As the American condition seems to deteriorate, with bombings, knifings and shootings all within recent days, a profligate Congress spending down into the second and third generation of income, and the nation awash with an indeterminate morality, prayer seems to be gaining more and more attention.
WND columnist Pastor Greg Laurie, now the honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer, has issued an impassioned plea for pastors and churches around the country to actively participate in the 62nd annual day of prayer on May 2.
Earlier announced was a campaign to promote “A day of prayer and fasting” for 9/11/13. Already, thousands have registered their intent to participate.
Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and the founder of Harvest Crusades, said the issue really isn’t complicated..
“If we pray, God will hear,” Laurie said. “When He hears, who knows what He might do?”
Laurie said the nation needs much prayer, not just a single event.
“As this year’s honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer I support WND’s 9/11/13 National Day of Prayer and Fasting. I agree with Joseph Farah that America faces a spiritual crisis and there is nothing more effective we can bring our requests to God,” Laurie said.
“In Scripture, God tells us ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jer 33:3)”
Laurie notes that in times of crisis, the U.S. frequently has called on God. The Scripture chosen for this year’s event is Matthew 12:21, which says, “And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”
Prior to the American Revolution, each year an annual “election sermon” was preached before the governor and House of Representatives in Massachusetts and distributed to the people.
In 1770, Rev. Samuel Cook chose as his text II Samuel 23:3, 4 which reads, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.”
However, in 1774 the spiritual tone had become more ominous and restless. Several months after the Boston Tea Party, Rev. Gad Hitchcock preached out of Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m.-noon EDT May 2 at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington. Afterwards, a prayer that was written by Laurie will be read at various sites across the country.
It reads in part, “… we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence. Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have ‘forgotten God.’ But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.”
The September event was prompted by a column written by WND CEO Joseph Farah. His “A Day of prayer and fasting” calls for setting aside 9/11/2013 as a day to pray for the heart and soul of America.
In his column, Farah provided historical examples of how America’s founders, when faced with challenges frequently called for a national day of prayer and fasting.
“America is facing challenges today that, in many ways, rival anything we’ve seen since the start of World War II,” he wrote.
This week, similar to years past when America’s political leaders recognized the importance of prayer and repentance, Farah’s efforts received official endorsement by an elected official.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., entered a statement into the Congressional Record on Farah’s call for a 9/11 National Day of Prayer and Fasting.
“I join together with other Americans who have called for September 11, 2013, to be set aside as a day for personal prayer, reflection and fasting, for ourselves and for our nation,” Bachmann said in a statement.
“At this time of national mourning, as we search for comfort in the aftermath of this loss of innocent life, we would be wise to consider afresh 2 Chronicles 7:14: ‘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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land,'” she said.
In a subsequent column published this week, Farah went on to explain the events that led him to realize the importance of his idea.
- There’s a concerted effort to redefine marriage as any union between people, regardless of sex, possibly regardless even of the number of participants in that union and possibly even regardless of the status of blood relationship between them;
- America continues to abort unborn babies by the millions and has now moved further in the direction of euthanasia on both ends of the life spectrum – possibly even making it a matter of national, state-controlled health-care mandates;
- American foreign policy seems directionless, no longer with the primary concern being national security, but in fostering and fomenting change for the sake of change and breaking down the barriers of national sovereignty;
- Government seems determined to enforce a monopoly on force by making it more difficult for Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to procure and bear firearms;
- Government and cultural institutions are breaking down the pillars and principles upon which self-government has been built;
- Government is building up its authority and diminishing the role God plays as the supreme authority in the lives of free people.
“As we humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways, we can take assurance from the Holy Scripture that God has promised to hear from heaven, will forgive our sin, and will heal our land,” Rep. Bachmann stated.
Farah’s action plan includes the following:
- Make a note on your calendar now to join in the commitment to participate;
- Help spread the word to the remnant of Americans who understand what we’re up against on Facebook and Twitter and by word of mouth;
- Talk to pastors and Bible study leaders and get them on board;
- Sign up to register your expression of support and your intention to participate.
Farah personally became convinced of the need for prayer and fasting more than a year ago when he began producing what became the most successful faith movie of 2012 and 2013 – “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.” Based on Jonathan Cahn’s teachings as revealed in his record-breaking bestseller “The Harbinger,” the movie had a profound impact on Farah.
As Farah, citing 2 Chronicles 7:14, put it: “We’ve got our instructions. God is waiting on us to act – His people. He’s not waiting on the whole world to act. He’s not waiting on a majority of Americans to act. He’s waiting on us – his children, his followers, his believers.”