will rise to this challenge and emerge stronger and more united than ever before. May God bless each of you, and may God bless the United States of America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 15, 2020, as a National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts. I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.” - DONALD J. TRUMP

In January–February 1952 during the Korean War, the desirability of a united national prayer was stated by Reverend Billy Graham, who said, "What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before Almighty God in prayer. What a thrill would sweep this country. What renewed hope and courage would grip the Americans at this hour of peril." Representative Percy Priest from Tennessee observed that Graham had issued a challenge for a national day of prayer. Members of the House and Senate introduced a joint resolution for an annual National Day of Prayer, "on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals." On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each subsequent president at an appropriate date of his choice.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation". The president is required by law (36 U.S.C. § 119) to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day

What is Prayer? The simple definition is talking with God!

Man also describes Prayer in Poetic terms which include:

1. Communion with God.

2. The oil of that kept the evangelistic engines of the first century Christians running.

3. The effort of man to reach God.

4. An audience with the Father.

5. A sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ.

6. The breathing process of the Christian's soul.

7. Bringing our current emotional state into the presence of God.

8. We must live for God out of the closet if we would meet God in the closet. We must listen to God in public if we would have God listen to us in private.

9. William Temple's reply to mocking that "answered prayer was a mere coincidence" was, "That may be true, but I've noticed that when I pray coincidences happen and when I don't, they don't"

10. Answered prayer is a coincidence is where God prefers to remain anonymous.

11. The best way to fight sin is on your knees.

12. The most powerful force accessible to man.

13. The spectacle of a nation praying is more awe-inspiring than explosion of A bomb (J.E. Hover)

14. Answered prayer is God bending down to kiss his children.

Some quick Bible facts of Prayer:

First Prayer in The Bible:

Genesis 4:26

26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

Last Prayer in The Bible:

Revelation 22:20

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Three of the Shortest Prayers in The Bible:

Matthew 14:30

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Luke 17:5

5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

Mark 9:24

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Longest Prayer in The Bible

Nehemiah 9:4-37

Prayer is Communication to God.

Prayer is also:

1. Giving Thanks and Praise to God!

1 Chronicles 16:34

34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

2. Interceding for Others.

Numbers 21:7

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

Today we are Interceding for The People of The United States to The Lord!

3. Prayer is asking/supplications/making requests. Supplication is not demanding things from God; Supplication is requesting things of God.

Psalm 6:9

9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.

Philippians 4:6

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Our Supplication is asking God for as The President stated: “I ask you to join me in a day of prayer for all people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our Nation.”

How Should We Pray? I believe all Prayer to The Father must come through His Son Jesus!

1. Through Jesus Christ:

Romans 1:8

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

2. We should Pray Regularly: Daniel Prayed three times a day!

David Prayed Three Times a Day! Psalm 55:17

17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

3. Persistently:

Romans 1:9

9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

This is not a one day thing. We must be Determined to keep Praying for Our Country, Our Families, Our Health, for God’s Healing Hand on Us!

4. Paul makes Specific mentions of other people and their petitions:

Philemon 1:4

4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

We need to have that Specific Conversation with God!

5. Prayer is Being Submissive to God’s will:

Jesus said in Matthew 6:10

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be donein earth, as it is in heaven.

What is the Correct Posture for Prayer?

There is no correct or certain posture for prayer. In the Bible people prayed:

1. On their knees:

1 Kings 8:54

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

2. Bowing:

Exodus 34:8

8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

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3. Lifting up Hands: Sitting, Standing…

1 Timothy 2:8

8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

4. Standing:

1 Kings 8:22

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

5. Pounding on the breast:

Luke 18:13

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

6. Sitting:

Judges 20:26

26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and satthere before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.

7. In Bed (Yea!) Praying while lying down on a bed places the emphasis on prayer as an opportunity to meditate on the goodness of the Lord and to approach him during the night seeking his help. This is a private act of personal piety.

Psalm 63:6

6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

9. Prostrating: Which is different than Bowing. Prostrating is laying oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission.

Matthew 26:39

39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

10. Looking up to Heaven:

John 17:1

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

11. Leaping for Joy!

Luke 6:23

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Why Should We Pray?

1. Jesus told us to Pray!

Luke 18:1

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2. Prayer is God's appointed way of obtaining things.

James 4:2

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3. Prayer is the way God helps us to overcome our anxiety and worry.

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4. Prayer is one of the ways we make ourselves ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:36

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

5. Prayer is God’s Will!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

What Types of Prayers Should We Pray?

The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acronym ACTS. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order.

A: Adoration (worship)

C: Confession (of specific sins)

T: Thanksgiving (gratitude)

S: Supplication (specific requests).

Letter A= Adoration means the act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship.

Jesus taught us this in the Lord's Prayer, which begins:

Matthew 6:9

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Another example is found in:

Psalm 95:6-7

6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

When we take time to praise and worship God in our prayers, we are placing God where He rightfully belongs.

Letter C= Confession

1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong and that we have sinned. God forgives us, through confession, on an ongoing basis because of the fact that He is “faithful and just.” How is God “faithful and just”? He is faithful by forgiving sins, which He has promised to do for all those who receive Christ as Savior. He is just by applying Christ’s payment for our sins, recognizing that the sins have indeed been atoned for.

This is, once again, modeled in the Lord's Prayer. After "Our Father which art in heaven," we find, “forgive us our debts" (Matthew 6:12).

Letter T= Thanksgiving

Our immediate response after confession should be thanksgiving. We should be thankful that God would indeed cleanse and forgive us. David said, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1).

Psalm 69:30

30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Colossians 4:2

2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Letter S= Supplication

Again, Supplication is requesting things of God.

David Prayed a Prayer of Supplication to God in:

Psalm 7:1

1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Part of winning the spiritual battle is to be:

Ephesians 6:18

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

You also have:

The Prayer of Faith

James 5:15

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Prayer is offered in faith for someone who is sick, asking God to heal. When we pray, we are to believe in the power and goodness of God.

We have many who are Sick and are gonna get Sick and we need to Pray!

We have Corporate Prayer

Acts 12:5

5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Corporate prayer is the scheduled or unscheduled gathering of two or more Christians where those Christians approach God, communicating requests to God, expressing praise and worship of God, confessing sin, or thanking God. Corporate prayer occurs when we gather at the congregational Prayer Meeting and take turns Praying together to the Lord.

Are There Requirements for Successful Prayer?

Yes, there are some requirements found in the Bible for successful prayer.

Successful prayer requires:

1. A Humble Heart

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2. Will all your Heart too God

Jeremiah 29:13

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

3. You Gotta Have Faith, Faith, Faith!

Mark 11:24

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

4. Righteousness

James 5:16

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

5. Being Obedient to God’s Law,

1 John 3:22

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Dr. Herbert Lockyer who wrote the book: “All The Prayers of The Bible”, counted 650 prayers in the Bible.

Let’s Return to Jonah chapter 2:

Jonah’s Prayer:

Jonah 2

1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Five Things to Pray for when You’re inside the Belly of a Fish!

1. Jonah asked God to help him in his time of need. Verses2-3

2. Jonah acknowledged the LORD as his Savior and the one, true God. Verse 9

3. Jonah repented of his disobedience. Verses 7, 9

4. Jonah praised God. Verse 9

5. Jonah committed to obey God. Verse 9

Jonah is still in the belly of the fish but he knows that the LORD has heard his Prayer/cry; verse 2: “and thou heardest my voice”. In faith, Jonah knows that he will be delivered. Jonah knew God heard him before the answer came. This shows that Jonah had faith and that God can give us a total peace and assurance that our prayers are answered, even before the actual answer comes.

Remember, this prayer is not a magical formula. You are simply expressing your heart to God.

Prayer… Let’s Pray for America, Amen!

Let’s Pray!

Preached on Sunday, March 15, 2020

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