On Saturday, August 6, 2011, over 35,000 believers (1/8857 of American citizens) determined that they would make their way to the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. There were people from many states whom we met as we waiting in line to get into the stadium. Many had sacrificed personal funds to get there. Those from Missouri, Ohio, and Indiana were sitting nearby. Churches brought hundreds in busses. Most left home very early in the morning and arrived home very late in the night. The thousands who came assembled with such grace and order that the law enforcement officers, having minimal issues, entertained themselves in the staging area. The worshippers lifted holy hands in prayer and song for over seven hours. They shed tears of repentance as individuals and corporately. They surrounded political, religious, military, senior citizens, laying on hands and praying for them. We prayed for Israel. All speakers, famous and obscure, pointed the worshippers to God. Not one person was exalted-no lengthy adulation in introductions. God was praised.
Seeing that vast array of people, I found myself reflecting on our nation and what it would take to truly turn America back to its founding principles. It raised some questions for me to ponder.
Was America the result of the dreams of a few brilliant, educated men, or was it the merciful intervention of an attentive God to the pleadings of a generation of persecuted citizens, ruled by ego-centric monarchs in both political and religious hierarchies?
I believe that God worked diligently to provide an environment where believers could freely honor Him with their lives and fortunes. As a nation today, we are totally responsible for the environment in which we live. Many have recognized the need to cry out to God and ask Him to intervene in our nation.
What is the criterion God requires for His intervention? He does not leave us to our own devices. II Chronicles 7:14 describes the procedure for reversing troubles in the land. (II Chronicles 7:13 describes the troubles: Drought, productivity devoured, harmful and destructive behavior. Does that sound like America today?)
The first criterion is “my people called by my name.” America’s first limitation: About 50 percent of Americans identify themselves as “born-again” believers according to a Barna poll.
The second criterion is “will humble themselves.” America’s second limitation: Politicians, priests, and pastors generally have one common personality trait-self-reliance. The trait is also heavily present in our leadership community as well. Do they commonly rely on an entity other than themselves to make the decisions about how to solve problems? We heard an abundance of skepticism and ridicule when the gathering was announced. How much of that was put forth to excuse participation?
The third criterion is “pray and seek my face.” America’s third limitation: What is the most common excuse for lack of church participation? “I need to take time for recreation and take care of my family or business?” Biblical illiteracy is pervasive to the extent that non-denominational Bible classes are now being taught in high Schools across America so that students will understand common literature and artistic representations.
The fourth criterion is “turn from your wicked ways.” America’s fourth limitation: Politically correct behavior which tolerates-using the new definition, “approves and advances”-abortion, homosexual behaviors, lying (but don’t get caught), unfaithfulness in any venue-the list is endless because of today’s rampant relativistic religious teachings.
The response from God: “Then will I hear from heaven forgive their sin and heal their land.”
He says that He will hear, forgive and heal. The drought in Texas has not abated. The stock market has fluctuated wildly. Even on the morning of the prayer gathering, thirty one American troops were killed in Afghanistan. So our response should be to continue to seek His face, pray and ask forgiveness. Praying for America is not a one-time event. God has a promise for us. Deuteronomy 28:1 says, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.” Whether or not we are the remnant and whether or not there is physical bondage in our future, the joy of our being is knowing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is our duty as Christian patriots to continue to cry out to Him for His mercy upon our nation.