It’s Time For Corporate Prayer
July 1, 2008 - A grass-roots movement of prayer is spreading across the United States of America. Each Thursday at noon, people are meeting to intercede for the nation. Why? Our nation is at a crossroads. “America is in grave danger, and no one knows what to do” were the words shared by someone from the White House.
by Kay Arthur
Many believe the outcome of the upcoming election will determine the future of America. But those who know the whole counsel of the Word of God realize that because it is God who sets up rulers and brings them down (Daniel 2:21), ultimately it is He who will decide the fate of America.
The sovereignty of God and the free will of man are parallel truths that we experience as we move toward the coming of the Son of Man. God makes it clear that what He decides is greatly dependent on the behavior of man.
I want us to look over the next several months at our national situation through the study of the Scriptures. May God use it to awaken us to righteousness.
Let’s begin with a nation’s accountability to God. Many times we fall into thinking that the only nation God holds accountable is the nation of Israel, but is that true? Read Ezekiel 14:12-21. As you read, mark the text. Unless you are a first-time reader of my Bible study articles, you know our goal at Precept Ministries International is to help you discover truth for yourself, to go deeper into the Word of God and disciple others. The most important step in discovering truth is careful and accurate observation of the text. Marking the text helps you do that.
Read the text aloud and do the following: Put a triangle over every reference to the Lord, including the pronouns I and Me, or color them yellow. Underline or color code every reference to a country in orange, including pronouns. Double underline the references to land.
12 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,
13 “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast,
14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord GOD.
15 “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts,
16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate.
17 “Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’
18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
19 “Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it,
20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”
21 For thus says the Lord GOD, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!”
Once you mark the text, make a list of the truths you observe. What do you learn about the Lord in these verses? And what do you learn from marking the country that sins against God. What are the judgments? Who brings them? What does this tell you about God? What is the point God wants you to get when He refers to Noah, Daniel and Job?
Why did I take you to verse 21? Israel is addressed separately; therefore, God is truly singling out countries that sin against Him by committing unfaithfulness. The conclusion? All nations—including America—are accountable to the One who, according to Acts 17:20-31, ordained them.
Now then, let’s reason together. Has America committed unfaithfulness towards God? What is the moral status of our nation today? How do we measure up to the commandments of God? His Word? His precepts?
Take a moment and list what you think our sins are before God. Why might God have a case against us?
Have we as a nation ever known such rebellion? Such disregard for God’s Word? Can we give the excuse that we don’t know better? America has more Bibles and more versions of the Bible than any other nation in the world. We have monuments in our nation’s capital with God’s name carved on them.
Even now we are experiencing God’s judgments, and many don’t even know it. In fact, woe be to the person who has the guts to say God is behind the calamities we are experiencing. It’s not something we want to hear. Therefore, those who proclaim and hold to truth are anathema. As Isaiah 59:14-15 says, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter. Yes, truth is lacking; and he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.”
God tells us, “If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?” (Amos 3:6). In Isaiah 45:6-7 we read, “I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”
Job 37:11-13 says, “He disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.”
Did you notice the mention of our Father’s lovingkindness? We must never forget that, nor must we ever distort His character by failing to notice all that makes Him God.
America is at the crossroads; what do we do? We need to seek the face of God, to plead that in wrath He will remember mercy. We need to come together in corporate prayer, to join those who are meeting to pray every Thursday during their lunch breaks. We need to repent, to confess and forsake our sins, and call upon our God in the time of trouble. We need to ask Him for another great awakening in America. We need to ask Him for a Fulton Street Revival as we had among laymen on the streets of New York in 1857.
We will study this more in the next issue of Decision. Begin reading through the Book of Ezekiel. Watch for and mark two phrases: your ways and then you will know I am the Lord. Remember, according to Ezekiel 14, only the righteous will survive, so do all you can in the power of His Spirit to turn many to Jesus Christ that they might have His righteousness through faith in His death, burial and resurrection, and know the joy of God’s forgiveness.