The pundits take their usual positions, each looking for someone to blame. ... But let’s not miss the obvious here — the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart!
The Bible tells us our heart is wicked beyond comprehension, as demonstrated recently in Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn., and now Boston, Mass.
Speaking of the darkness of the human heart, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9 NIV)
There has been a lot of talk lately about gun control, but perhaps we should talk more about self-control -- a change of heart!
There is only one person that can bring this about, and it’s God Himself!
In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans turned to God like we had not seen in a long time -- prayer vigils were common -- members of Congress stood at the steps of the Capitol Building, spontaneously singing “God Bless America.”
That song has the answer we are looking for in our country right now. Written by Irving Berlin in 1938, it really is introduced as a prayer:
“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”
Then the familiar chorus:
“God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.”
The prayer we need is God’s blessing on America: “Through the night with a light from above.”
We are in that night in America right now. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).
It’s time for America to turn back to God. As threats seem to grow from those that wish us harm and have the means to carry it out like Iran and North Korea, let us turn to the Lord in prayer for our great country.
For the people of Boston, let’s pray that God comforts those who are mourning and extends His healing hand to those who are suffering. Let’s pray for wisdom for law enforcement as they try to find out who is responsible for this horrific attack and that justice will be meted out. Finally, pray that people in their hour of need will turn to Christ who can give them hope in a hopeless world.
I hope you will join me on the National Day of Prayer, May 2, to ask God to bless and protect America. We need it more than ever.
Pastor Greg Laurie is the honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer and the founder of the Harvest Crusades. Harvest America 2013 will be simulcast live from Philadelphia on Sept. 28–29.
Publication date: April 18, 2013