Whatever our particular hardship or concern in this season, prayer is our means of accessing God. How can we not wonder about the forces bombarding our nation? Is COVID 19 being used and manipulated for political purposes—domestic and/or foreign? Is our sin reaping its own reward, or is our nation under attack by the enemy of our souls? Aren’t violence, division, fear, and pride some of his favorite tools? Some ask if end times are upon us? Whatever our questions, prayer is the means of aligning ourselves with God. He remains sovereign. The Creator of the universe is not caught off guard or frightened by current events. Father God has not left us without recourse, instruction, or example. We can pray that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
HOW MIGHT WE ALIGN OURSELVES WITH HIS WILL?
To align ourselves with God is to follow biblical commands and examples. We like to quote God’s promise to heal our land in II 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. The promised forgiveness and healing, however, are quite conditional on humility and repentance. Let’s confess the sin of our nation. Please consider fasting as another means of humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God as we are exhorted in I Peter 5:6. Our local church, Battle Ground Foursquare, did both of these things last week. A day was set aside for fasting, and those who did so then prayed together that evening by means of a Zoom meeting. There was praise. There was much intercession, but it was preceded by repentance for our national sin. It was powerful.
WHAT ARE OUR RESOURCES FOR PRAYER?
PRAYER PARTNERS encourage us, rejoice in answered prayer, and lovingly hold us accountable. . . there were two dear women with whom I prayed weekly as we raised our families in Canby . . . two years with a gifted group of intercessors in Vancouver who changed my life . . . two faithful women, Robin and Carollyn, I joined during our ten years in Troutdale; we still meet monthly . . . and now Battle Ground prayer warriors bless me weekly.
JESUS, OUR HIGH PRIEST, PROMISES TO JOIN US. Matthew 18:20 Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
PRAY TO BECOME FAITHFUL INTERCESSORS. James 4:2 We have not because we ask not. The crucial question is how diligently do we actually pray for our nation? National leaders? Revival? Our churches? Nations around the world? The persecuted church? For me, focused, listening prayer has come by means of writing out my conversations with the Lord in a PRAYER JOURNAL or on my computer.
THE HOLY SPIRIT intercedes for us. Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
THE NAME OF JESUS invokes His authority. John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. Matthew 8:5-13 contains the story of the Centurion whose faith Jesus praised. This Centurion understood the superior authority of Jesus. Even individually, we can pray in the name and authority of Jesus, our resurrected Savior who sits at the right hand of God.
BIBLICAL PROMISES often include instructions for us to follow. John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire , and it shall be done for you. John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give to you. I Timothy 2:1-2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
SCRIPTURAL PRAYERS are available in both Old and New Testaments. When we follow these examples, we know we are praying according to His will. Look at Moses, Nehemiah, Ezra and how they prayed for the nation of Israel. www.lbdsoftware.com/All the Prayers of the Bible.pdf
BOOKS ON PRAYER worth a second read:
- QUIET TALKS ON PRAYER by S. D. Gordon
- MOVING MOUNTAINS by John Eldredge
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS unite and mobilize us in prayer across the nation and around the world.
- INTERCESSORS FOR AMERICA allows us to team up electronically with other believers across the nation in prayer at any time. https://ifapray.org
- PRESIDENTIAL PRAYER TEAM sends out a weekly email update with requests and suggestions for prayer regarding events and various leaders. https://presidentialprayerteam.org
- OPERATION WORLD prays, alphabetically, for every nation in the world . Information and focus are offered daily on the nation of focus via a convenient app. https://operationworld.org
BELIEVING PRAYER changes things, and it changes us. In Him, we are not helpless. We become warriors empowered by Jesus’ name to stand in the gap for our nation, the church, and our people. In faith, our prayers move people and change history. May we become the ones to invite God’s intervention and unveil hope in the current turmoil. Matthew 17:20. God is our Father, and He listens to his children when we come boldly before His throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16. Let us do so, in faith, in the name of Jesus Christ, our resurrected Savior. Amen.