If I close up the heavens and their rain and send any of the disasters you described—drought, locusts, pestilence—to ravish the land and people; and My people (who are known by My name) humbly pray, follow My commandments, and abandon any actions or thoughts that might lead to further sinning, then I shall hear their prayers from My house in heaven, I shall forgive their sins, and I shall save their land from the disasters (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 VOICE).
I’ve been thinking about our nation a lot lately. We live in a country where faith placed a brick in our foundation, along with freedom, liberty from tyranny, commerce and diplomacy. While these may have been clearly defined at the outset of our nation’s history, they have since become clouded and obscured, with new words over the old in a clever way to rewrite what we have held on to as a nation. Tolerance is the new national moral backbone, however in most circles it is only tolerance of what is mutually agreed upon. There does not seem to be tolerance for opposing views, yet we are told we are still a “free” country. Persecution is rampant in places where tolerance is practiced. Fear is a weapon our government likes to wield over our heads – fear that we aren’t able to teach our own children right from wrong or even educationally; fear that disease will attack us so we must become pin cushions for vaccines that often fail to keep sickness away and in some cases creates it; fear that we don’t know how to effectively grow our own food and therefore need help developing “super food” without studying any long term effects on our natural resources and even humans in general; and fear that without the assistance of our government, we cannot be trusted to discipline our own children in the way we feel they will respond best to.
Our nation also has an ugly history. One in which our faith foundation found justification in perpetrating. Personally, I’m not sure which translation of the bible was interpreted, but hey – that’s just me. We are all infallible humans, and it is easy to pick apart Scripture and twist it to suit one’s interpretation. It is this ugly history we now find ourselves so embroiled in as a nation, a history that has left people deeply wounded and broken for generations, yet there is a continual pouring of salt on these wounded hearts.
Our nation desperately needs Jesus. We need Him in the small places, we need Him in the large arenas. We need Him in our homes, schools, churches (yes, I said it), workplaces and government. Am I raising my fist and telling you what to believe? Nope, Jesus is a gentleman and I’m not going to force-feed Him down your throat. At some point in your life, you will have a conversation with yourself as to whether or not He is real, and you’ll get your answer then. But, right now, the above statement is what I believe.
We often hear 2 Chronicles:14 quoted. What I don’t hear nearly as often is verse 13. The KJV translation puts them this way “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” What if much of the way our nation is today is because God desires the Church to step outside of itself and pray. What if, as in the book of Job, He has allowed Satan to facilitate these things to see how we would respond? What if this is His way of shaking the sleep out of the eyes of the Church?
“Step outside of itself” you ask? What do I mean? For too long the Church has remained silent against those who have opposed it. Turning the other cheek, I guess, or perhaps becoming too involved in cookie cutter evangelism tactics that result not in transformation, but rather shallow and empty Christianity. Or perhaps focusing on programs and doctrine, rather than prayer and pushing back the enemy. Maybe the Church has spent way too much time on their particular worship service and getting people “to” church instead of taking themselves “out” of church and building relationships with unchurched people. Maybe the Church is too religious and not grace-filled. No matter what it is, if we call ourselves a “Christian” then we are a people called by God’s name.
Church, WAKE UP! We can sit here and debate our denominational and doctrinal differences, we can point fingers and accuse others of getting it so wrong, we can be all hoity-toity and live as if we are above everyone else, or we can get on our knees – differences aside and INTERCEDE for this nation! We need to look at what is happening in the nation with spiritual eyes, seeing that the enemy knows his time is short, and we must stand firm on the rock of Christ and stop giving the enemy ground. But first, we must let go of all we’ve been taught because it fills our hearts with different kinds of pride, making us unable to pray as the Spirit would have us pray. We need not be “right”, we simply need to recognize that we serve a mighty God who is calling us to pray. Church, we are the people called by His name. His Word, in the present tense, tells us to humble ourselves and pray. Church, we need to obey.
Some prayer points for our nation:
*For healing of historic wounds, that the decisions of our previous generations no longer require us to pay their debts because Jesus took it all at the cross. All of it.
*For a silencing of those who continue to stir the pot, feed the fire, and reopen wounds. Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts, bringing healing to them.
*For national repentance and a turning of the heart towards Christ.
*For God to baptize this nation in His love.
*For leaders to rise up nationally.
*For the Church to wake up and take her place and stop the inner squabbling and fighting, for a house divided against itself cannot stand. Remember that.
*For the safety and security of this nation, not only our borders, but to reveal the enemies infiltration and cut it off.
*For our future generations.
*For our current governmental heads.
Do not leave praying to those you think are “called” to pray. If you are a Christian, you are called to pray no matter what. It may be your prayer that catches the ear of God and moves Him to answer from heaven.