Governor Rick Perry of Texas called a prayer meeting set for Saturday, August 6, to encourage personal repentance while seeking God’s blessing and guidance for our nation, leaders and citizens. He is calling it “TheResponse: A Solemn Assembly.” I will be there praying for God’s will to be done.
Harsh criticism of this prayer meeting has come from many sources including some who claim to be people of faith. It makes you wonder if people think it is only acceptable for leaders and individuals to come together in public prayer when there is a terrorist attack like 9/11 or some other catastrophic event. If ever a nation needed God’s direction and help, it is now and it is us. America doesn’t just have economic problems; we have serious spiritual and moral problems. The spiritual disease in our land can only be healed by Almighty God. When the enemy comes in like a flood, it is the result of leaving God out of American life and culture. As believers, we are to live as God’s cultivated field, aware that when we give ground to the enemy, he will produce his fruit whether in our personal or national life.
This week as I prayed, I was led to write down these words:
THE MOST HATED PERSON WHO EVER LIVED – JESUS.
THE MOST LOVED PERSON WHO EVER LIVED – JESUS.
Then God spoke to my heart and said, “Get ready, because the closer you follow Me and make an impact on the culture, the more similar the response.” Remember, “If they persecute Me, they will persecute you. All that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of Me. Rejoice and be glad…for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I then wrote something else I felt God impressed on my heart. If you boldly stand for God, you will be misunderstood by some and misrepresented by many. To be honest, it is difficult not to be disheartened by this fact. Only God can enable us to have peace and joy when we are misunderstood, misrepresented, or accused. We all like to be liked.
Jesus made it clear that following Him is too difficult to accomplish through our own strength. This is why He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us and enable us to fulfill His kingdom purpose. Christians must come out from under cover and confront the darkness and deception prevailing in our day. Those who know God must take a stand against evil and unprincipled practices that are being promoted as appropriate. When they do, the church and nation will see the light of truth and begin turning back to God. Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, while documenting the deception of Hitler’s Germany, wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil…. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
When believers resist present trends and begin to make a positive impact on our culture and national direction, they will be accused of trying to establish a Judeo-Christian theocracy – something the true church and people of faith, including Protestants, Catholics and Jews, would not tolerate. The foolish in our nation would more readily defend the possibility of Sharia law than ever accept anything close to a biblical theocracy. However, the fact is we already have a theocracy that boldly defends their relativism and amoral views while forcing their so-called values on everyone else, including their anti-freedom agenda of proven-to-be-ineffective socialistic and numerous bureaucratic programs. Have you noticed that the bigger government gets, the smaller the citizen becomes? There is a secular theocracy in place and if you oppose anyone representing it, you will likely be accused of being a hatemonger, terrorist, or hostage taker (with America supposedly being the hostage). Whatever you do, don’t call for a prayer meeting if you hold public office, might be a potential candidate,or teach school. Sad day!
Serious political problems must frequently be hammered out on the anvil of heated debates and dialogue and often both sides must move to find common ground for positive progress. Prayer can be meaningful during these times. It is wise not to add fuel to the fire, intensifying divisiveness with unkind insults which can come so easily. As Christians, while we stand firmly and boldly for truth, we must remember that, “The god of this world has blinded the eyes of the unbelieving.” And Isaiah 42:19 reveals, “Who is so blind as my servant?” He’s talking about God’s own people! God help us recognize how difficult it can be for a blind person to find the way. They need help and God wants us to help open blind eyes and provide wise guidance by consistently sharing “the truth in love.” Let’s do it while keeping in mind that perfect love walked on earth only once and religious people, along with the government, hung Him on a cross. But praise God, He arose, conquered death and is alive to be revealed in resurrection power, offering life and hope through our witness.
Hold on to the truth God spoke in the Old Testament: “Those who honor Me, I will honor.” And, “I will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies.” If we follow Him, we need “fear no evil for He is with us.” And “the gates of hell will not prevail” against those who hear and heed the Father’s voice. By joining together in the supernatural, unwavering unity Jesus prayed for, we will witness a true spiritual awakening in our lifetime.
I spent my first 25 years in ministry preaching evangelistic crusades. I have spent almost 25 more serving other ministries and missionaries, faithfully helping the poor and reaching people for Christ. I will spend the next years of my life serving God by serving you, continuing to help the suffering, and focusing primary attention on calling the church and America back to God. Without a spiritual awakening, all worthy goals and outreaches are at risk. But I see hope in Christ revealed through us to a world looking for real love, joy, peace and direction in this life. God not only offers hope, He is our hope.