I have been torn these days, on one hand, in wanting to keep up with politics and world news, and on the other hand, wanting to shut out the news, delete my Facebook account, and ignore current events.
I have also struggled to discern truth from “fake news” and “alternative facts.” I really believe that media sources are biased, and events and decisions being made in our country are viewed through lenses of bias and are based on preconceived agendas and worldly attitudes. Let’s be discerning of truth and careful where we get our news from and how we interpret them.
I have especially struggled seeing the Christian community divided over politics and national policy. We all claim to read the same Bible and serve the same God, so why are we so divided? I have also struggled seeing those who judge fellow Christians and post critical, judgmental remarks, even questioning the salvation of others based on their political opinions and beliefs.
I have challenged myself to read both sides of issues and to read articles I don’t agree with to challenge my own thinking and to help understand various viewpoints. I am scared to end up on the wrong side of history regarding issues in our world today, and this has encouraged me to dig deeper into God’s Word and to ask Him for wisdom and discernment.
So, in regards to the present state of our nation, I would like to give you a few things to ponder:
1. The first is regarding Christian unity. In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays for all believers as such: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
This is Jesus’ final prayer the evening before His crucifixion indicating the importance of unity and the difficulty future generations of Christians would have in achieving it. We should not compromise truth, but we should seek peace and unity with other believers, and we should not judge them or question their salvation.
2. Secondly, Paul instructs us on the importance of prayer and our role in praying for authorities. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Are we praying for our authorities? Are we living quiet and peaceable lives?
3. Third, God is not the author of confusion. There is a lot of confusion in America these days. There is confusion over the role of government, confusion over what to believe, and even confusion over gender and identity. There is confusion rather than truth. This confusion then leads to apathy. I have felt confused sorting through news stories and opinion pieces. We live in an unprecedented time where anyone can publish a blog or write an article and get their opinions heard. With our society’s embracing of moral relativism, even Christians are seeing shades of gray rather than standing on the solid truth of God’s Word.
Jesus makes it very simple when He declared, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) We are also told in 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” Peace in this verse is a restful mind, not troubled by confusion or doubt. Let us fill our minds with the Word of God and know Truth in the person of Jesus Christ. Instead of confusion leading to apathy, we should declare truth and take appropriate action.
4. Fourth, let us look to Jesus and put our faith in Him. Our hope is not in our government or our leaders but in our God who appoints such leaders. “It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)
5. Fifth, there are spiritual battles taking place in our country that we cannot even begin to fathom. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
As sin and wickedness have increased, spiritual strongholds have developed over this nation. We have affirmed, celebrated, and accepted all kinds of sin, and we continue the slaughter of our unborn children. Our prayers are powerful, and we engage in battle against the forces of evil when we pray for righteousness. We see this in Daniel chapter 10 as Daniel prays, and we are shown a glimpse of the “behind the scenes,” unseen battle that takes place in the spiritual realm.
6. Sixth, the root of the issue today is sin. It is the struggle that began in the Garden of Eden.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Greg Laurie in an article from last week called “Why America Needs a Spiritual Awakening,” quotes Historian Will Durant who wrote of the fall of Rome, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals.”
Laurie writes about America, “We are rotting from within. How will we solve this dilemma? Let me say this. Politicians won’t do it for us. They can bring some help and assistance, but it won’t get to the root of the problem. Nor will government programs. There is no short-term solution. The only answer for the ills of this country is a heaven-sent spiritual awakening, a revival. I am not talking about a turn to spirituality or a turn to a god, whatever you conceive him or her or it to be. I am talking about a return to the Living God…”
In America we are struggling with sin; sin which we have redefined, allowed, accepted, and even embraced. We must repent and call sin what it really is, sin.
7. Finally, there is hope for the future! We claim God’s promise from 2 Chronicles 7:14,
“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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Let’s pray this verse together in humility, seek God’s face, repent, and look forward to revival and healing in our lives, families, churches, and nation!
The following prayer is based on Daniel’s prayer for Israel in Daniel chapter 9 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.
We humble ourselves and pray together for our country:
Lord, we set our faces toward you to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting and humility.
O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps Your covenant and mercy with those who love You, and with those who keep Your commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity. We, in the United States of America, have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.
Neither have we heeded Your servants, the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our leaders, to our ancestors and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us belongs shame of face, as it is this day; to the people of America, to the inhabitants of our great cities and to all Americans – those near and those far off, because of our unfaithfulness and the corporate sins we have committed against You.
To You, Lord our God, belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against You. We have not obeyed Your voice, Lord our God, to walk in Your laws which You set before us by Your servants the prophets. Yes, all America has transgressed Your law and has departed so as not to obey Your voice. Our sins have reached to heaven, and You have remembered our iniquities and the blood of the innocents, yet we have not brought our prayers before You, O LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore, You have kept disaster in mind, but we pray that You will not bring it upon us; for You, LORD our God, are righteous in all Your works, though we have not obeyed Your voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made Yourself a name, as it is this day – we have sinned, we have done wickedly!
O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, we pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from America because of our sins, and for the iniquities of our ancestors and Your people who have become a reproach to many who are around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servants, and our supplications; cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuaries, which are desolate. O God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations and the desolations of our cities, for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, O God, for America and for Your people who are called by Your name.
Lord, we humble ourselves before your mighty throne and cry out for mercy.
Lord, we repent; we turn from our wicked ways, and we seek your gracious face of mercy. We ask you to hear our prayers and supplications, forgive the sins of this nation and heal our land.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.