Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Healing Our Land: A Call to Prayer and Action by Charles F. Stanley

Administrator's note: We came across this article written by Charles Stanley from In Touch Ministries and found it to be a great encouragement and exhortation for us as we embark on a two week prayer for our nation of Malaysia. Although this article is written with reference to our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in America, we can learn and apply the truths shared by Charles in our own situation here in Malaysia.

Please visit the website this article was obtained from:

We appreciate and thank In Touch Ministries for their permission to publish this article here.

Many government buildings in Washington, D.C., have Bible verses etched into their walls. Our coins carry the inscription, “In God we trust.” The president and other government officials are typically sworn into office with a hand on the Scriptures. All of these are signs of our country’s Judeo-Christian foundation.

Yet despite our heritage, many current government leaders take a cynical view of religion. Certain legislation and judicial decisions seek to remove or marginalize faith-based influence. Morally, our society has drifted far from biblical standards. We continue to squander the blessings God has bestowed upon this great nation, and as a result, we are in danger of losing them. The Lord will not continue to prosper a nation that violates His laws and refuses to honor Him.

Now, before you get discouraged, let me reassure you that this judgment is not inevitable. After King Solomon dedicated the temple the Lord explained how to restore the land if Israel strayed from its devotion to Him. Second Chronicles 7:14 says,

[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

While this promise was for a specific people, place and time, we can apply the same principles when we intercede for the United States. There are three ways we can take action to help our country avoid possible judgment:

We must humble ourselves. At its heart, humility is the recognition that we need God. Although we are a great nation, we can’t take credit for our status without acknowledging the Lord’s help. We recognize that we do not deserve His goodness but plead for His tender mercies nonetheless. If we have been spiritually apathetic, negligent in prayer, or deliberately disobedient, we must confess and receive the Father’s forgiveness. Only when we are contrite do we begin to appreciate our merciful God in glorious new ways.

We must intercede for our land. Talking with the Lord is a natural outgrowth of humility, because prayer is a simple declaration of dependence. Crying out to God reveals our deep and abiding need for Him. Our intercession should go far beyond a quick, half-hearted, request for the Lord to intervene on our behalf. Instead, we must pray with urgency and desperation. We should be motivated by a burden to see God reach any who are hurting, broken, or lost without a Christ-centered moral compass.

Scripture also commands us to intercede for those in government. Paul wrote, “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). I encourage you to pray for the President, those who counsel him, and our elected officials. Intercede for each Supreme Court justice by name. Find a list of your local authorities and pray specifically for them. Ask the Lord to guide their decisions and lead their lives. Prayer is the most effective way to influence our nation’s destiny.

We must seek God’s face. Ask, “Lord, how can I make a difference in the lives of those who don’t know You? How can I be part of the solution rather than part of the problem?”

There are two primary ways to influence culture. First, ask God to use you to reach others with the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. With His guidance, befriend those who don’t know the Lord, and demonstrate His love to them in tangible ways. When the Holy Spirit gives you opportunities, tell others what Christ has done in your life.

Second, take a stand for truth. When you ask God to make you an influence for righteousness in our culture, He may lead you to something specific. As Christians, we must be willing to defend our freedoms and get involved in our communities. Sometimes that means boldly taking an unpopular moral stand, fighting legislation that contradicts scriptural principles, or electing officials who will uphold our values. Other times it means reaching out to a neighbor or coworker in need. You may be surprised at what God leads you to do. But as you follow the Holy Spirit, He will use you to impact others in a powerful way.

You are part of the kingdom of heaven, but you are also part of this awesome country, the United States of America. God wants us to humble ourselves, seek His face in prayer, and repent of our selfishness and sin. He desires to heal our land, just as He did for ancient Israel. May the Lord touch your heart with this challenge, anoint your lips with truth, and empower your arms for service. May God bless America.

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