Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has issued a proclamation declaring today a voluntary “Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting.” He explained: “We know that prayer accomplishes much. Prayer strengthens our families and it strengthens our communities. It strengthens our relationship with our neighbors. It strengthens our relationship with God himself.”
As a result, the governor states, “Maria and I will take the day and offer prayers of healing. Prayers for forgiveness. Prayers of thanksgiving. And prayers of hope for our state and for the 6.7 million who call Tennessee home. We invite all Tennesseans to join us. In their homes. In their communities. In their places of worship, to fast and to pray for God’s favor and blessing on the people of Tennessee.”
Of course, some claim that the governor’s proclamation violates the separation of church and state and are urging him to “keep religion out of politics.” This despite the fact that US presidents have issued similar declarations numerous times, beginning with President George Washington on November 26, 1789.
The less people welcome our intercession, the more they need it.
Global Day of Prayer in Jerusalem
In related news, an estimated 100 million Christians and Jews participated in the Global Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem last Sunday. David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, was the keynote speaker. He and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion were joined by seventy millennial pastors from the US, Canada, and Brazil.
The founder of the global day of prayer called it “the largest annual prayer gathering in the world of Christians praying in solidarity with Jerusalem.” The event concluded a three-day worship and prayer gathering called Awake Jerusalem, where hundreds of Christians from over twenty nations assembled at key sites in the Holy City for worship, teaching, and prayer.
We are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), knowing that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Scripture promises that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).
The key is not with us but with the One to whom we pray. The power to change our lives and our culture resides with him alone. But he cannot give what we will not receive: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
“Jesus never ended his earthly ministry.”
There is much we can do with God after we pray.
In my wife’s latest blog, she writes: “It’s so important we notice the Holy Spirit at work in the world. I think we can see Jesus at work every day, if we simply watch for him. Jesus never ended his earthly ministry. He continues to work today, through the Holy Spirit.
“Jesus wants to use your arms, your words, and your love to manifest his Presence. There are powerful moments ahead in our lives if we will yield ourselves to his Holy Spirit.”
Janet is right. Jesus commissioned us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) in his name and for his glory. We are each gifted for a unique kingdom assignment on earth.
However, there is nothing we can do for God until we pray.
Oswald Chambers: “I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot atone for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God.”
Adjusting to the dark
The less our culture wants our intercession, the more it needs it.
The less we want to pray for others, the more we need to pray for others.
C. S. Lewis noted, “Error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence.” The more secular our culture becomes, the less it recognizes its rejection of God. As the lights dim slowly, our eyes adjust until we are sitting in the dark without realizing it.
If you’re wondering if your intercession for America would truly make a difference, know that you are hearing from the enemy, not the Lord. And know that God will answer your prayers in ways you may not expect.
Reading the Bible over a nation
A dear friend of mine pastors a church in Cuba that is impacting his island nation for Christ. One way his congregation is making a culture-changing difference is through an annual day of prayer.
A member of the church stands in the church’s upstairs prayer room, where he or she reads the Bible over their city for an hour. Another member spends that hour in intercession. Then two more members take their place and continue reading Scripture and praying.
In this way, the congregation reads the entire Bible over their city while praying for spiritual awakening and victory. This annual event has led to decreases in gang violence and occult activity and empowered the Christian community in their city to stand even more boldly for Christ.
What if evangelical Christians across our country made every day a “Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting”?
If God answers prayer in Cuba, will he answer prayer in America?
NOTE: As the conflict in Syria continues, it is important for Christians to be informed intercessors. I invite you to read my latest website article, “Who are the Kurds? Why is Turkey invading Syria? How should Christians respond?”
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Publication Date: October 10, 2019
Photo Courtesy: Ricardo Gomez Angel/Unsplash