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I’ve been asking believers in the One True God to do a lot of praying lately.
I am convinced it’s the only thing that will save American from ruin.
I believe much of what we are experiencing in the way of cultural decay, government fraud and abuse, terrorist attacks, economic woes and national despair are the early signs of judgment on the people and the land.
Meanwhile, too many of America’s houses of worship are simply not placing enough emphasis on the power and necessity of prayer in times like this.
Some of the public prayers I hear from believers are self-indulgent, absent repentance and devoid of reverence for the Creator of the universe and how He must be approached for us to be heard.
When was the last time you heard someone publicly recite, for instance, the perfect prayer – the one Jesus Himself used as a model to His disciples on how to pray.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Why is it the “perfect” prayer? Because it was taught by the only perfect man whoever walked the face of the earth. He was both man and God. He lived a sinless life and died a horrifying death to serve as a ransom for the rest of humanity – all who would accept Him and repent of their sins.
He offered some more advice about how to pray, saying, as recorded in Matthew 6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Then He explained how to pray like He did, giving glory to the Father, seeking His holy and divine will, asking forgiveness, asking for help in avoiding sin and seeking His kingdom.
There’s another direct instruction about prayer from God, given to Solomon at the time of the dedication of the First Temple, that American believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob need to keep in mind at times like this.
You’ve heard me reference it often lately. That’s because there is a great lesson in it about effective prayer that we so desperately need right now.
It is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Read those words carefully. God is talking here to believers only – His people, those called by His name. He instructs us to do four things for our prayers to even be heard: Humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. He’s not talking to non-believers. He’s telling His people who are called by His name to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn away from their sin. Then – and only then – will He hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land.
He’s not waiting for everyone in America to follow this prescription to save us. He’s just waiting for believers to follow this promise.
Even though I am deeply troubled by the direction of our country, I remain certain that our nation can be delivered from judgment if believers in America only do what is expected and demanded of them.
That’s why I encourage you today to pray the perfect prayer in humility, sincerity, with the focus on God Almighty while turning away from sin. Ask God today to forgive our sin and heal our land, following the model of the perfect prayer.