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Exalt the Lord Who Has Established Us

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Randall Murphree The Stand (Print) Editor MORE

(Editor's Note: This article was first published in the May 2022 print edition of The Stand found online HERE.)

Exalt the Lord Who Has Established Us - Colossians 2:6-7

Kathy Branzell was blessed with Christian parents who taught her well and modeled a Christian lifestyle. From childhood, the family’s church was a focus of family life.

“In fact,” Branzell told The Stand, “My husband and I met each other at church when I was 11 and he was 13.” Now they have raised a daughter and a son (both adults), whose lives continue the family legacy.

“They’ve had their own journey, and they don’t have their parents’ faith,” Branzell emphasized. “They have their own faith. I’m grateful for that.”

In the ministry arena, Branzell has been moved by God into the office of president of the National Day of Prayer (NDOP), a plateau of leadership that allows her to impact the spiritual condition of the nation.

A National Day of Prayer observance was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan designated the first Thursday in May as the day for the observation. Branzell shared the following insights into the need for prayer in the nation’s troubled times.

The Stand: What is the mission of NDOP and how is it achieved?
Kathy Branzell: We exist to mobilize unified public prayer for America. As a staff, we get to steer and steward the National Day of Prayer every year … [along with] the 20,000 volunteers God has blessed us with.

TS: Why is the big event context necessary? Why not just urge people to pray always?
KB: The big day is a celebration of every other day of prayer. There is power in gathering in agreement and praying for very specific things. So we get together and guide those prayer gatherings. Last year, and in years before COVID, we were having tens of thousands of … events across the nation on National Day of Prayer.

TS: What are some evidences of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration for this event?
KB: We see more and more people drawn to prayer. In our history, this has been certainly a season of great fear, of great hurt, of great hopelessness. And we are seeing such a huge increase in people calling our office, emailing us, texting us, asking us to pray not for them, but to teach them how to pray. 

And we are grateful to see …  intercessors who aren’t just praying for themselves and what they want, the “gimme-gimme” prayers, but the exalt-the-Lord prayers. And that exalting, that praise, has brought a lot of peace to people. Just catching a glimpse of the character of our Creator and praising Him, we see that glimpse bringing hope and faith and joy and strength and courage and comfort in these days that have really been quite challenging for our nation and the world. 

TS: Why the emphasis on praise this year?
KB: The theme for the 2022 National Day of Prayer is Exalt the Lord who has established us, based on Colossians 2:6-7. This year, we wanted to launch praise … for us to start talking more about what a great and mighty and wonderful God we worship – a God who created us, who established us to live for such a time as this.  And we are hoping to set that cadence for prayer in exalting the Lord. 

Praying for America

In Desperate for Change: 40 Days of Prayer for America, David Butts encourages believers to lift up the nation with 40 devotions and Scriptures to guide prayers. For more prayer resources (personal, group, special focuses, and more), visit David Butts and his wife Kim at Harvest Prayer Ministries (harvestprayer.com), the ministry they founded in 1993.

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