GOD BLESS AMERICA: BE SPECIFIC
The blind man's first request is for Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asks him specifically, "What do you want me to do for you?" He answers specifically, "Lord, I want to see."
"God bless America," is a very general prayer. It may be as specific a prayer as politicians can get away with these days. It is not a bad prayer. It is a good prayer. Praying for specific blessings may be better. What blessings does America need?
The phrase, "God bless America," now may bring to mind images of George W. Bush instead of Kate Smith. George W. Bush will long be associated with the war on terror. We can pray for God to protect us and to protect the servicemen he uses to protect us. They need protection both physically and spiritually. Much has been made of those who drink, use drugs, and pick up venereal diseases during war. It is not just the stress of war. "Thou shalt not kill," is one of the few commandments in the Bible most Americans can quote. The Hebrew word is specific for murder and does not apply to killing in self defense or in just war. But when in war decent people are required to kill, it can affect them. War can have a devastating effect on their morals. We need to pray for God to protect America and to protect the servicemen whom he uses. Pray that he will protect them from the enemy, both physical and spiritual.
We can also pray for God to bless America in our economy. We not only need more jobs for people, we also need the dignity of work to be restored. While substitute teaching, I heard a student, a student who doesn't know the meaning of work, talk about looking for a job, but saying he wasn't going to do this or that "for a lousy $8.00 an hour." I did not bother to tell him about my first real job, cleaning floors, windows, and toilets for 60¢ an hour. We can pray for God to bless America with jobs and a renewed work ethic.
Many of us remember what was called the "sexual revolution" that followed the invention of "the pill." It was thought that the scandal of out of wedlock babies would be over. What was called a revolution in the 60's seems insignificant now. When I was in high school, I remember only once students whispering about a girl who "had to leave school." Now, as a substitute teacher, I have seen students as young as junior high passing their sonograms around to show other students.
Praying for God to bless America with a renewed sense of morality may be a key to our future as a nation. Church history indicates we must soon face either judgment or revival. Pray for God to bless America with revival.
Jesus asked the blind man to state his request specifically. We should do the same.
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