Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

Jeffrey Baker needs a job. And he’s vocal about it. Baker is the man behind the Buffalo, New York billboard that reads: “Mr. President, I Need a Freakin Job.”

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The White House is visiting Buffalo today to tout the President’s “Jobs” initiatives and the “tough choice” President Obama has made to deal with the recession and turn the U.S. economy around. Baker however isn’t buying it. He told reporters yesterday that neither he nor many others in Buffalo feel things are improving. Their sentiments are reinforced by an April Marist Poll that shows 59% of residents in upstate New York believe the economy is getting worse, while only 11% believe it’s getting better. The irony: The jobless rate in Buffalo is 8.6%, lower than the national unemployment rate of 9.9%.

The greater issue here it seems to me is the assumptions in Mr. Baker’s campaign and in the President’s response that the government can in fact create jobs for Mr. Baker and his fellows. It is the private sector, particularly small businesses who create most of the jobs in this country. Government borrowing and spending only inflate the illusion of economic activity.

So, Mr. Baker, stop whining to the President about your personal economic crisis. Yes, it’s a real. But your solution isn’t in what the President does or doesn’t do. Your solution is the Old American “can do” spirit coupled with a reliance of God to bring you new opportunities and to bolster you with the courage and endurance to see those opportunities through the end.

And Mr. Obama, please refrain from promising more than you can or should attempt to deliver. Step out of the way of American business, and take your government with you. Trust the American people and their faith in God to muster the new hope and new opportunities embedded deep in the soil of our souls.

“God, we pray today for all those who need employment. Give them courage to face one more day without a certainty of a job. Give them hope, from you. Help them take their eyes off the illusions of hope, and to turn to you and to the individual gifts you have given them. Give us all the strength to resist turning to other people and to our government for solutions that you want to bring to us, and give us the power and guidance to muster ourselves. We look to you today to be our daily bread, and to provide us with “enough.” This is your promise. You say you will provide. We believe you! And we won’t be turned aside by the false promises of any other… In Jesus we pray.”

Today, several Christian traditions are acknowledging Ascension Day through prayer and celebration. Be a part of this day by joining our fellow blogger Deacon Greg Kandra in prayer or by learning more about this day.

Prayer for Ascension Thursday

What Is Ascension Day?

The war in Afghanistan will get worse before it gets better… That was the warning from President Obama on Wednesday. We best pray.

In a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama admitted yesterday, “What I’ve tried to emphasize is the fact that there is going to be some hard fighting over the next several months… There is no denying the progress. Nor, however, can we deny the very serious challenges still facing Afghanistan.”

Obama’s statements came as U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan prepare to push hard into Kandahar, the Taliban’s stronghold. The campaign for Kandahar, now under way in districts outside the city, is expected to be among the bloodiest of the 9-year-old war.

After months of sniping critically at Karzai the Whitehouse made an about face to warmly welcome the Afghan President on Wednesday.

No doubt, this conflict is complex and wracked with impossible paradoxes. Without a miracle from God, there seems to be little hope for a peaceful, settled conclusion to the conflicts. Let’s pray for that miracle…

“God, you have create Afghanistan and made Afghans a passionate determined people. They believe they understand your purposes and will but we pray today beyond all things that they will find a true picture of your love and mercy and justice. We pray for that the spiritual passion of Afghans will be turned to a complete revelation of your Father’s heart and your solid, covenant commitment of grace that has come to us in Jesus. We pray too for a miraculous resolve to the war there. Turn yourself and do battle against those who oppress and twist your justice for their own ends. Cripple the Taliban forces that seek to enslave the Afghan people with a perverted view of your heart. God, bring a wave a true revelation to this amazing nation and people. End this war. Give the American forces and our leaders here at home wisdom to cooperate with your best plans there. Work with and in the leaders of Afghanistan. Reveal your destiny for this nation to them, and may a true fear of the true God lead them as they lead their country. In Jesus we pray…”

A Libyan Afriqiyah Airways plane with 104 people on board crashed today as it made its approach into Tripoli’s airport. Officials are reporting that at least 96 people have died. A 10-year-old Dutch boy was the only known survivor. Many international travelers were on board. Let’s pray for Libya, for the families of those all over the world who have lost loved ones, for officials working through the crisis, and for this 10 year old boy who has survived.

“God, we live in a dangerous world. You do not promise that we will always be kept from danger. You do promise to be with us when we face things like this. We pray today that you would show yourself in and through the aftermath of this horrible airline disaster in Libya. God, comfort those around the world who have lost loved ones. In their shock and grief give them the grace to turn to you to find what no one else can give. Give the officials in North Africa who must investigate this tragedy the strength and wisdom to not only find the truth in this crisis but to know what to do to avoid future disasters. Thank you that one 10 year old boy survived. Heal him completely, physically and emotionally. And give him a sense of his destiny, to find now the special purpose you have for him here on earth. God, we trust you. We do not and cannot understand these things. But we know and trust you. And that, while not always satisfying to our desires, is always deeply and fully enough. We pray for peace, your peace for all those affected by this plane crash. In Jesus we pray…”