Celebrate religious freedom, join us in prayer

Published 12:04 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

By the Rev. Leroy Cole

What comes to mind when you hear the words religious freedom, religious liberty, or religious tolerance?

Did our country begin with the desire for religious freedom?

We, as citizens of the United States of America have the freedom to assemble and worship as we choose.

There are some concerns that religious freedom may be in jeopardy.

The first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer.

The Andalusia Ministerial Association is providing the opportunity for those who are concerned for our nation to gather for a time of prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14, is often quoted as a verse for seeking God to act to heal the wrongs of a country or people.

“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 heal their land.”

This is a powerful verse and of course it is just one of thousands of verses in the Bible.

What does this one verse teach us?

You would notice that at the beginning of this verse you find those who are directed to pray.

My people, which are called by my name.

It is not just any people. It is the people indentified as God’s people. It is the people who are indentified as those called by God’s name.

There is four things that those who asking God to hear and to heal the land must do.

We must humble ourselves. We must pray.

We must seek God.

We must turn from our wicked ways.

It is these four areas we must focus upon. I have heard many people say our country and the world is in trouble. We must call upon God to intervene and change the errorless ways of people. But this verse calls for those who are described as the people of God, humble their selves, and pray, seek God, and turn from their wicked ways.

Our purpose for calling for a time of prayer is to help us realize that we need to always call upon God to correct the wrongs of people.

This verse in context of whole chapter is a reference to the Temple that Solomon had built, it is not trie prayer that Solomon prayed.

It is the answer that God gave.

But it is a verse that gives us instr uctions for us to get ourselves prepared to call upon a holy God.

In preparation for our time of prayer; I encourage you to sediui the Scriptures related to these four areas that is given as a prerequisite for us to do if we are going to ask God to forgive our sin and heal our land.

We do live in a land of freedom.

We have the privilege to gather together for a time of prayer.

If we are concerned about the preservation of religious freedom then it is extremely important for us to join together and voice our prayers to God. If we do not take advantage of these opportunities then we have no right to complain about our religious freedoms being taken away. What would it be like if we really took this serious? What would it be like if the Christians of Covington County actually planed and even changed their plans so that they could gather for this time of prayer? What would it be like if businesses closed for this time of prayer? Can you just imagine with me what the square would look like if this would become a reality? That we would be serious about gathering together to pray. In the past if 50 people would gather on the square for time of prayer we would think it was successful. If we really took this serious the square area should be packed with people.

Let me remind you of Jeremiah 33:3; “call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”

Begin making your plans now to meet on the square; May 7 at noon.