Wednesday, November 2, 2016

America's Most Urgent Prayer Need

This article was posted on May 1, 2013, as we anticipated the Nation Day of Pray. It is as pertinent today as it was three-and-a-half years ago, only now it is more obvious. With the election fast approaching, I ask you to read with an open heart. I believe it is God's desire for our nation. 

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Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. People in the Stanwood-Camano community will, once again, meet in the parking lot of Haggen from 12:00 till 1:00 p.m. to worship and pray together while people across the country will be praying in similar gatherings throughout the day, focusing on the injunction to "Pray for America," the theme of this year's National Day of Prayer.

We watch, stunned, as each day we see greater evidence of the need for prayer for our nation. It is impossible to listen to the news without recognizing that America is in distress—economically, politically, spiritually, in our families, our schools, and our neighborhoods.

But I believe there is a need even deeper than our need for reform in our country. It is for revival.

Revival is what happens when men and women of God come to him in humility, crying out for God's forgiveness for sin, for his cleansing, and for his deep work in their lives. It comes when we acknowledge our desperation as individuals and as a church for God himself, when we realize that we cannot do the work of God without the grace and power of God. It comes when we throw ourselves completely on him, allowing him to fill and direct us.

The fruit of revival is manifold, but I believe the greatest evidence of revival is love. When we have met with God and he has revived our souls—and our churches—there will be such an outpouring of God's love within the church and into the community that everyone will know that we are his disciples (John 13:35). And we will work to end injustice; we will serve with joy; we will not bicker among ourselves; we will be clean vessels through which the light of Christ can shine.

When God's people are revived in this way, others will be drawn to the light. But until revival comes,  we will not experience the fullness of God's power in our lives or our nation.

I encourage you to pray for America, but don't limit your prayers to one day of the year. Let's make prayer for our nation a part of our daily lives. Let us pray from hearts that are seeking him for revival. Let us allow God to do his work within our own hearts and within the church. Until we seek his face and receive his cleansing we cannot really expect God to heal our land.