Invitation to Invasion
I believe that one of the most powerful, transformative prayers that can be prayed in any circumstance, is the heart of the Lord’s Prayer (often called the Disciples Prayer or the Model Prayer): “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done.” As I was praying this one day over a particular situation, I sensed from The Lord that this was an invitation for an invasion. An invasion of the Kingdom of God into the kingdom of my own little world.
We all have a strong tendency to serve as kings over our own kingdoms. We make our own rules and set up our own boundaries. Of course, our little kingdoms are a wreck. The problem is bad leadership…and yes…we are each the incompetent leaders of our individual kingdoms. Sometimes the best thing that can happen is a benevolent invasion.
Years ago I was visiting in the totalitarian nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. During a fascinating conversation with a Burmese taxi driver, he said that he wished the United States would invade his country. He said they would be much better off under our leadership. Quite apart from the morality or rightness of such an invasion, it was a very revealing statement. This taxi driver saw the suffering of his people under bad rulers, and wished for a beneficent invasion.
Perhaps we need the clarity of that Burmese taxi driver regarding our own personal kingdoms. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us we are blessed when we recognize that we are spiritually poor. With that sort of humble awareness that we are miserable rulers of our own kingdoms, perhaps we will begin to pray for a new ruler of a new kingdom. We will offer an invitation to an invasion as we pray in each and every situation of life, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.”
(c) Harvest Prayer Ministries, 2022
Praying Psalm 23
Growing up in church was a wonderful privilege for me. One of the benefits was the encouragement I received to memorize scripture. I’m pretty sure that the first full chapter I ever memorized was Psalm 23. The beautiful imagery and spiritual depth of the Good Shepherd’s Psalm has been a blessing for me throughout my life.
Though I rarely use the King James Version anymore, I still revert to that when praying through Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
There are many benefits to memorizing scripture, but one of the best is the ease of access to God’s Word when praying. It is a simple matter for me to pray Psalm 23 because I have committed it to memory.
Sometimes Psalm 23 suffers from the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. We view it as a nice, safe portion of scripture best used at funerals. May I suggest instead that this powerful Psalm prayed regularly with insight can bring transformation to your life at a deep level?
Consider what you are asking of Him. Psalm 23 from beginning to end is all about the Presence of God in a person’s life. When prayed from that perspective, it changes all of life. David, the Shepherd King, understood from personal experience what a shepherd’s presence means to sheep.
Whether it is protection, provision, rest, or direction, the sheep are dependent upon the leadership and presence of their shepherd. That is precisely what is needed in our lives today.
What has become a powerful spiritual experience for me involves personalizing Psalm 23 as I pray. It is astonishing to me how I sense the Lords presence by simply changing a pronoun. “You are my shepherd, Lord.” I am speaking to the One who is present with me now.
If you struggle with doing this, please note that David himself, the author of this Psalm, personalizes His prayer: “Thou(You) are with me”…”thy (Your) rod and staff”…”thou (You) preparest a table”….”thou (You) anointest.”
Psalm 23 is all about the Lord being present with us every day in every aspect of life. For me, it is the way I experience and live out the truth of Col.1:27, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” No longer just head knowledge or good theology, but a way of life.
Like Col.1:27 which speaks of the Lord’s presence as the hope of glory, so Psalm 23 concludes in a similar way. As we walk with Jesus through all of life, we dwell in the midst of His glory in and as the house of the Lord forever.
My challenge to you today is to memorize Psalm 23 (if you haven’t already) in whatever version you enjoy, and begin to pray these amazing words back to God. This will be a life-changing experience for you as you trust and look to the Father to answer.
(c) Harvest Prayer Ministries, 2021
A Prayer for America
In a time when so many of us struggle to even know how to pray, here is my prayer for our nation. I invite you to join me in lifting these requests to God:
Father of all that is, I bow before You acknowledging You as creator and king over all. As I come to pray for my country, I realize that the prophet Isaiah told us that “the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales” (Is 40:15). No great empire or humble province lasts forever. Yet Your will brings nations into being and uses them as instruments for Your purposes. The Apostle Paul told us, “From one man he (God) made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact place where they should live.” (Acts 17:26).
I thank you for calling into being the United States of America. I am grateful for the godly foundation laid by men and women of faith who built into the very fabric of our country a commitment to freedom that was seen as being a gift from You. Thank You for the sacrifice of so many through the years who gave time, effort, and sometimes, their very lives to preserve and protect that freedom.
With no lessening of my appreciation for this nation, I also realize that we have fallen short of our promise. We have increasingly depended upon our own strength and wisdom rather than that which comes from above. We have often catered to the wealthy and ignored the needs of the poor and afflicted. We have failed to accept all life as a gift from You and have treated the unborn, the ill, and the elderly with increasing contempt. In spite of our stated values of equality and justice, we continue to harbor racism and injustice within our society. Most of all, we have turned our back on You and sought to live as though You were not.
We face troubling times. Our economy has been damaged and many of our citizens are hurting. Our nation is fractured and badly divided in so many ways. The issues faced by our leaders are enormous. Grant them Your grace and peace. Fill them with Your Holy Spirit and give them wisdom and discernment in this critical hour.
Lord…we repent! Please pour out upon our nation a spirit of repentance. Help us to turn from sin and turn back to You. As we seek Your face, would You revive your people once again? Would you empower Your church in this nation to be the salt and light You have called us to be? Would you help us to love You with all of our mind, heart and soul and strength, and to love one another deeply with kindness and goodness? Make us one, Lord, as You and the Father are one. Holy Spirit, teach us how to honor and respect one another and to journey together with one heart – the heart of Jesus. Transform us into image bearers of Christ who bring glory and honor to our Father whenever we speak or act.
Father, in these days of decision, fulfill Your purposes for our nation. I stand in prayer with my brothers and sisters in Christ and re-commit the United States into your care.
Restore to us the vision of being a city on a hill, a place from which the light of Christ can shine to the nations. May we be a nation whose God is the Lord!
© Harvest Prayer Ministries
David Butts (1953-2022) was the co-founder and President of Harvest Prayer Ministries, serving from 1993 to his passing in 2022. He also served on several Boards of Directors and committees focused on prayer, revival and evangelism including:
- President, Gospel Revivals, Inc. (Herald of His Coming)
- Chairman, America’s National Prayer Committee
- Executive Leadership Team, OneCry
- Treasurer, Denominational Prayer Leaders’ Network
- Chairman, Pioneer Bible Translators Board of Directors
- Facilitation Committee – Mission America Coalition
- Executive Committee – Awakening America Alliance
- President 2014 – International Conference on Missions (ICOM)
Some of Dave’s Book
Against All Odds: Prayer to the God of Hope
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
In this season of uncertainty and unrest, discerning the voice of God is critical. What is He saying to us about peace, justice, mercy, forgiveness, freedom, repentance, sin, relationships, and more? If we are only listening to anger and fear, which are speaking VERY loudly right now, the Christ in us cannot be demonstrated in the midst of the clamor.
In my book, With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America, I share a powerful blog written by Dutch Sheets, June 16, 2015. It seems an appropriate time to hear the hope from his heart about our nation:
“Some Christian leaders teach, usually from theological influences, that America will not awaken, turn back to God and recapture her spiritual destiny. Their eschatology doesn’t allow for a “comeback;” for them, the apostasy must continue to worsen.
Many secular leaders also contend, often with an ideological fervor fueled by their personal desires, that this rebirth will never occur. “America has ‘progressed’ too far,” they assert with smug satisfaction, “having left behind its antiquated, Puritanistic ideals and outdated beliefs.” These naysayers are, indeed, correct when they euphorically and gloatingly bloviate about how far we as a nation have drifted from our original beliefs. Secularists and humanists are accurate when they condescendingly point out our moral shifts toward relativism and unbiblical values. With satisfied arrogance, these modernists gleefully vociferate that our government no longer sees itself under and accountable to an “imaginary” Creator, or even to an “outdated” Constitution He supposedly inspired.
With such a dire diagnosis, why, then, am I not hopeless? To the contrary, I have great hope for America because the depth of a fall never determines God’s ability to restore. I’m not afraid of the powerful strongholds because size and strength are completely irrelevant when measuring His ability to deliver. And I’m not intimidated because statistical odds, whether of success or failure, cease to be relevant when God is involved. His limitless ability negates the very concept of “odds” and trumps all other winning hands.”
Don’t embrace any theology or creed that allows God to lose!
I have hope, and I’m dreaming. I dream of a reborn America that is once again a shining light to the rest of the world. I believe this dream was born in God’s heart, embedded in a small group of emigrant pilgrims, and is one I am confident He still maintains. Join me as I dream. Partner with the “superintending providence” that was active in our founding, is involved with our present, and has great plans for our future.
Let it be said of our generation that when a nation teetered on the edge of destruction, having lost the ancient path of truth, we answered the divine call to war for its restoration. Let it be said of us, as it was of our forefathers, that in the face of overwhelming odds, we took our stand in the celestial courtroom, appealing to the Judge of all the earth for His saving grace, mercy, and sustaining power.”
Again, this blog was written in 2015 but it is still very relevant to us in this hour. Let’s press into the knowledge that God is looking for His people to bow in humility and repentance before Him so that He will hear our prayers, forgive our sins and bring healing to our hurting land. It is the people of God who need to respond in this time. May the Church awaken! Let’s pray together:
God of Hope, our past, present and future has always rested in Your capable hands. Open the eyes of our hearts to see and to know the hope of Your calling, the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in Your people, and the surpassing greatness of Your power toward those who believe! We repent for our arrogance, pride and lack of humility in this hour. We seek You for the restoration of our nation to its utter dependence upon Jesus Christ! Give us the strength and determination to step into the future with great hope and faith in Your ability to overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds against those who call upon Your Name. Restore us again so that we might honor You and become known once again as a nation that stands upon Your Word! We ask this with humble hearts in the Name Above All Names!
–adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts.
© Harvest Prayer Ministries
3 Prayers for a Nation in Crisis
During these days of division, anger, and uncertainty, most of us aren’t quite sure how to respond. What we must not forget is that we are not powerless. Our voices are heard in heaven! We can and need to ask God to intervene and to give us insight for ways we can respond with the love of Christ.
Here are some simple prayer points that we can pray together on behalf of our hurting neighbors and our nation.
“Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Ps. 32:6-7).
It seems that the waters across our land are rising quickly and threatening to consume our cities.
Father, we ask for Your hand of protection to be upon our nation during these days of unrest and anger. Protect the lives of the angry as well as the officers and military personnel who are trying to restore order. Calm hearts and minds and bring restoration through justice and acts of repentance, humility and extraordinary love. Sing Your song of deliverance over our hurting nation, Lord.
“I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Lev. 26:11-12).
The Presence of God changes lives and meets the deepest needs—not just those of individuals, but also the needs of a culture. Welcoming the Presence of the Lord into our nation should be an essential part of our prayers.
Make Your Presence known Lord! In the midst of darkness, confusion and despair, may the light of Your glory shine. We welcome You and ask You to walk among us. Change lives, bring unity and stir Your people to be the image bearers of Jesus in this troubling hour! We long for Your presence to permeate our culture and transform our nation.
“Peace, peace to them, both near and far, for I will heal them all” (Isaiah 57:19).
In the midst of a badly divided nation from top to bottom, we desperately need God’s peace. He has placed His Church in a position of godly authority to stand for righteousness and justice…and to be instruments of His healing in our world.
Prince of Peace, come and walk through the streets of our cities. Rest upon the hurting, the angry and those who are bent on destruction. Awaken Your Church! Give us courage and kindness in order to be the peacemakers You designed us to be! Help us to demonstrate justice for all people and the unity of a people who is one in You, because You created us equally. We long for Your peace to come to our nation, Lord!