Summary: A call to prayer for the US - useful for a 4th of July type message, but not limited to that. Prayer for our nation is biblical, necessary, and a regular practice of the citizen of the Kingdom of God
It’s the time of year still that you have to keep an eye on the weather. I’m a fan of Doppler radar, and of smart phone technology. I have an app now that tells me how many minutes it will be before it starts to rain where I’m at, and then it tells me how long the rain will last. So, the next time there’s severe weather, wherever I am, I can watch it, and the weather experts can tell me all about it.
Still, there’s one thing they haven’t been able to do: change it. You can trace the weather, predict it, chase it, photograph it and warn people about it, but the fact is when there’s a tornado in the area, the most we can do is hide from it and then clean up after it. We can’t change it. We can’t stop it. We can only watch it happen and then react after it’s gone.
There’s another storm coming. You can watch it – on your computer, your TV, your smart phone. Have you been watching it? I’m all in favor of being positive, and I have a very positive message to focus on today, but the tide of our nation is changing, and it’s largely becoming something most of us don’t want. Individual freedoms are being taken away. The very ideals upon which our nation was founded are being forgotten, denied, or hidden away. Even our President, a few years ago, openly denied that the United States is a nation resting on Christian principles. There’s a rise in crime associated with the pressure on police. Internationally, there’s growing conflict in the Middle East and a growing, hateful enemy that calls itself the Islamic State that seems bent on world chaos. There’s a storm on the radar, and it’s headed this way.
What do we do about the coming storm?
Is the tide of the nation like a storm cell – we can trace it, chase it, predict it, run from it, photograph it, wonder at it, hide from it, and even clean up after it – but we can’t do a thing to change it? Really?
E.M. Bounds was a man of prayer who placed himself at the front lines of revival and change in the US. Bounds said:
“Prayer concerns God, whose purposes and plans are conditioned on prayer. His will and His glory are bound up in praying…When the church is in the condition of prayer, God’s cause always flourishes, and His kingdom on earth always triumphs. When the church fails to pray, God’s cause decays, and evil of every kind prevails.”
I want to be a part of God’s cause flourishing and triumphing. How about you?
Whoever you are, you need to know that when you came here this morning, you set foot in the House of God – not a temple in Jerusalem, and not a building at 6595 Guilford Road, but a spiritual part of God’s House – His Church – His people where His Spirit lives. By sitting with this group of people, you are sitting in the House of God. Amen? God said in Isaiah 56:7 “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Jesus reemphasized that, when He threw the money changers and salespeople out of the Temple. God’s House – which today is made up of you and me – is declared by him to be a house of prayer. Are we?
Our nation needs us to pray for it.
Why must we pray? I’m glad you asked that! I want to point out a few reasons we must, and then put it into practice even before we’re out the doors today…
1. God Commands It
The simplest answer when questioning the why of something is this one. Because God says so. That’s somewhere above “because Mom said so,” and even more final in its nature!
We must be praying because it’s commanded.
God assumes this of His people…
(When you pray… Matthew 6:5,6,7
Pray then like this… Matthew 6:9
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Not only did Jesus assume His followers would pray – he set the example during the short term of his stay on earth, and then He commanded it through the authors of the NT. Whether we understand it or not, whether we even know what to say or not, we’re commanded to pray.
More specifically, we’re commanded to pray for the nation where we live
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (HCSB)
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior,