These are important days indeed ─ ones that need our attention and diligence. But attention and diligence in what?
The waters of allegiance to God need to be stirred. And a call to action needs to be issued with prayer as our greatest resource and God as our only true hope. What is our first step?
Prayer. Only prayer can hold back the floodtide of sin and God’s judgment and release the cleansing, healing hand of God.
God’s Word gives us historical accounts of His mercy, deliverance, and reformation among His people. One good example of that is when Israel had been taken captive by the Babylonians (Babylonian is the ancient name for Iraq). In Daniel 9, we have a wonderful illustration of a prayer that Daniel offered to God to deliver the Israelites from their captivity.
* Pray With Serious Concentration
Daniel said, “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). To “set our face” refers to the faith and fervency of our prayers. We are to sincerely pray with every inch of our being as individuals, as a church body, even as a nation. But not just any prayer, it must be prayer and fasting.
Fasting is not merely going without food. It is not dieting or cutting down on our eating for health reasons, though we ought to do that. Fasting is going without food, water, and other pleasures for a spiritual purpose.
We are to fast with the correct motivation unto the Lord. Matthew 6:17-18 says, “…when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
Fasting will strengthen your prayer life and turn you to God. When we fast we are giving Heaven notice that we are earnest about seeking God with all of our heart. Fasting also brings faith into focus and holds back God’s judgment.
Have we crossed a deadline in America? Is it too late for our nation? No, absolutely not. God is righteous and holy. He is also merciful. And He would rather show mercy than judgment. He wants to forgive. And He is willing to change His mind (see Exodus 32:14 and Psalm 106:23).
First of all, you need to pray about it. Then, prayerfully choose your fast. Fasting can be going without food. But it can also be going without water or other pleasures for a spiritual purpose.
If you have never fasted, a one-day fast is a good beginning. And choose a day when your activities are light, so you can give your time to prayer. Plan ahead of time that you’re going to fast and if you’re sick, on medication, or pregnant, talk to your doctor first.
Finally, remember to fast as instructed in God’s Word. Don’t boast or brag about what you’re doing or for what purpose. But at the same time, you don’t need to be ashamed of it.
* Pray With Steadfast Confidence
The basis of your prayer is the greatness and mercy of God (see Daniel 9:4, 9). Daniel knew that God was dreadful, but he also knew that God was great and full of mercy. The psalmist said, “But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple” (Psalm 5:7).
The writer of Hebrews exhorts us: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Ephesians 3:12 says that in Jesus Christ, “we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.”
* Pray With Sincere Confession
Sin brings judgment; confession brings forgiveness. Daniel confessed his personal sin and the sin of his nation in Daniel 9:4-7 and 20.
If we want to see this nation turn towards God, it is vital that each person reading this go individually before God and confess personal sin. And thank God, for He tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). There is no sin – none that is beyond God’s forgiveness. That includes rape, murder, robbery, abortion, or sodomy. Every sin is covered under the blood of Jesus.
Daniel also prayed for God to forgive the sin of a nation. This is called “Identification Repentance.” Daniel identified himself with a nation and asked God to have mercy. Just as Daniel, identify with our nation and ask God to have mercy, as well, for the wicked of this nation are certainly not going to pray for themselves.
We need to confess our pride and materialism, neglect of the poor, our racism, sexual immorality, the merciless killing of the unborn, and the godless humanism that has invaded and pervaded our public schools.
We must pray as our Savior did as He hung on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Then, pray with spiritual concern that they will seek His forgiveness for themselves.
* Pray With Spiritual Concern
What were Daniel’s concerns when he prayed? The removal of guilt (see Daniel 9:16) and the restoration of glory (see Daniel 9:17-19).
We need to pray for God to cleanse us and remove our guilt. Without this, we cannot expect God to bring a reformation. How we praise Him that with a multitude of sins, He has a multitude of mercy!
Oh, that every Christian would have a burning, yearning heart for the glory of God! We want to see God’s glory spread over this land. We want to see God do something that cannot be explained by the television pundits, news anchors and newspaper journalists. We want something that cannot be explained by technology, personality, propaganda or persuasion.
It is prayer time in America. We want to ask you one final time, are you on praying ground? James 5:16 says: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Prayer is our greatest resource and God is our only true hope. Only prayer can hold back the floodtide of sin and God’s judgment and release the cleansing, healing hand of God. Will you pray?
By A.R. on 01/21/2008.