"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." 2 Chronicles 7:14
We really need to pray for our nation this morning. I think yesterday was a sign that people are praying. It was election day in some parts of the country. The state of Maine defeated a gay-marriage referendum, preserving that marriage is between a man and a woman. The states of Virginia and New Jersey have elected new governors, hoping to bring change to their troubled states.
God is listening. He is hearing the cries of His people, and we must continue crying out. We need to fall on our faces at the feet of Jesus and ask for mercy for our troubled nation. We serve a God of second chances, and He wants to hear our prayers for our country. He wants to hear His servants lifting President Obama in prayer every day. He wants to hear our cries for a revival and an awakening to take this country by storm.
I believe this verse this morning with all my heart. If we will seek Him, and turn from our wicked ways, He will remember our beautiful country. Our country that was founded by people who were fleeing persecution for worshipping God. In classrooms all over the country, schoolkids are working on their Thanksgiving projects. They're making turkeys out of hand prints, and they're making little paper pilgrims, or paper pilgrim hats. Maybe they're acting out a play about the pilgrims. But do they know what a pilgrim is? Do they know that a pilgrim is someone who is traveling for religious reasons? Someone who is fleeing persecution, or traveling for holy reasons, like a pilgrimage. And as the pilgrims and Indians sat down for that first meal together, they prayed. They prayed and they thanked God for their freedom and their bounty at that feast. These pilgrims were not people who sailed the ocean just to explore! They risked life and limb, literally, for the love of God. Nearly half the pilgrims died in that first winter... I bet they died with prayers of thanksgiving on their lips.
We need to be thankful for what we have. We need to be thankful for the freedoms we do have in this country, and we need to pray that it stays that way. When that verse says above to turn from our wicked ways, I don't think it says what it looks like. My first thoughts were, of course, of wicked things, like gambling, adultery, cheating, stealing, murdering, etc. But then when I read the verse again, God was talking to those he called 'My people'. God's people, the ones who already love and worship Him need to turn from their wicked ways. So what are the wicked ways? My first thought is apathy. Apathy, meaning, it's not my problem, why should I worry about it. It's apathy that is tearing this country apart. We hear about an issue in a neighboring state and we think that it's great that we don't live there, instead of praying for the issue. This applies to other countries as well. Think about what it really would be like to live in a troubled part of the world. Really think about it, and think about how you would feel knowing that Christians all over the US are looking their way and simply being grateful they live in the land of the free, instead of praying for that same freedom for those persecuted citizens. The opposite of apathy is the traits that Jesus displayed- love and compassion. It's compassion and love that is going to bring this country out of it's murky depths and into something glorious and wonderful.
If we can turn from the wickedness of apathy, turn on the compassion and the love, seek God, and call out to Him, THEN He will hear us and answer our prayers.
And He will heal this troubled land.
I think that's worth some time praying about, isn't it?