Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Author – Dave Butts
The United States is clearly a nation in trouble. A battered economy, political divisiveness, the culture wars, racial uneasiness, and a sidelined church, provide the dry tinder for an inflammatory national election in November of 2016. Many stake their hopes or fears on the outcome.
While believing in and encouraging the importance of exercising our right to vote, we also call the Christian Church in America to do that which is even more critical in these days…to pray! The seriousness of our day requires an intensity of prayer that is unprecedented. Accordingly, we call for 40 days and nights of unrelenting intercession on behalf of our nation from September 30 through Election Day, November 8th.
We need to do what Israel did in Joel’s day!
“Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing–grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God” (Joel 2:12-17)?
Our focus in prayer is simple. We are praying for:
1. Revival in the Church-that another Great Awakening would sweep across America as the Lord’s people humble themselves in repentance and prayer: “If my people, who are called by my name, will 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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
2. A standard of righteousness to be raised over this nation: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
3. The elections- that God would intervene. This is not a partisan or political effort but a plea to bring God into a process that desperately needs His wisdom and direction: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).
This is a call, not from one ministry or organization, but from diverse leaders from across the spectrum of the U.S. Church. It is also not a call to a particular event. It is a pleading for all Christians to do something proactive and powerful in prayer for the 40 days leading up to our fall elections. Prayer walking our neighborhoods using the prayer points above makes this a personal activity that allows us to impact our nation together.
As leaders in the Body of Christ, we commit ourselves to prayer during these days of decision regarding the future of our nation. Even more, we commit ourselves to mobilize prayer in our spheres of influence,that every part of the Lord’s Church would join together in day and night prayer for the intervention of God on behalf of our nation.
As in Joel’s day, the call is for everyone…all the Lord’s people from the oldest to the youngest. It’s for everyone to humble themselves and pray. How will you respond? How will you pray? Between now and then, will you help us blow the trumpet?
© Harvest Prayer Ministries, 2016