Monday, June 28, 2010

We've Blown It - Now Let's Own It! (A Call to Prayer)

We all know the crisis in the Gulf with the oil spill is escalating with each new day.  I don't know about you, but my heart is seriously burdened for our country - especially those in the Gulf coast.  My heart breaks as I see the photos of dead sea life, fires spilling toxic smoke into our atmosphere and all the while, the oil is spilling out thousands of gallons of oil each day into the previously beautiful Gulf Coast - with seemingly no end in sight.

I think it's time we get serious about stopping this catastrophe from escalating any more.  As believers, we have power in prayer!  It's time we realize that it's our responsibility to join together in prayer for this disaster to stop and for the condition of our country.  There is much to be learned through the scriptures about how this could be done.

We all have heard the reports that our US administration has turned its back on supporting Israel, and according to the Bible that is a slippery slope to destruction.  Sure, that may sound crazy to some - but it's in the Bible and if you believe the Bible is true, you cannot ignore this.  In Genesis 12:3, the Lord said to Abraham, concerning what would be Israel, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt."  I am not saying this oil spill is the wrath of God - I cannot ever presume to know God's motives in allowing something like this.  I'm not trying to super-spiritualize anything here - I'm just letting you know what the Bible says.  We either take heed or we don't.

It's not a big newsflash that the United States has come very far from its Biblical roots.  God is not tolerated here anymore - not in the schools, not in the government, not in most public areas.  We have allowed this to happen right under our noses as we are so preoccupied with so many things that keep us busy and distracted.  In Revelation 2:4-5 Jesus said "But I have this complaint against you.  You don't love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.  If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches."  We must turn back - we must repent and ask for mercy from our God!

We are persecuted for our belief in God - and there are so many misconceptions of who God really is.  He is thought of as cruel, dividing, intolerant and judgmental.  Yes, He is just - but He is also full of mercy and grace.  He is loving, patient, kind, peaceful, gentle and He is our only hope.  Are we full of these things for others?  Or are we judging people and blaming the "sinners" for what is going on in our country?  God is looking at us set things right - through humility and repentance.

As believers in Christ, we have a responsibility here (keeping in mind that our responsibility is our response to God's ability!).  Let's not put others down for what they are doing or not doing - maybe they don't see what we see.  God was clear to Israel, when they turned their backs on Him and began to tolerate more and more evil..."If My people, who are called by My Name, would humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Believers are His people, too.  We have been grafted into God's family (Romans 11).  We are responsible for humbling ourselves, seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways.  Those who do not know Him are not the ones responsible for doing this - they don't even know what it means.  But we do.  We can make a difference for our country.  We've blown it - now let's own it!  Proverbs 28:13 says "...whoever confesses and renounces his sins will find mercy."

Remember Daniel?  He didn't blame the administration or the "sinners" for what was wrong with Israel.  He took responsibility.  He offered up a prayer to God that convicts my heart every time I read it.  He didn't say "they" or "them" even ONCE.  He said "we" and "us".  He took responsibility instead of pointing fingers.  He humbled himself.  You can read his prayer below.

My point is this:  Let's join together in prayer, as believers, and humble ourselves.  Let's stop pointing fingers.  It's not helping - it's harming us more than anything.  Let's turn from our wicked ways of judging others, being angry, being indifferent and being self-reliant.  Only God has the qualifications to judge others.  He is our Defender.  Let's seek His Face!  Let's ask God, as Daniel did, to help us.  He alone can do this.  Let's watch Him do it!

Will you join me?  Would you forward this message to your believing friends, your church, your family?  Let's start world-wide prayer to stop the madness!  Let's all start praying together on JULY 4, 2010 in unity.  We can pray as families, in our churches (this day happens to be a Sunday), in our quiet times, or however we feel led.  We should fast and pray if we feel led to do that, as well. 

God is faithful, my friends.  He loves us.  We cannot do this without His Spirit.  And He is standing at the door and knocking to come in - and even though our administration is not allowing Him into our country, we can let Him in.

He is with us - and He is able.  Let's pray Daniel's prayer together - and let's see God show up in a mighty way to save our land from certain destruction!  Obviously, Daniel was praying for Jerusalem - let's pray for the United States of America as well as Jerusalem and the world today.  This crisis does not just affect the Gulf Coast.  It is effecting the world.  God will honor our sincere prayers, friends.  He is faithful.

Daniel 9:4-19 (New International Version)

 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:
       "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

 7 "Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
       "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

 15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
 17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name."

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