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Why Are Liberals So Afraid of Prayer?

by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.

The need for the nation to pray about her problems would be high on my grandmother's to-do list. In fact, she often said, "Prayer changes things!" As a black woman who was also part Native American, she was very proud to achieve the status of licensed practical nurse.

She was a natural caregiver whose profession was simply an extension of the way her mother before her had lived out her faith—visiting the sick and shut-ins her church. Her generation saw America change because of a non-violent civil rights movement that was fueled by civil disobedience and the power of prayer. Her personal life also changed because of prayer and faithfulness. In fact, she lived long enough to see her four daughters and her 15 grandchildren all graduate from college. Two of us even attended a prestigious Ivy League graduate school, with one of her grandsons becoming the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Perhaps political liberals believe that the religious right will be emboldened or strengthened, if they are allowed to pray in public places or on special national holidays. Or maybe they believe that some form of psychological harm will befall those who are not attached to one of the many Christian denominations. Contrary to the public myths, everyone is encouraged to pray to the God of their own religious tradition. More importantly, acts of hatred, name-calling, or intolerant public jeering have never occurred at one of these prayer events.

It seems to me that the great faith of our leaders has not drawn the nation to prayer. Instead the huge needs of the nation have always driven men of faith and goodwill to pursue divine intervention. As I mused on this, I came upon a prayer offered up to God on behalf of the U.S. people in June of 1944. I have included just a snippet of this prayer:

"Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

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Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated nationwide yesterday, when my good friend, Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., wrote an outstanding article on the legacy of the civil rights leader and preacher. Click here to read and comment on Bishop Jackson's column.

Bishop Jackson is the guest editor of the January-February issue of Ministry Today, now available.

With the theme of social transformation, the issue coincides with the political season, which many are saying is the most important presidential election of our lifetime.

Because the primary season leading up to the presidential election is upon us, I wanted an issue on political activism. But Bishop Jackson exceeded expectations. He invited other outstanding authors such as Chuck Colson, David Barton and Tony Perkins to write, and the end result is something much more powerful—an issue on social transformation, which involves being involved politically. Read it and be transformed, so you can in turn transform society.

You can read my "A Call to the Church For Social Transformation" introductory article about Bishop Jackson in the magazine's latest issue by clicking here.

Now is the ideal time to subscribe to Ministry Today. We're currently offering a special promotion that includes a free ESV (English Standard Version) Thinline Bible with a paid subscription. Click here  to subscribe to Ministry Today.

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A Tribute to Jamie Buckingham

In February, we will focus our Ministry Today website and e-newsletter on the life and work of Jamie Buckingham. He was not only one of the most influential leaders in the charismatic renewal for many years, but was the editor of Ministry Today at his untimely death in February 1992—nearly 20 years ago.

Jamie, who died at age 59, was senior pastor of the 2,000-member Tabernacle Church in Melbourne, Fla., a nondenominational church he founded in 1967. He wrote dozens of books, among them the biographies of charismatic leaders Kathryn Kuhlman (Daughter of Destiny), Nicky Cruz (Run Baby Run) and Pat Robertson (Shout It From the Housetops).

Join us as we celebrate the life and legacy of this great man who was also my friend and mentor. As we pay tribute to Jamie next month, please feel free to send us anything about Jamie or his influence on your life. You can send them to our staff editor Eric Tiansay (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

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Check Out Charisma Media's New App

If you received an iPad for Christmas, we've got an extra gift for you: Subscribe to Charisma Digital then download our free Charisma Media app. With your subscription, you'll receive a log in to view back issues as well as our most current issue of Charisma Digital.

After nearly two years of research, development and approval processes with Apple, Charisma magazine finally arrived on the iPad last month. Our vision for reaching the nations for Christ through advanced technology now continues on yet another platform.

For 24 issues, it's now only $19.95. Along with your paid Charisma digital magazine subscription, you will receive a free digital subscription for a limited time to Ministry Today magazine.

Charisma's digital magazine experience ranks among the top secular and Christian magazines. Each issue is loaded with exclusive digital-only features, videos, podcasts and photo galleries in addition to our print magazine articles.

How to get Charisma on your iPad:

1. Subscribe to Charisma Digital online by clicking here, and create your username and password for full access to Charisma Digital.

2. Open the iPad Newsstand store.

3. Search for "Charisma" or "Charisma Media."

4. Download the free Charisma Media app. (Internet connection and iTunes account required.)

5. Sign in with your Charisma Digital username/password and download individual issues, with more added every two weeks.

Charisma Digital will also be available soon on other tablets, including Barnes & Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle.

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Defying Political Labels: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.

Guest Editor of the January-February 2012 issue of Ministry Today, with the theme of Social Transformation

On Oct. 16, the new memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) was finally completed. There was only one problem with the work: The wrong words were carved on the statue. The tone of the phrase misrepresented "the spirit" of the fallen leader. After a huge controversy, the memorial leadership decided to change the writing on the statue.

This change was legitimate. Unfortunately, an illegitimate expression occurred this past week. Politico reported that Tavis Smiley had been disinvited from the 20th annual MLK luncheon, hosted by the Peoria Civic Center. Why? Mr. Smiley has said publicly that President Obama had not done enough for black Americans, which, according to the center, upset some people. He was replaced by reliable liberal Michael Eric Dyson.

In later interviews, Mr. Smiley noted that only a small handful of the 1,500 ticket holders for the event complained about his comments, resulting in his ouster from the luncheon. He also made it clear that he supports President Obama, but as a journalist feels obligated to hold him accountable for his actions in office. While I may disagree with Mr. Smiley on some issues, I certainly agree that his honest appraisal of President Obama's performance should not disqualify him from speaking at a luncheon honoring Dr. King.

In fact, Smiley's dismissal from the event dishonors Dr. King's legacy of holding all political leaders accountable for their actions and judging people based on their character, rather than their skin color. As I have written before, this is yet another example of the totalitarian attempts at thought control by leaders in the black community who purport to speak for Dr. King and African-Americans in general. We blacks who refuse to kowtow to the extreme left are not only disinvited from events, but often publicly excommunicated from our own race.

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