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Pray For Our Nation | Pray Vote Pray

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Pray For Our Nation | Pray Vote Pray

MondayIf my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…”

Second Chronicles 7:14 has become a familiar and comforting verse we share with each other when the world goes crazy. But often we recite only part of it and without considering its context. That’s a mistake. These are the words of God Himself, so we’d better not mess with them. This verse is part of a warning and unless we understand why it was given, we’ll miss the point. Verse 13 is neither familiar nor comforting. This what God said BEFORE this familiar verse: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people…” (v 13).

We don’t like to think of God as someone who would send catastrophes. It doesn’t fit with our Americanized, romanticized version of a God who only wants us to feel good about ourselves. But this is the REAL Yahweh, the only true God in existence. And this is what He says about Himself. He was warning His people Israel that when their rebellion and wickedness brought His judgments, there was a way of escape. Rebellion against God is the height of arrogance, so he requires that we agree with Him about it. Effective prayer is not “Yo, God. S’up?” For prayer to reach God, we must come humbly, admitting our fear and helplessness. The only hope for our nation is for God’s people to humble themselves and pray.

Final Thought: If you are one of God’s people, called by His name, He invites you to humble yourself and pray.

Prayer: Lord God, please forgive my areas of rebellion against you. I humble myself before you, cast down my pride, and set aside my own understanding. You are God; I am not. I will look to you for direction and hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Tuesday “…and seek my face…”.

The throng at the airport was an overwhelming mass with a thousand moving parts pressing, shoving, going every direction. Hettie stood on tiptoes, like a sapling in a stream, searching the crowd that flowed like a raging torrent toward her. Eager eyes scanned every face, finding a thousand possibilities but no wins. “No, not him. Not her. Not them either.” Then, there he was!

A slim uniform caught in the current. They locked eyes and his face lit up. She squealed and clapped her hands as the noisy sea of strangers faded into the background. He was all she saw. He was home. And now her heart could rest.

That’s what it means to seek someone’s face. No one else matters, only the face of our beloved. And that’s what God longs for from us. It’s not enough to come before Him with our Wish List. He wants us to search for him in a crowded airport, seek His face until He is all we see. He’s not fooled by a so-called relationship that consists only of us asking for help or blessing. God’s second requirement before hearing our prayers is that we seek His face. It’s not because God needs us, but because unless He is the foundation for our lives, He can’t bless us like He wants to. He has to judge us instead. So He cries out, “Seek me! I will let you find me.” Only when we seek His face do we discover our home. Only then can our hearts rest.

Final Thought:  Have you been intentional about seeking God’s face? Do it. It will change your life (Jeremiah 29:13).

Prayer: Father, most of my prayers are shallow attempts to get what I want from you. Please forgive me. Teach me how to come into your presence and seek you with all my heart.  May seeking you become my passion. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Wednesday  “…and turn from their wicked ways…”  

“This world is going to hell in a handbasket!” Reverend Thomas cried. “They need to stop all that sinning!” Several pleased “amens” came from the congregation as the reverend received applause, winked at his mistress, and exited the stage. He congratulated the gay couple he had married yesterday, but his face darkened as he glanced outside. A battered pickup had parked dangerously close to his new Mercedes. “$@-#$* visitors,” he growled. “Find a church on your side of town.” 

We wish Reverend Thomas was an exaggeration, but hypocrisy like his is rampant in the church. It’s not the world’s wickedness that prevents God’s deliverance; it’s the sin of those claiming to belong to Him. When we indulge our flesh with sexual immoralities of all kinds, racism, and greed, when we hide dishonest business practices, ignore the slaughter of millions of preborn infants, and merely shrug at the starving children already born, it is OUR sin that keeps God from healing our land. It’s not enough to humble ourselves and pray. It’s not even enough to attempt to seek His face. We must repent of our own sin.

Final Thought:  What wicked ways in your life might be preventing God from answering your prayers? (Proverbs 28:9)

Prayer: Wow, Lord. This hits close to home. What sin am I allowing to remain in my life? What is in me that keeps you from hearing my prayers? I want to be part of the solution, not more of the problem. Search my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Thursday “…Then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”

-“If you kids get the house cleaned up before five-thirty, then we will go to Braums.”

-“If we exceed last quarter’s profits, then every sales person gets a bonus.”

Then and only then. When we see the word “then,” we need to back up and see what came before it. The promise hinges on specific factors and is void if those factors are not met. There are hundreds of those kinds of promises in scripture and

2 Chronicles 7:14 is one. Unfortunately, our weakened version of Christianity ignores most of the “if-thens” and tosses God’s qualified promises to the masses like clowns throw candy in a parade. Whoever hears it, gets it. That’s dangerous because it’s the same technique Satan uses. He can quote God too; he just twists the words around a little so they lose their power. In reality, God has attached contingencies to His promises because He wants to teach us how to live.

He will hear us IF…  He will heal our land IF…  In order to claim His promises, we must obey what came before the “then.”

Final Thought: Before God will forgive our sin and heal our land, we must follow His instructions.

Prayer: Lord God, our nation is in trouble. Your church is in trouble. I’m in trouble. I confess that I’ve tried to claim your promises without following your instructions. Please forgive me. Guide me as I change that. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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FridayPray for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.1 Tim. 2:2

Your person won! Your person lost! We’re all in one of those two camps. Now that the voting is over, it’s time to reunite under God’s word and find out what to do next. Whether we’re fist-bumping or soothing our wounds, we’re all responsible to do one thing: PRAY FOR WHOEVER IS NOW IN POWER. If the thought makes you cringe, remember that Paul wrote these words about his own evil kings and wicked rulers. He lived under the tyranny of a regime that considered torture a fair and just way to rid the world of Christians. When Paul wrote about “those in authority,” he was referencing emperors who set Christians on fire to light their outdoor barbeques. So if Paul could pray for Nero, we can pray for our President and our Congress.

But the goal of these prayers might surprise you. He mentions nothing about governmental handouts, nothing about race relations, gun rights, or tax breaks. Those things are important, but they’re not the main focus of our prayer. Paul urged Timothy to lead his church in praying that the government would leave them alone. First-century rulers had the legal authority to root out Christians and feed them to the lions. They confiscated property, sold Christians as slaves, and publicly humiliated them in the name of peace and tolerance. Our nation may be headed in the same direction, so we need to pray the way Christians through the ages have prayed—that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.

Prayer: Father God, I join with my brothers and sisters all across this nation in praying for peace. Not peace at the hands of compromise, but peace to live out my faith boldly. Give our President, Congress, our representatives, and our local governments wisdom as they try to lead this broken country. May they uphold the Constitution and the Bill of rights which guarantee our freedoms. And may we not take those freedoms for granted, but use them to further your kingdom. Send revival to your church that every American who claims the name of “Christian” will seek to lead a peaceful and quiet life. Convict us to turn away from the pursuits of wealth, popularity, and comfort, and instead pursue godliness and holiness. Above all, may your people live exemplary lives that demonstrate to a lost world that you are Lord of all. In Jesus’ name, amen.