Next Thursday, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer for our country. If there ever was a time that we as a nation need to come together in a time of prayer, it is now. We have an economic crisis resulting from years of greed, sin is not just tolerated but is exalted as “alternative life-style”, disrespect and disregard of life is rampant, and now our government is heading us down the slippery slope to socialism. Yes, we need to call on God, Who brought this nation into existence over 200 years ago, Who called us to preach the gospel to all the world and to be a friend to Israel; we need repentance as individuals and as a nation. We need to obey the command of 2 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.” (NKJV)
It’s not enough to just have some religious groups meet or have some prayers read in town hall meetings. We can’t just go through the motions of calling it a Day of Prayer with no repentance and expect to see any positive changes in our nation.
In the Old Testament, the Jewish people had gone into captivity and in time some were living in Persia under King Xerxes. One of his officials hated the Jews and persuaded Xerxes to publish an edict that on a certain day, all the Jews were to be killed and their possessions to be confiscated. Mordecai the Jew, who also served King Xerxes, sent word to Queen Esther and asked her to go to the king and appeal to the king on their behalf. When she finally consented, she instructed Mordecai to call all the Jews in the city and “fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days and nights. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
We have a more just King than Xerxes. The One to whom we appeal is eager to receive us and to hear our plea. But we must go before him with clean hands and a pure heart.
Job 11:13-15 says, “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you.
Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.” (New Living Translation)
Prepare our hearts. How do we do that? Esther fasted. Daniel fasted and prayed. Moses fasted and prayed. Jesus before starting his ministry on earth spent 40 days and nights in the desert fasting and praying. Before we can effectively pray for our nation, we must first be sure our own lives are pure before the Lord. Maybe not everyone can go three days and nights without eating or drinking, but we all can give up something to spend more time with the Lord. Instead of watching the evening news, spend that time reading the Word and praying. How much time do we spend every day doing non-essential things, not that there is anything wrong with them, but maybe just for three days we can give those things up to spend more time praying and seeking God’s face. If every Christian would spend the next three days devoting more of their time with the Lord on behalf of our nation, this year’s Day of National of Prayer could be the “re”-turning point for our nation.
Peace and blessings.