Black History Commemorative Prayer

black-history-commemorative-prayer

God, our Father in heaven,

Hallowed is your name! Thank you for the privilege and access to come in confidence to your throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  We come in the name of Jesus today. We rejoice in saying, you are our God; we worship you and you alone! Thank you! Thank you for daily provision, naturally and spiritually. Thank you for the plan of salvation through faith in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whom through His blood is the remission of sin.  Thank you for forgiving us and for your enabling power that’s available so that we can forgive others. Father, thank you for the trials and triumph; for bringing us through the dark and evil days of yesteryear.  Thank you for those who bore the burden and paid the price for freedom as a people.  Let us not forget their sacrifice of life. And we pray for this generation to be willing to stand as they did; to stand for righteousness, justice, and equality.  Lord, open the eyes of our heart so that we understand as they did, the fight is not just for the present, but for generations to come.  Help us to not be so focused and selfish concerning our rights now, but to pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done in future generations.  Help us to realize that just as we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for us today, so must future generations stand on our shoulders. Therefore, we must be vigilant and alert, knowing that our adversaries are many, but you, O Lord is with us when we stand for righteousness and justice. Let us be the light that shines in this dark world! May we have the fortitude, boldness, and tenacity to stand fearlessly in the face of opposition and fight for what is right, speak out against what is wrong; that we will speak the truth in love, being confident that there is an invisible host much greater than those opposing us. We praise you, our just God, who sees all and knows everything; nothing is hidden from you; and in perfect timing, you will expose lies and reveal hidden truths that will set many people free! Father, as we commemorate Black History, we pray, let the good that we do today be a legacy we leave for tomorrow. May the truth that we stand on and declare today be words that will empower and transform lives tomorrow.

Thank you, Father, for empowering our ancestors, and our elders, to endure persecutions, to stand in faith and survive great adversity so that this generation could have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on saying,

“Fight the good fight of faith! Sound the alarm and declare, ‘Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” (Amos 5:24). 

We pray, let us not grow weary in doing what is good and pleasing to You.  In the name of Jesus, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.

They Killed the Man, not the Message!

The timeliness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth was an appointment predestined by God for his assignment in the earth.   Therefore, his growth and development into manhood, and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills and a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great Civil Rights leader.  Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of nonwhites and Jews.  To others he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! It was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters in a Broadway production. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold law and protect the citizens.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.  Perhaps, it was like that of receiving the news of my father’s death, if I’d had a relationship with him.

I believe the prophetic anointing within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a true prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity, addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowman.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding affects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silent forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His messages still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness.

Dr.KingatMicrophoneDr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs.   And 43 years later, the needs are still great— justice, equality, and peace. 

God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  There are still too many subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes and jesters, which reveal the secrets of an evil heart overflowing with hatred. Therefore above all, man’s greatest need is a new heart.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man longs for true love and spiritual peace. Wherever there is war and violence there can be no true love.  God is love!  Therefore, there’s an even greater need today—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellowman.  Consequently, wars, crimes and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred and selfishness. 

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  Seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like trumpet in Zion, and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice time after time.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet,   he did not conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to submit our lives to the will of God as he did; yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—denying all for the Kingdom of God.

I ask, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare as one, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Copyright 2014 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only.  Credit must be given to copyright owner. Revised and republished.

9/11: Lest we forget…

Photography by: Pool, Getty Images

Lest we forget that day that we mourned together as a nation, we may never learn to celebrate together as a nation.

So every year on September 11th, we are reminded that pain is not prejudice and sorrow does not segregate on basis of national origin, color of skin, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender.  If that day we mourned together as a nation has taught us anything, it should be that we are all human beings, frail at our best; that life is sacred, and we can be here today and gone within an hour.

And lest we forget, we must be reminded that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It is my prayer that we as Americans will rise above petty differences, and pessimistic perceptions; put an end to polarizing political views, and outlandish promises to get elected; stop racial ratifications, and repent of immoral and illicit behaviors; seek God’s forgiveness, and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and live in peace and love with one another as brothers and sisters.

Photograph by: Spencer Platt, GETTY IMAGES

I pray for those who suffered such great loss on that day eleven years ago.  I pray that they are healed and restored, and they are able celebrate the life of their loved one and friends each year with happy memories that will give comfort and peace.

May God continue to bless America, and shed His Grace on her.

“Grandma, I’m okay.”

James Charles Phillips

I am writing from my broken heart that’s leaking a steady stream of tears as I try to awaken from this nightmare.  I didn’t know that our time together on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 would be the last time I’d see him light up a room; or that it would be our last grandmother and grandson time together.   I didn’t know that 11 days later he would be gone… so soon.   Yet, I am confident that by faith, this too shall pass—the heaviness that weighs on my heart, the queasy that has set up residence in my stomach, and the uncontrollable sobs that give way to emotional outburst when I reflect on the fact that he has transitioned from this earthly life to life everlasting.

Of course, I would say, his life was cut short too soon.   But  I remember that our days are numbered and only God knows the exact length of time here on earth.  So what’s short or long by my measurements cannot be in alignment with God’s timeline.   I am convinced that there are no surprises with God. He knew on March 2, 2003 that James’ last day here on earth would be June 8, 2012.  He knew all the details of the horrific accident that claimed James’ young life. He knew the pain that would pierce our heart due to the sudden tragic loss of James’ life.  He saw the accident…He saw what really happened although witnesses would say differently. God knew everything that would take place that day at that time—there came a day. It was the day that a moment in time darkness engulfed our family and tried to snuff out the light that shines through faith in Jesus Christ. 

However, I choose to trust God; to take Him at His word.  I choose to follow the Light of Hope that one day I will see James again. But until then, I will listen attentively as I have these past three nights, to his little voice speaking to my spirit saying, “Grandma, I’m okay.”

A grieving grandmother, but not one that grieves as if there’s no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Visit Facebook: Finding Comfort after Loss: James C Phillips Memorial Page

Thankful for the Memories

In Memory (1932-2003)

Today is Wednesday, and that day is almost here—Sunday, May 13, 2012, MOTHER’S DAY! It is still a bittersweet holiday for me.

It has been 9 years since my dear mother transitioned from this earthly life. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Yet, there’s not a day that my loving memories of her vanish as the years are quickly passing. For that I’m thankful.

Her sense of humor, confidence in me, and the joy that filled her heart are my inspiration as I pursue purposeful living without her.  Although her prognosis was overshadowed by the inevitable, she chose to live by faith every day.  She believed that her attitude about life and her hope in Jesus Christ made the difference in her timeline.  She chose not to give up, but to fight the good fight of faith even as the cancerous cells fought ferociously against her.  However, they did not overpower her will to live; she did not retreat in fear. Although her body was weakened, her mind was stronger because she fed her spirit daily in the Word of God and prayer.  Therefore, her short-numbered days were extended to years.

As I embark upon this next journey in life, I’m comforted in knowing she’s cheering me on now just as she did for as long as I can remember.  The pain of separation was greater than I could have ever imagined, but on December 26, 2003 I experienced the comforting presence of God.  I learned that His grace is sufficient in weakness, and that He gives strength to the faint-hearted.  I am convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ will carry you through the tough times until you’re strong enough to stand and walk again.

To everyone who has suffered the loss of a mother I pray you are comforted by the good memories and times you shared.  May the God of all comfort console you as He did me (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

And when all you have left are memories, you learn to be thankful for the memories that bring laughter as well as sadness.

A Powerful Testimony!

“One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I don’t ever get up in the morning and wonder if what I do matters. I live every day to the fullest because I can live it through Christ and I know no matter what I do today, I’m going to do something to advance the Kingdom of God.”  —Chuck Colson

Wow! What a powerful statement! Shouldn’t this be the declaration of all Christians? Reading this quote enlightened me, and inspired me to share my perspective.

Being a Christian presents us with some amazing opportunities to end our search for significance— because I was recreated in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). I can be confident that what I do matters. I am making a difference in my sphere of influence. Getting up morning after morning wondering if what I’m doing matters can cause discouragement, especially when I don’t see the desired outcomes immediately.

Moreover, since my search for significance has ended and I live my life through Christ, my daily reality is filled with potential and purpose.  Therefore, I am intentional about the decisions I make every day. Thirdly, I’m certain about my call—be a witness of Christ in whatever I do. I resolve that I am going to do something to bring others into this magnificent Kingdom that I am a part of.  I want someone else to experience relationship with the King.

Mr. Colson’s life is a testimony to God’s power to forgive, redeem, and transform lives.

His transformation reminds us that we should never give up on people, the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for their life. God’s desire is to see lives changed…souls converted and reconciled to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ.  Mr. Colson’s life was also a perfect example of Romans 8:28 being manifested in the life of born-again believer of Jesus Christ.  God will take the unpleasantness and even use the bad decisions that we often make, and cause them to work together, and bring about the good that He’s invested in all of His creation.

It is my sincere prayer that the legacy and work Mr. Chuck Colson started will continue.  As a volunteer with Prison Fellowship, I know the impact this ministry has made in my personal life and that of inmates I’ve had the opportunity to minister to.

Portion of contents taken from The Colson Center website: www.chuckcolson.org

To read tributes visit www.chuckcolson.org/tributes/

Bittersweet

The year it really hit me that every minute you have the opportunity to spend time with someone that means the world to you, you’d better seize the opportunity.  It was  December 17, 2003 that the last chapter of life spent with my mother, Mr. Deva Mae Franks Horn, ended.  My mom’s will to live could no longer stand up to the overpowering cancerous cells that finally invaded her organs, took control and left her physical body too weak to fight. Immediately I knew this would be the last opportunity to spend time with her before she transitioned to that place of eternal rest. She fought the good fight of faith. She’d outlived her prognosis, and she touched the lives of many who admired her dearly.

This time of the year is always bittersweet. I still miss her.  Yet, I’m grateful for the miraculous comfort and peace of my heavenly Father, which enabled me to go through the grieving process. Knowing the reason for this season, and the hope it brings gives me consolation when I remember her faith, hope and love.

Therefore, I do not grieve like others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). As she believed so do I. I believe that Jesus, the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary, died on the Cross and was raised to life on the third day, and we believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.  Although the pain of separation is still difficult, the hope of our reunion gives me a reason to rejoice in this season.

December 26, 2003, she transitioned from this earthly realm to her heavenly home in Glory to be with her Lord.