Summary: Let me give you my proposition right at the beginning: “God’s people following God’s plan receive God’s promises.” When we do what God says we will enjoy His promises. We are blessed when we do things God’s way. Let’s explore together about what the Bib
How to Pray for a Nation
Happy Independence Day! You are part of the faithful remnant that has remained behind this holiday weekend. As we focus on our nation this morning, it’s good to be an American, isn’t it?
• Only in America…do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
• Only in America…do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave boxes filled with junk in the garage.
• Only in America…do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
• Only in America…do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.
A couple weeks ago in one of our Kiwanis meetings, we were given a quiz about the Declaration of Independence. We were asked to name just four of the guys who originally signed the document. The only name I could think of was John Hancock!
That reminds me of a teacher who was quizzing her students about American history. “Johnny, who signed the Declaration of Independence?” After thinking for a while, Johnny replied, “Lady, I don’t know and I don’t care.” The teacher was a little put off by his attitude so she told him to go home and bring his father with him when he came back.
The next day, the father came with his son, and sat in the back of the classroom. The teacher started with the quiz again and said, “OK, Johnny, I’ll ask you one more time. Who signed the Declaration of Independence?” To which spunky Johnny said, “I told you I didn’t know.”
The father then jumped up, pointed a stern finger at his son, and said, “Johnny, if you signed that paper, just get it over with and tell the teacher!”
Thanks to the Internet, I now know that there are 56 signatures on the bottom of the Declaration of Independence. Here are some highlights from that amazing document, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…we therefore …solemnly publish and declare that these United colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states…and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
224 Years Later
As we celebrate our independence and think about our country’s amazing heritage, we can’t help but be thankful for the courage and vision of our founding fathers. At the same time, as we look at how our country is doing right now, we can’t help but wonder what went wrong. Proverbs 14:34 says: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
I don’t want to spend much time going over all the problems we’re faced with as a nation because you see and hear about them every day. Ruth Graham probably sums it up best with some pretty strong words, “If God doesn’t bring judgment on America soon, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
That’s a provocative statement, isn’t it? Is God upset with America? Is judgment coming soon, or has it already started? That leads to another series of questions. What can we as believers do to stem the rushing tide of secularism, relativism and hedonism in our post-Christian society? How do we pray for our nation and make an impact in our culture today?
Setting the Context
Let me give you my proposition right at the beginning: “God’s people following God’s plan receive God’s promises.” When we do what God says we will enjoy His promises. We are blessed when we do things God’s way.
Please turn in your Bibles to 2 Chronicles 7:14. This verse is often quoted in reference to the need for revival in America. Without a doubt it is the best known and most loved verse in all of Chronicles it may be the only verse we know from this book! As we study it this morning, let’s keep the context in mind so that we interpret it and apply it accurately. The second book of Chronicles records the construction of the temple under the direction of King Solomon. In chapter 6, Solomon knelt down before God’s people, spread his hands out toward heaven, and broke out into an amazing prayer of dedication.
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 says, “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘He is good; His love endures forever.’”