by Anne Graham Lotz
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
Great God of creation. We bow before You boasting of Your greatness and Your glory. No one compares to You. No one is Your equal. We look at Your creation and marvel at the infinite power and wisdom that are Yours. Nothing is beyond Your reach. “You bring out all the starry host one by one, and call them each by name. Because of Your great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing…You pitch a tent for the sun…It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat…Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.”  There is nowhere in all the Universe where You are not. Surely Your arm “…is not too short to save, nor [Your] ear too dull to hear.”
God of our fathers. Lord of the nations. Our hope is not in man or in a government or in this nation. Our hope is in You.
You are the One who will bless us as we come in and bless us when we go out. You are the One who will grant that the enemies who rise up against us will be defeated before us. You are the One who will send a blessing on everything we put our hands to. You are the One who will grant us abundant prosperity. You have promised us all these things and more if we “make You the head, not the tail” … If we pay attention to your commands and carefully follow them. So on this day, we choose to place our hope in You. We choose to obey You. Because we fully trust in You.
Therefore, in 2017, if “…the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord,” we trust in You. If “…the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,” we trust in You. Though …”nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall…,” we trust in You. When …”the wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright…,” we trust in You. We trust You. We trust You!
And now, God of grace, as we pray for the New Year, we ask for a smooth transition of power in our local, state, and national government. Yet underneath our earnest prayers for our nation is an even greater prayer for the church. Please. Send down Your Holy Spirit in fullness. Ignite the fire of revival in the hearts of Your people. Hear us. Forgive us. Heal us. Bless us as we remain obedient and alert while we keep on praying. And as we keep on watching. Is 2017 the year of Your return? We hope so! Come Lord Jesus!
For the glory of Your name…
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
Our theme this year is For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us... Forgive Us...Heal Us! Taken from Daniel 9:19, which says, “O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your Sake, O My God...”. As the 2017 National Day of Prayer on May 4th approaches, thousands of individuals, churches, and communities will be working to rally millions of Christian’s to once again heed this call!
Scripture tells us again and again that our fervent prayer is effective. That our loving God responds to His children’s earnest pleas in mighty ways that avail much, and ultimately determine the course of history.
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray. Thank you in advance for making this spiritual discipline a personal priority and for standing with us as we encourage others to incorporate prayer in their lives. The Lord has graciously anointed our efforts, empowering them to touch and change many hearts and lives. We look forward to seeing His hand move across our land in exciting ways each May in response to our petitions! In closing, we ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer in your church or community to lead a National Day of Prayer gathering. May the Lord’s peace fill your heart as you rest in Him throughout the days ahead.
16th Annual Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast™ Celebrating the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 4, 2017 Branson Convention Center • 6:30 am -8:30 am
Full Hot and Hearty Breakfast begins at 6:30 am. Program begins promptly at 7 am. INSPIRATIONAL SINGING • PRAYERS • PRESENTATION OF THE KINGDOM BUILDER AWARD • A VITALLY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ALAN SEARS •
Alan Sears serves as founder of Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that was founded in response to the Christian community gaining awareness that the threats to its freedom were multiplying. The legal system, which was built on a moral and Christian foundation, has been steadily moving against religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family, and very few Christians were showing up in court to put up a fight. By funding cases, training attorneys, and successfully advocating for freedom in court, Alliance Defending Freedom is changing all that. Hear from nationally recognized Christian leader, Alan Sears, as he brings us up-to-date on what America faces next.
The Hope of EasterEaster (Resurrection Sunday) is fast approaching and I'm comforted by the reminder that our Savior remains as present in our world today as He was when He walked the earth more than 2,000 years ago. This is a wonderful time of year to reflect on the unfailing reality of "God with us" and to rediscover our adoration for the Lord.
Psalm 89 says, "I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."
In our home, one of our favorite traditions at Easter, after attending services, has been for each family member to reflect and share at least one blessing for which they are especially grateful. It is a time for appreciating each other and most importantly, for appreciating God; often, many of us are brought to tears! These moments always remind us that Jesus has given us everything through his life, death, and resurrection. We have all we need in Him.
Author Ruth Myers writes, "I find that my worship is richer when I offer the Lord praise and thanks for three things: who He is, what He does, and what He gives." At this very moment, what can you say about each of these? I urge you to review often the questions of who God is, what He does, and what He gives. I pray that your answers every day will be a little richer, a little stronger, and a little more powerful in the grip they hold on your heart's affections.
He is Risen Indeed!
Mrs. James C. Dobson (Shirley)
Chairman - National Day of Prayer Task Force
A Prayer for America by Chuck Swindoll
March 2, 2015
Almighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this.
In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able to protect;
. In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading us aright;
. In the unprecedented events we’re facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.
Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial. . . our need for Your forgiveness is constant. . . our gratitude for Your grace is profound. . . our love for You is deep.
We ask that You guard and guide our President and all who serve the people of these United States.
May uncompromising integrity mark their lives.
We also ask that You unite us as truly “one nation, under God.” May genuine humility return to our ranks.
And may that blend of integrity and humility heal our land.
In our Lord’s name we pray,
– Chuck Swindoll
It begins with prayer. And, it ends with prayer.
According to Kingdom Builder Award committee chairman, John Baltes, the selection process is a combination of “discussion, persistent prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit.”
That’s the way a group of ten men and women from Stone and Taney County arrive at the individual who will be the surprised recipient of the Don Gabriel Kingdom Builder Award presented during the Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast.
The annual event, held in celebration of the National Day of Prayer, draws hundreds of business, civic, and church members together on the first Thursday of every May.
And, sometime during the prayer breakfast, “a person who lives or works in Stone or Taney County who contributes to the quality of the community by demonstrating, by word and action a dedicated and dynamic Christian life,” will receive the award.
Of course, Baltes and all the committee members recognize the award is hardly eternal.
Its namesake, Don Gabriel, has long since gone on to his eternal reward, but the Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast (formerly the Branson Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast) was Gabriel’s brain child. “Christian service was his hallmark,” said Baltes.
Apparently that’s the hallmark of many people in Stone and Taney Counties because each year, the committee begins the selection process with the names of more than 50 individuals, many nominated in previous years.
“Prayer, lots of prayer,” says Baltes. That’s what it takes so that about the time spring comes to the Ozarks, the committee begins to feel a nudging toward a particular individual.
Last year, the Don Gabriel Kingdom Builder Award was given to Dr. Sue Head.
College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis presented the award to Dr. Head. During the presentation, he quoted what one community associate said about her, “She has an amazing ability to bring people together for the right reason.”
Dr. Head is heavily involved in Loaves and Fishes, a program that provides hot meals to the area’s underprivileged during the winter months, Faith Community Health Center, committed to providing Stone and Taney Counties’ working uninsured with quality, affordable healthcare, and Ozark Mountain Legacy Builders, which promotes biblical principles and five core values: family, faith, flag, friend, and future in the Ozarks area. She also has served as a moving force behind the S. Truett Cathy Poverty Summit, First! PLACE Character Initiative, and the creation of the School of the Ozarks, the new lab high school operated by College of the Ozarks.
Past award recipients include Cliff Wagner (2004), Don Gabriel and Larry VanGilder (2005), John Baltes (2006), Edd Akers (2007), Barbara Brezavar and Brad Swofford (2008), Smith Brookhart III (2009), Bob Burton (2010), Jerry Lilley (2011), and Jack Herschend (2012).
The Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast, presented by the Branson Christian Businessmen’s Committee, will be held Thursday, May 1, from 6:45-8:30 at the Branson Convention Center and includes a hot breakfast, inspirational singing by Doug Gabriel, Old and New Testament scripture readings, and prayers led by Stone and Taney County pastors. The keynote speaker is legendary college football coach, Bobby Bowden.
Tickets may be purchased in advance by downloading an order form.Ticket order deadline is April 25 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.